Losing someone we love is one of the most difficult things that any of us will face in life. Although a loved one may not be with us physically, they’ve touched our lives and their memory stays with us. It is true that each of us grieves differently. However, an important part of the healing process is reflecting on the things that we love about the person we’ve lost. Finding a meaningful way to honor your loved one’s memory is one way to move forward in the healing process.
6 Ways to Honor a Loved One’s Memory
1. Get Involved
If your loved one was passionate about a particular cause or charity, you could get involved as a way of continuing their legacy. Even if they didn’t support a specific group, think about what they loved and use that as inspiration. Did they love animals? Maybe you could volunteer at a local shelter. Were they passionate about kids or education? Consider donating supplies to a school. Did they have a favorite park or walking path? Offer to pick up litter or help with maintenance.
2. Go to a Special Place
Many people feel closer to their loved one when they visit a memorial or grave site. Or you could install a memorial bench or plant a tree in a significant location. If possible, include a memorial plaque so that anyone who stops there will be touched by your loved one’s memory.
If you and your loved one had favorite places to visit together, continue to visit those places. This can be an enjoyable way to feel closer to your loved one, and can also give you some time to reflect on fond memories.
3. Start a New Tradition
Pick a significant date, like an anniversary or birthday, and plan an activity that reminds you of your loved one. Play their favorite game, enjoy their favorite food, or listen to their favorite music. If you decide to make it a family event, it will also be an excellent time to share your fondest memories with others who were also touched by your loved one’s life.
4. Make a Scrapbook or Memory Box
Gather photos, greeting cards, and other mementos and create a scrapbook that memorializes your loved one’s life and your favorite memories together.
Alternatively, a memory box could contain videos of your loved one or even a few cherished objects that remind you of them.
Spending time gazing at photos, rereading cards and letters, and even listening to their voice will bring your mind back to time spent together. Holding on to memories this way can be especially helpful for young children, whose memories tend to fade over time. Watching videos, listening to stories, and even holding objects that belonged to their loved one can help young ones to keep those memories alive.
5. Keep Memorabilia Somewhere Visible
Displaying photos is one way to keep a visible reminder of your loved one, but your options don’t end there. If you have an object that was special to them, keep it somewhere you and others will notice it. Some people even create a quilt out of clothing that their loved one wore and display it on a chair or a bed.
Displaying something that reminds you of your loved one will help to keep them a part of your daily life, and it may also create opportunities for conversations that allow you to share parts of them with other people.
6. Remember Them During Important Life Events.
Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays can be painful reminders of the absence of someone important. Finding a way to include them in your big day may help to ease some of that pain.
Some people display a picture or leave an extra chair or place setting in honor of their loved one. Others prepare a simple tribute or select a story or memory to share.
Death doesn’t stop us from loving those we’ve lost. They’ve been an important part of our life, and they live on in our memories. Even after the initial grief passes, we continue to feel their absence. Finding a way to honor and celebrate their lives and the influence they’ve had on us can help us to find a measure of peace and healing.
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