For those of you who journeyed with me down Grief Road after losing my husband Chris, you might recall the “Chris Tree” we constructed together. By far, it was one of the most memorable joy-filled events of that first year of widowhood. I knew that first Christmas without him would be very difficult, and having a memorial tree dedicated to Chris and all those things which made up his personality, helped to make that Christmas very special to me.
As a result, I knew I just had to do the same thing for Joel! As a matter of fact, I’ll have both trees up these year, along with our family tree (can you tell how much I love to decorate for Christmas?)! Now…this is where you come in. When I did this before, I invited others to participate in the construction of the “Chris Tree” by finding ornaments that went along with a list of suggestions I came up with. I would love to do the same thing for my “Joel Tree”. I’ll provide a list of suggested ornament themes below, and I would love it if you would join us in adorning his memorial tree. The ornaments don’t have to be new. They could be yard sale or consignment store finds. If you’re crafty, feel free to make something. I’m happy to provide my mailing address to anyone that chooses to participate, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know you need it. Feel free to send in ornaments anytime, but I’d like to have them no later than November 1, otherwise the busyness of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons will soon be upon us.
Here is a list of ornament categories (in no particular order), but if God places something else on your heart…that’s okay too.
- Grandpa with kids
- Dad with kids
- Carolina Panthers
- Dallas Cowboys
- Carolina Tarheels
- High Point, NC
- J – initial ornaments
- Jesus – Cross
- Hospital worker (scrubs)
- Radiation therapist
- Ping pong
- Pool table, cue sticks, etc.
- Horseback riding
- Country boy
- Marines (Joel and his dad)
- Air Force (Joel’s son, Justin)
- The number 15 to represent his 9 children, 2 children-in-love, 2 grandbabies, Joel, and Leah!
- Family – names or initials of his wife and children (Leah, Amy, Wes, Noelle, Micah, Justin, Virginia, Caleb, Anna, Aaron, Josiah, Katerina, Benjamin, and Austyn)
- Jesse – baby in Heaven
- Bible verses
- Photo ornaments with his picture
- Personalized ornaments with his name
- AWANA (he was AWANA Commander and very active when his bio children were younger)
I can’t tell you how meaningful this will be to my family and me and will help to take the “sting” out of not having Joel/Daddy/Pawpaw with us this year. May God bless you, in advance, for your simple act of kindness to my grieving heart! Feel free to email me with any questions (email@example.com). Christmas will be here before we know it!