How to Remember a Loved One Who has Died

When someone you love dies it can be devastating. You’ll feel sad, angry, lonely, confused and even worried. 
It is an enormous event in life that changes life forever. You wish you could have that person back in your life with you. There are wonderful ways to keep this person a part of your daily experience even though they are no longer living. Following these steps can help you cope. In time you’ll feel more at peace as you remember your loved one.

Step 1 The most important thing is to start out your grieving process with determination. You are determined to remember your loved one who has passed in a positive way. Initially we all feel bad, but it is very important to try and keep a good attitude. For example, instead of saying, “I can’t believe he/she is gone. This is awful.” Try to say, “I’m so sad that he/she is no longer with us. I want to remember him/her and keep their memory alive in a positive way.” Keep challenging yourself to grieve with this positive attitude and the process will be healthier. Its ok to feel the anger and sadness. Just challenge yourself not to be consumed by it.

Step 2 One of the most common ways that people remember a loved one is through photos. Find photos of your loved one during happy and pleasant times. Frame them and place them throughout photos already in the house along with other loved ones. If you already have photos up, leave them up. Or, if they are too hard to look at in the beginning, find a different spot for them in the house for a while. The important thing is to include them in you photos that you treasure and look at. Don’t put them away and avoid them.

Step 3 Next, start a memory garden in your own yard. For every birthday missed, or a Father’s Day or Mother’s Day passed, plant something in memory of your loved one. Add to it and before long it is this wonderful place that brings you joy. You could even plant a tree and decorate it for occasions to remember your loved one by.

Step 4 Next, decide how you feel about going to the cemetery. Don’t think about what others would want you to do or what they themselves do. What makes you comfortable? Do you connect with that person there? If you decide to go, how often do YOU feel comfortable going? Once a year? More? Less? That is your decision. If you feel like you don’t want to be there, then step 3 above may be a nice alternative. Remember this person in the way that makes you comfortable.

Step 5 Find little ways to talk about your loved one who has passed in an uplifting manner. Practice! For example, with children, as you watch them do something that your loved one would have enjoyed, tell the child about it. For example, “That would have made Grandpop laugh!” or “Remember, Grandmom use to love that movie!” You don’t have to constantly bring them up in conversation but a little bit is really good for everyone. You can even use it like this “I know your father is really proud of you today.” Always do it with a positive attitude. Do it with the goal of remembering someone and continuing to make them a part of your life.

Submitted by Ruesell Alt