David Eagleman, an author and a neuroscientist, describes the stages of death to be: When the body ceases to function, when the body is buried, and when the departed person’s name is forgotten. The first two stages are mandatory. However, we can mitigate the third stage by deducing ways to honor our loved ones’ memories.
Losing a loved one leaves us feeling helpless due to the uncertainty of what the future without them holds. Preventing the third stage of death by honoring the deceased person is a way to take charge of grief and turn it into a positive healing moment whereby we accept their absence, but the memories of their existence still live on.
How To Keep the Memories of a Loved One Alive
Grief takes time and different dynamics. It involves different emotions and behaviors. Despite the difficult healing path we must ensure we strive to remember our loved ones in the best way possible. Here are some tips you can use to cherish a loved one’s memory.
Hold Charity Programs in Their Name
There are several ways you can establish a charity program to help others in the name of a loved one. It is especially possible by finding something they were extremely passionate about and channeling your charitable course towards it. For example, start a children’s home in their name if they were passionate about alleviating suffering in children. It can also be as simple as gifting a scholarship or holding a fundraiser in their name. Such acts of kindness keep their name and spirit alive.
Make A Meal They Loved
Bonding over meals is an exceptional way to make memories and keep the memories of your loved one alive. You can learn to prepare their favorite holiday meal or snack, which you can indulge in as a family as you relive the moments shared by talking about them with your family and friends. Indulging in your loved one’s favorite meal is a great way to form a connection.
Interact With Others
Going through grief alone can be draining both emotionally and mentally. It is best to link up with friends and family to ease your mind off the loss. Talking to others may not necessarily make the grief go away but it’s helpful in releasing pent-up emotions. You can get together with a group of people going through a similar loss. Talking to your family members may give you closure on some things you didn’t know about your loved one during this period. Additionally, by coming together with others, you can come up with ways to remember a loved one.
Keep Mementos of a Loved One
When we lose our loved ones, we are always left with sentimental memories such as their scents, smiles, laughter, and much more. However, some of these memories may fade over time, and you should not blame yourself for that. It is why you need to keep mementos to remember them with. For example, you can have their favorite vase included in your home décor or a piece of clothing that you wear to remember them, maybe their favorite cardigan or jeans. You can also turn their favorite shirt into something you can use daily in the house; for example, their favorite clothes can be turned into a patchwork quilt. Such items give you a sense of groundedness whenever you feel detached from your loved one’s memories.
Honor Traditions of a Loved One
Once a loved one passes on, it is the role of the living to maintain the family bond. You can think of a tradition you shared with your loved one, maybe an annual summer barbecue or thanksgiving dinner. Such traditions keep the memories alive even down to the younger generations. Honoring such traditions also helps the family deal with grief together and keeps the family ties even stronger despite having a missing link. It is easy for families to break up after losing a loved one; thus, to prevent such, it is best to carry on with these traditions.
The different stages of grief can be overwhelming, especially when everything around you reminds you o f your loved one. Something as simple as a familiar scent might make one an emotional wreck. However, time eventually does its due diligence, and the sharp pain turns to a dull ache. At this stage, most people start healing and figure out that treasuring their loved one’s Memory is more crucial. Once you reach this stage of grief, you can use these tips to always keep your loved one’s spirit alive.