“The sun can break through the darkest cloud; love can brighten the gloomiest day.”
– William Arthur Ward
Losing a loved one is the most heart-shattering experience we can face in life. But while death steals that person’s physical presence from us, there are things we can do to keep their memory alive. Our relationship transforms into one based on memory rather than physical presence. Part of the journey of grief entails traveling back into our memories in order to move toward reconciliation with the loss we have experienced. That being said, the person may have passed, but we will always keep them alive in our memory.
Below we will look at a number of ways you can remember and honor the memory of your loved one after they have gone.
1. Volunteer in their honor
If donating to your loved one’s charity or cause of choice is not something you feel like doing, why not try to volunteer for them? Also consider other volunteering opportunities that could allow you to continue the positive things your loved one brought into your life. For instance, if they were an important mentor for you as a kid, consider something like a youth outreach program.
2. Celebrate their birthday
The first birthday of your loved one after they have passed can be a painful experience. However, it can also be a good opportunity to honor them. Each year, take few moments to thank them for the life they have lived and all good things they brought into yours. You can remember the wisdom they handed down to you, all the happy moments, the unconditional love and support they gave you. You can honor those memories by sharing that wisdom, love, and support with others in need.
3. Do something unique with their ashes
There are a number of interesting things you can do with cremation ashes. You can have them become part of a glass paperweight or make into a diamond. Also, you can have them made into fireworks for a celebratory farewell. Literally, the sky is the limit here.
4. Host a dinner in your loved one’s honor
Pick a special day like a birthday or anniversary to honor the memory of the one who has passed and invite your friends and family over for dinner. You can even make it at your loved one’s favorite dining place and order their favorite dishes for everyone to enjoy. And then spend the rest of the evening sharing the special memories you have in common.
5. Hang their pictures
Having some photos of your loved one on your walls may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is a respectful gesture with a lot of power. Seeing their face smile at you each day as you move around your home may help you feel like they’re still around in a way.
6. Create a permanent memorial and pay regular visits
It can be a good idea to have a place to go where you feel close to the person who has passed. For many, a graveyard memorial becomes that loving place. Alternatively, you can plant a tree in your loved one’s memory. You can even have a memorial plaque so that others who pass by can be touched by his or her story.
7. Create a storybook
Set aside some time to write stories about your loved one and the effect they had on your life. They can be large in scope, or little anecdotes involving all the times they’ve made you laugh. You can even make it into a group project by asking people who knew them to contribute. And when the masterpiece is complete, give a copy to everyone who might appreciate it.
Do you know of any other interesting ways we can keep the memories of our loved ones alive? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it of value.