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Preserving Memories and Planning to Celebrate Loved Ones That Recently Passed Away 

The past few weeks have been difficult for everyone; however, you may have experienced added stress, pain, or sadness from other life-altering factors like saying an unexpected goodbye to a family member or friend.  Even though a standard burial and ritual process was likely carried out, there were most definitely alterations to the manner that the service was conducted in, the make-up of the mourners present, and an adjustment to the grieving process that typically helps us to heal.  

Maybe it was the shortage of people officially saying goodbye or a traditional meal to celebrate the decedent’s life was missed. There was an obvious lack of opportunities to embrace others while simultaneously sharing what a wonderful soul your loved one was. Traditionally, solace that you and your family members receive from others would help to alleviate the loss and settle emotional and spiritual needs to get through this.  

Once the initial grieving period has passed, it is normal to think about what you can do to feel that you properly and fully honored the person that you lost. First, keep in mind that there is no rule that a life cannot be celebrated on a future date. While the unveiling held in one year generally marks that occasion, following is a list of ideas that can be done now to have ready for when normalcy in our lives returns. 

Make plans to celebrate their life with others in the future: 

  1. Invite family and friends over to your home, have a meal together, display pictures of your loved one around the house and share your fondest memories of that person. 
  2. Hold a “more public” memorial service when gatherings are permitted.
  3. Host a luncheon at the individual’s favorite restaurant, invite those close to you and share stories about that individual while enjoying their favorite dishes.

Preserve Memories: 

  1. Create a photo or memory book by going through old pictures. In addition to photographs, you can include mementos, or quotes that capture your loved one’s spirit. This book can then be shared at any of the gatherings previously listed.
  2. Compile a video or picture montage which includes their favorite music or songs that embody their spirit. 
  3. Write a poem or tribute which can be shared with others.
  4. If their birthday comes, celebrate their birthday. Have other family members celebrate their birthday. Take some time to talk about their life and the ways that they impacted Share memories. 

Take time for reflection and completing memorial projects. Remember that their physical presence may have been lost, but they will stay in your heart forever.