How to Celebrate a Deceased Family Member's Birthday. Just because members of your family pass away doesn't mean that they're no longer part of your life. When a deceased relative's birthday approaches, you're bound to reminisce about their life and the times you spent together. This year, gather your loved ones to celebrate the occasion.
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Let family and friends know that you'll be paying tribute to a deceased family member on his birthday and invite them over for a potluck dinner. Ask guests to contribute appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts that the "guest of honor" would have loved. Consider a variety of regional or ethnic dishes to stimulate discussion about his heritage and family tree.
Tell stories about the person's life. Remember lessons she taught you, humorous mishaps, her commendable traits and quirky habits. Ask an older relative to share stories about the person's childhood, upbringing, education and work life. Have the children consider what life would have been like if they grew up in that particular era.
Watch any home movies you have that feature the deceased family member. Invite everyone to bring any photo albums or loose pictures that they have of him. If you haven't already, consider putting a small scrapbook together featuring his photos. Pass around pieces of acid-free cardstock and pens that relatives can use to jot down stories about him for you to include on the layouts as journaling.
Keep the evening positive. The gathering should honor the person who passed away, not dredge up past indiscretions or arguments. If someone is still holding a grudge against the deceased family member, consider asking him not to attend if he can't contain his negative feelings and stories.
Spend time talking and catching up on each other's lives. Ask one another questions that you wish you would have asked the relative who passed away. Play her favorite songs or run a movie that she often enjoyed in the background as you talk.