It’s hard to say goodbye, but it is an inevitable part of life. Everyone loses people they love at some point in life, and the pain can be unbearable. However, there are ways to keep them alive in your heart and mind daily so that you don’t feel like they’ve been forgotten or left behind. The most important thing you can do when you lose a loved one is to keep their memory alive in the world around you:
Celebrate the Birthday of Your Loved One
No matter how hard it is to get through the day, there’s something you can do for your loved one on their birthday. For example, make a donation in their honor to the charity of your choice. If your loved one was a great cook, you could bake their favorite dish. And if they were an animal lover, volunteer at the local shelter for a few hours in memory of them.
A birthday is a perfect way to say “I love you” without having them hear it. Even if your loved one has been gone for a while, celebrating their life will help keep the memories of them alive.
Set Up a Permanent Memorial and Visit Regularly
Most people want to have a way of honoring the person they’ve lost. Some forms are more tangible than others—placing photos and other memorabilia in urns, for example. You can set up other forms of memorials on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter with memories shared by family members, friends, coworkers, or even strangers touched by the person’s life.
Setting up a permanent memorial and visiting it regularly can help you feel connected to your loved one, as well as provide an outlet for all of those memories that often come back when you least expect them.
Host a Dinner in Their Honor
If you’re not looking to get all dressed up but still want to honor a loved one who has passed away, consider hosting a dinner in their honor. You can cook and recreate dishes they would have liked or just serve favorite foods from your kitchen.
Create a table in their honor by making it a little different than your everyday dining experience. For example, set the table with nice linens and candles or use decorations that remind you of them to help create an intimate space for sharing stories about memories with family members or friends.
The first way to keep the memories of your loved ones alive is by getting involved. The world can be a very lonely place without someone you love, but there are so many ways that you can get involved with other people and their lives.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter or homeless center, babysit for neighbors or friends, and join a community group that you feel will be enriching. Getting involved in the lives of others can help you stay connected and feel a sense of belonging.
A second way you can keep memories of your loved ones alive is by getting involved with the things they were passionate about. For example, if someone who passed away was a baker, get into the hobby of making cookies or brownies and donate them to charity. Also, read books on gardening that person loved so much, take up their exercise routines like running or yoga, and plant flowers in their honor.
Create a Memorial Video/Box
Creating a memorial video or box for the people you lose is a way to keep alive their memories and continue loving them from afar. It’s also a great source of comfort, especially when others start to forget.
One way to create a video is by converting photos and home videos into slideshows. You can upload these onto websites like youtube or share them on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You could also upload them directly to your blog.
Create Your Tradition
When you lose someone special, it’s natural to want the memories of that person to live on. It can be helpful or even healing to create new traditions so you can remember the good times and feel closer together with other people who share your loss.
It might sound like a big commitment, but slight changes added up over time will make a big difference. Create a tradition that honors your loved one and keep them alive in your heart.
Restarting your life after someone you care about dies is a complicated process, but it’s vital to continue living. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend everything is going well; instead, find ways to keep the good memories alive and honor their legacy by continuing your life with joy.
*Photos by Monica Turlui