Remembering loved ones who have passed away can be a challenging and emotional process. However, finding a way to honor our dead that feels meaningful and comforting to us can be an important part of the grieving process.
Sometimes there are rituals commemorating the dead on a national level, like the Wreaths Across America, where a coordinated wreath-laying effort happened in more than 3700 sites across the United States and abroad. It was done on 16th December 2022 in memory of veterans who laid down their lives defending America. And sometimes, these rituals are performed on a more personal level.
There are many ways to remember a loved one who has passed away, and the best way will depend on the individual and their relationship with the deceased.
Here are 5 ways to remember a loved one who has passed on:
1. Creating A Memorial
A headstone will be a lasting symbol of your remembrance. It will be a place where you pay your respects or visit on a death anniversary.
There can be many kinds of headstones. There are upright, flat, or pillow headstones available, amongst other designs. You can browse online resources with plenty of options like Legacy Headstones to ensure you choose the right one for your loved one.
If you have decided to opt for a cremation instead of a burial, you can create a memorial at home. This can be something as simple as setting up a small altar or creating a space in your home where you can keep mementos and photos of your loved one.
2. Sharing Memories With Others
Talking about your loved one and sharing stories and memories with others can be a way to keep their memory alive.
You could hold an annual memorial event. This could be a gathering with friends and family or a more formal event such as a fundraiser or charitable event in the deceased’s honor.
Creating art or writing about your loved one can be a therapeutic way to remember and honor them. Those viewing the artwork or reading your writing will be able to imagine the essence of the departed person.
3. Planting a Tree in Their Honor
This can be a beautiful way to remember your loved one and create something lasting in their memory. Planting a tree in memory of a loved one can be a therapeutic and healing activity that allows you to connect with your loved one and find comfort in the natural world.
Trees are living symbols of growth, strength, and continuity, and planting one in honor of a loved one can be a way to celebrate their legacy and keep their memory alive. You may select a tree that has symbolic meaning, such as an oak tree which represents strength and endurance, or a cherry blossom tree which represents renewal and hope.
A large tree can absorb more than 20 kg of carbon dioxide in a year and release sufficient oxygen to sustain a small family. Planting a tree in memory of a loved is also an activity where you give back to the environment in a meaningful way.
4. Create a Memory Book
A memory book is a collection of photos, mementos, and written recollections that celebrate the life of the person who has died.
To create a memory book, you will need to gather photographs, documents, and other mementos that are meaningful to you and reflect the life of your loved one. You might include things like baby photos, school reports, awards, and other items that are significant to you.
You can also include written memories and stories in your memory book. You might write about special moments or experiences you shared with your loved one or about their unique personality and character.
5. Performing Acts of Kindness
You can also honor your loved one by doing good deeds in their memory, such as volunteering or donating to a charity that was important to them.
There are more than 9436 orphanages and group homes across the country, according to estimates by market research firm Ibis World. You should be able to find a charity that resonates with your beliefs. If your loved one was passionate about a particular cause, you could donate to an organization that supports that cause in their memory.
Whether we choose to create a memory book, visit a gravesite, participate in a memorial service, or find another way to remember our loved ones, finding a way to hold onto their memory can bring us comfort and help us to feel connected to them even after they are gone.
It is important to take the time to reflect on our loved ones and remember them in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to us. Find a way to remember the loved one that feels meaningful and comforting to you.