When you lose a loved one, coping with grief and adjusting to life without them is a difficult experience that takes time.
Instead of trying to push off grief or get over it, acknowledge your grief by creating a tradition that will give you something to remember and honor your loved one. It can be a tradition you do annually on the anniversary of their death, on special holidays, monthly, or however often feels significant to you.
Here are some ways you can start a tradition in memory of your loved one.
Visit the Gravesite
You can visit their gravesite or the place their ashes were scattered to place flowers, say a prayer, think of memories with them, or talk out loud to them about your life and how much you miss them. You can even make this a group ritual with family or friends of the deceased.
If the deceased left behind children, bringing them with you can help the children grieve and get into the ritual of honoring their loved one’s life.
Food and grieving have gone together for thousands of years. Gather family and friends to get together for a dinner to honor and remember the deceased. Everyone can take turns sharing funny and happy memories with the deceased. You can go to your loved one’s favorite restaurant, or make their favorite meal.
Volunteer your Time
You can make a difference in people’s lives and honor the life of your loved one by volunteering your time or donating to a charity. There are many different ways you can volunteer, so you can find something that works for you.
Some possibilities are volunteering at a local hospital to comfort patients, having a food drive, taking care of the environment by planting a tree or picking up trash, or helping at a community event.
Do Their Favorite Activity
By doing your loved one’s favorite activity, you can both remember them and feel closer to them. It can be as simple as watching their favorite movie, or a movie you always watched together. If they liked being outdoors, you can go for a bike ride on their favorite trail, or plant a tree in their honor. If they were crafty, make a scrapbook filled with their life adventures, or fill it with life events of family members, so it’s like they’re watching along with you.
Create a Memorial Area
You don’t have to get rid of all your loved one’s items and pretend like they didn’t exist; doing this is harmful to having a healthy grieving process and can confuse children. You can create a memorial area in your home with pictures of the deceased. You can create a photo wreath and other memorial items such as bookmarks or prayer cards to pay tribute to your loved one.
Take Time for Grief
Just simply take some time out of your day to sit and think about them. Even though they aren’t with you physically, they’ll remain in your heart forever.