For those of you who have lost a loved one, thinking about the empty chair at the holiday table may intensify grief in all its complex manifestations: sadness, anger, resentment, anxiety and maybe even guilt about the loss and, yes, joy and sweetness and gratitude that the person was in your life.
Setting an empty seat at the table is a great way to honor your loved one. It is a place setting much like you have for other guests. However, no one sits at it and it remains unused. Place a picture of your missing loved one directly above the plate. In the empty water glass, place a special ornament. The ornament could be one they liked, a new one that reminds you of them or a customized one with their name. It is also a nice touch to have a printed copy of The Empty Chair poem. Have someone read it aloud.
It goes like this.
THE EMPTY CHAIR.
Time cannot heal the emptiness
Or fill the empty chair
The one that’s in the family room
I see it empty there.
Or the chair that’s at the table
Where together we would dine
Although I sit there still
The only hands that pray are mine
Still I give thanks to God each day
I pray this prayer comes true
You save an empty chair for me
When I come home to you
You can set a seat for your loved one this holiday season to remember them and keep them close in spirit.
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