Coping with Loss: Remembering a Loved One
Remembering a loved one, like all other aspects related to death, is a personal choice.
It is a way to recognize a life lived, a life shared, a life that touched other lives. Most importantly, remembering a loved one should be about that special connection; a funny story or that special moment we know will never be repeated. Sometimes it is not about a tangible item. We all have special ways of remembering the loved ones in our lives.
It is important that you share your wishes on how you would like to be memorialized and know the wishes of your loved one. Even though, remembering a loved one is for the living, we all have thoughts and preferences about how we want to be remembered.
Remembering a Loved One
While remembering a loved one will be personal to you, here are some ways others have done so:
- A concert
- A picnic
- A community celebration
- A monument
- A statue
- A remembrance planting
- A piece of jewelry
Not every remembrance gesture has to be grand. It just needs to be the right personal choice for you.
Determining What’s Right for You
While no one can tell you the right way to remember your loved one, here are a few questions you can ask to guide you in finding the perfect way to remember and honor their life:
What did they love?
Finding a way to remember based on something your loved one found meaningful can be a great fit.
What is a special memory you share?
Small moments of joy can provide clarity around the perfect way to remember a loved one.
What tokens or items will remind you of your loved one?
Find an everyday item that reminds you of your loved one. Maybe it’s an item your loved one had in their home. Or something they gave you a long time ago. Whatever it is, having items to remember them by can help bring back fond memories.
What do others remember?
One of the best ways to remember a loved one is to talk to others about him or her. Tell stories that make you smile. Tell stories that make you cry. Talking to others that loved and miss your loved one is a great way to show you aren’t alone in your grief.
Losing a loved one is one of the toughest things we face in life. It’s our hope some of the following resources can help you through this tough time:
- Afterloss: A Recovery Companion for Those Who Are Grieving by Barbara LesStrang
- I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D.
- Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert, Chuck DeKlyen and Taylor Bills
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
- How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando