5 Special Ways to Keep Your Loved One’s Memory Alive
- January 8, 2021
When we lose someone special to us, the shock of their passing can be devastating. But what can be even more scary and painful is the feeling that we have lost them forever. They may no longer be physically with us, but there are many special ways we can remember our loved one to keep their memory alive.
Read on to learn 5 special ways to celebrate the memory of your loved one.
1. Start a New Tradition
When you look back on your loved one you have lost, all the amazing memories and times you shared together probably come to mind. Maybe you enjoyed bonding over a favorite meal together, or laughing over novels you both enjoyed or watching iconic films. Even though they may now be gone, you can still continue doing those things you enjoyed together in their memory.
Reflect on some of their passions, pastimes and things they loved. Consider starting a tradition to continue doing those things in their honor. For instance, you can take a trip to a place you both loved. Once a year, you can pay tribute to them by hosting a family gathering or a dinner and you can raise a toast to their memory. If there was a subject that they were extremely passionate about, maybe you can now pay homage to them by taking a class in the subject, yourself. Or, remembering them in a special way can maybe just be devoting one day a year to their memory, lighting a candle in their honor and cooking up all their favorite foods.
2. Make a Memory Board
Speaking of thinking back on the special memories you shared together, a wonderful way to reflect on and document those times is by creating a memory board. You have probably heard of a vision board in which you create a collage representing your wishes, dreams and desires that you hope to manifest in your life. Well, you can make a memory board to honor your loved one’s life and legacy.
Just like with a vision board, you can use a canvas or a poster board and instead of attaching magazine cutouts to the board, you would assemble a collage of sentimental photos. Capture the poignant and special story of your loved one’s life on the board. You can still fasten cutouts of pictures and images from magazines that depict what their interests or pastimes were. Or, you may want to attach quotes they said or their favorite sayings. Assemble the photos in any layout you wish upon the memory board, and watch as the vision of their life story comes to life.
There are no rules here. This is a safe space to unleash your creativity and express yourself. When you have completed the memory board, you will now have a beautiful, heartfelt rendering of their life story and passions to look back on, as a special reminder of your loved one.
3. Visit Their Grave or Place Where Their Ashes Are Scattered
Visiting the place where your loved one is buried or their ashes are scattered can help you feel so much closer to them, even though they are now physically gone. It can feel therapeutic, comforting and even help bring you closure, just by spending some time at this meaningful place. Sit down, feel the earth and connect with your loved one on a more spiritual level. Perhaps, you can bring a bouquet of flowers to lay down at the site or something to plant. In Victorian times, flowers were scattered at a loved one’s burial sites to represent various special meanings, and it was believed that they carried poignant messages. Common flowers that were scattered were roses, tulips, carnations and daisies.
Besides flowers, you can also leave letters at the site, and send heartfelt, written messages to your loved one to feel connected to them on a deeper level. Again, no matter what material items you bring to the site, simply being present and spending time there will be meaningful and offer you solace.
4. Speak To or Write A Message to Your Loved One
Beyond leaving physical letters at their burial or scattering site, the simple act of putting words down on paper to capture your feelings or a message you would like to send to your loved one can be very comforting as well. Besides helping you process and navigate your grief as well as deepening your connection to their memory, there may be things you wish you had been able to tell them when they were still here. Writing them a letter now is your chance to get these important words down, and express yourself however you need. You can again leave these letters at their burial or scattering site, or send them down a river as a way of bringing your message to your loved one.
Maybe, you’re not one for writing letters. To still feel connected to your loved one, write an email or a text message. And there is no need to feel that you must “send” them; again, the act of getting words down is a powerful coping mechanism. Or, maybe it feels more natural to simply speak to your loved one. It may sound odd, but just allowing yourself to freely open up and express yourself again possesses great therapeutic value. Again, if it feels better or more appropriate, you can visit their grave or scattering site to speak to and feel closer to your loved one, there at the sentimental site.
5. Cherish Special Keepsakes to Remember Them
Tangible Items and keepsakes are powerful vessels to harness memories of your loved one. Simply holding a sentimental item that belonged to your loved one can be extremely comforting. Wearing a piece of their jewelry or clothing can help you feel connected to them. If your loved one was cremated, another way you may wish to remember them is by storing their ashes in memorial jewelry. Turning your loved one’s memory into a beautiful piece of jewelry that you can proudly wear everyday can be invaluable in helping you cope through your grieving process.