40+ Thanksgiving in Heaven Quotes to Remember Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is never quite the same after losing a loved one. These quotes can help you honor their life during the holidays.

Published November 15, 2023
family saying grace for Thanksgiving dinner

When there's an empty seat at the Thanksgiving table, you may struggle to find the words to express how you feel. If you're wishing a loved one a happy Thanksgiving, even though they've passed on, all you need to do is speak from the heart.

You may not be sharing turkey, but you can still share a thought or meaningful words about who you're missing around the table this year.

Quotes for a Loved One's First Thanksgiving in Heaven

They say the key to handling grief is to journey all four seasons without your loved one by just getting through it. But those first holidays after a loved one passes can be particularly difficult. Whether you choose to focus on grieving in your own time or you just want to honor the person everyone misses around the table, these quotes can help you recognize their absence in a meaningful way.

You may not be here this year, but your legacy lives on in your loving family.
  • You're not here and for that, I don't feel grateful. But I'll always be grateful for you.
  • This first year without you is difficult. But the memories of years we've shared before bring us all comfort.
  • You may not be here this year, but your legacy lives on in your loving family.
  • Honestly, it's hard to be thankful when missing you is all we can think about. 
  • This Thanksgiving we choose to be grateful for who you were while we grieve your absence around our table.

Comforting Quotes for Missing Parents on Thanksgiving

You never get over losing a parent. Holidays like Thanksgiving are a reminder of how much you miss them throughout the year. With these quotes, you might find some comfort during the moments you miss mom or dad most this Thanksgiving. 

  • You started this Thanksgiving tradition, and I promise to carry it on in your honor.
  • I miss you every year. It never gets easier.
  • This year I'm focusing on all the things you did for me that I'll be forever grateful for. 
  • Mom/Dad, you're missed every year. But your love and nurturing are missed most on Thanksgiving.
  • I thought of you while making the pie crust. I cried while mashing the potatoes. Mom/Dad, I miss you.
  • You made Thanksgiving, and every day, so much fun. We miss you, Mom/Dad. 
  • Happy Thanksgiving in Heaven, Mom/Dad. We miss you most this time of year.
  • Mom/Dad, we hope you're enjoying the bounty of Thanksgiving in Heaven. We miss you.
  • Mom/Dad, this year we carve the turkey in your honor. We only wish you could have been here to carve it yourself.
  • You both gave us so much to be grateful for and you're deeply missed this Thanksgiving.
  • We miss you both deeply. But we are thankful you can celebrate together now.

Meaningful Thanksgiving Quotes for a Spouse in Heaven

When half of you is gone, holidays can feel like a painful reminder of your loss. It's okay if you don't feel thankful when all you can do is miss the person you love most. Hopefully, these quotes can provide a bit of comfort to your heart if you're missing a spouse this Thanksgiving.

Even though you're gone, having the privilege of loving you is what I'm most thankful for.
  • Traditions are painful reminders without you here with me, but I'm grateful for the memories and moments we had. 
  • Missing you is the hardest part of this day of thankfulness. 
  • I'm grateful for every single second I was with you. Those memories are helping me hang on today. 
  • I never imagined a holiday without you. The only way I'm getting through it is by taking each moment as it comes.
  • Even though you're gone, having the privilege of loving you is what I'm most thankful for.

Heartfelt Thanksgiving Quotes for a Child in Heaven

The ache of losing a child never goes away. The empty seat around the table is certainly a difficult thing to see. Words can never truly express what it feels like to grieve a child during the holidays. But we hope these words bring you some small comfort or help you feel seen in the midst of your grief. 

  • It wasn't supposed to be this way. You were supposed to be here with us. In some ways, you always will be.
  • When my heart is breaking on this day, all I can do is wish you a happy Thanksgiving in Heaven.
  • I'm not grateful you're gone, but I'll always be grateful for every little thing about you.
  • It's unfair how short your life was, but we are all so thankful for what you were able to teach us in that short time.
  • We remember you every year. We think of who you would have been today. We miss you every moment.
  • My only comfort today is that you are somewhere where every day is like Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Quotes for Grieving During the Holidays

Grief doesn't take a day off just because it's Thanksgiving. If you're facing the holiday crowds in the middle of your grief, these quotes might help you speak to others about how it can feel. 

Grief and gratitude both come in waves.
  • This grief makes gratitude feel impossible right now and I have to be okay with that.
  • This year, I'm taking the time I need to grieve while everyone else is celebrating. 
  • Grief and gratitude both come in waves.
  • I can be thankful for many things, but missing them will never make my list of gratitudes. 
  • Today I choose to celebrate the good, but I will reserve a time to reflect on what I miss as well. 

Thanksgiving Quotes to Honor a Lost Loved One

Whether you're leaving an empty chair for the one you miss or lighting a candle in their honor, you may want to say a few words of recognition. Try one of these quotes as you honor a loved one this Thanksgiving.

  • We leave a chair for you so you know you're never forgotten.
  • This candle will burn out, but your legacy never will.
  • Everything you did lives on in each of us.
  • You are never forgotten and always missed, especially today.
  • As we celebrate another year of thankfulness, we light this candle in honor of those we miss while we count our blessings.
  • As we all miss you today, we are grateful to know you're somewhere far better than this.

Famous Thanksgiving in Heaven Quotes

Celebrating any holiday without someone you love is difficult. Wise people who have a way with words have expressed how it feels to grieve and be thankful with these famous quotes. 

"I'm trying to be respectful of the absence. I'm not trying to fill it up." - Michelle Williams
  • "I'm trying to be respectful of the absence. I'm not trying to fill it up." - Michelle Williams
  • “Gratitude is the closest thing to beauty manifested in an emotion." - Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me? 
  • “Nothing is or will ever be the same without you here.” - Sabrina Carpenter

Gratitude & Grief Can Co-Exist 

Your first holiday season without a loved one — or seeing another year pass with that empty chair — is never easy. During this season of thankfulness, you don't have to force yourself to be grateful. You can grieve and still find gratitude for the things and people in life that help you carry on.

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40+ Thanksgiving in Heaven Quotes to Remember Loved Ones