Hands holding a collection of Polaroids

 

Written by Lexie Graf

 

The anniversary of your loved one’s death is a day of mixed emotions. Your feelings of grief and sadness are likely to intensify. However, you may also feel nostalgia and happiness as you think of fond memories of your loved one.

 

The death anniversary of your loved one is the perfect day to honor the life they lived and to reflect on the person they were. It’s also a day to let yourself feel what you’re feeling without holding back.

 

Below are some ideas of ways you can honor your loved one on their death anniversary.

 

Get Together with Their Family and Friends

If this person was close to you, it’s likely that you were connected to their network of family and friends. Plan to spend the day with people your loved one was close to. Share memories and stories of them. Talk about the good times and the bad times too. It’s okay to laugh and cry at the same time because like death, your emotions are complicated.

 

Visit Their Favorite Place

Did your loved one have a favorite place in your town? Maybe it’s the local coffee shop or even a nature preserve. By visiting this place, you will feel more connected to your loved one and the person they were.

 

Leave a Memento at Their Gravesite

Though many people choose to leave flowers at a gravesite, there are many other mementos you can leave. One idea is leaving a message, poem, or photograph in a weighted bottle (so it doesn’t blow away) at their gravesite. You could also leave a painted stone with a quote that reminds you of them on it. Just be sure to check with the cemetery to see what their grave decoration rules are.

 

Start a Scrapbook

Making a scrapbook is a great way to reflect on your loved one. Each year on their death anniversary, you could add a new page to the scrapbook. Include photos of you both together, quotes, and other things that remind you of them. You could also journal your feelings of grief and journey of moving forward on the back of each page.

 

Do What Makes You Happy

Some death anniversaries may be harder than others, especially if the loss is relatively recent. On these anniversaries, it may be too hard to spend the day reflecting on your loved one and that’s okay!

 

Instead, if you’re able, take the day off and spend it doing things you love. Whether that be going on a hike, going out for dessert, or just staying in and watching a movie. Your loved one would want you to spend the day in a way that will lift your spirits.

 

What are some ways you honor your loved one’s memory? Share by commenting below!