Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences people face in life. At first, your grief can be so overwhelming that you may go out of your way to avoid anything that reminds you of the person you lost because you are afraid that you are not emotionally prepared for it.
However, memorializing your loved one can be an incredibly helpful way of allowing you to move through your grief and sadness when you are ready.
Ways Memorials Can Help You Overcome Grief
Memorialization involves preserving memories in a way that allows others to remember and honor the person who has passed away. Here is a look at how memorials can help you to deal with your grief in a healthy way.
They Can Provide You With Comfort
Although your loved one is no longer able to interact with you in the physical way they did during their lifetime, a memorial to them allows you to dwell on their presence and feel more connected to them. In fact, many consider a memorial to be a sign that you are adapting to your loss without letting that person go as it allows you to maintain a bond with them.
They Allow You To Express Your Love For The Person You Lost
An important part of healing is having a visible demonstration of your memories of the person you loved. This important part of coping with grief enables you to keep your loved one’s memory alive, whether you choose to share that memorial publicly or it is something that you keep private. It allows you to show honor and respect for your loved one.
They Can Bring Loved Ones Together
Grieving can be easier when you share your feelings with loved ones, and memorialization allows you to get together with others who knew the deceased person in order to heal, grieve, and celebrate your loved one long after the funeral. This might involve preparing and eating your loved one’s favorite meal; going to their favorite coffee shop, park or restaurant; or taking part in an activity they loved, such as golf or going to the beach.
They Help You Focus On The Positive
Following the death of a loved one, some people experience negative feelings and lose interest in everyday activities. Memorialization allows you to focus on something positive – the happiness you shared with your loved one.
When you remember the individual’s uniqueness and the enjoyable life experiences you shared, it allows you to shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one.
What Kind Of Memorials Are There?
Memorials come in many different forms and can be as unique as the individual they honor.
Some memorials might be a physical expression of that person, such as a personal object that was meaningful to your loved one during their life. In some cases, it might be a picture, a lock of your loved one’s hair, or a tree or plant.
It could be an urn containing their ashes or a piece of jewelry in which their ashes can be stored; some jewelry makers will melt a small amount of the person’s ashes into a piece of jewelry that can be worn at all times, like a ring, to feel closer to your loved one.
In other cases, the memorial might be a project or a donation to a charity in the name of the deceased person. A person who was philanthropic might be memorialized with the name of a building, hospital wing or statue. Others might dedicate a book or a prayer at church to their loved one.
Other Ways To Honor A Deceased Loved One
Some memorials, however, are intangible. They might come in the form of a song, poem, scrapbook, work of art or website that memorializes your loved one. Others might volunteer at the hospice that cared for their loved one or make a donation to the hospice in their name.
In some cases, ceremonies can be used as an important memorial expression that not only allows you to heal but also enables you to bond with others who also cared about your loved one. For example, you may choose to mark your loved one’s birthday or the day they passed away by eating their favorite meal or going to a place that they loved to feel closer to them.
Some people set a place at their table during holiday meals that will remain empty to honor that person, or they might have a moment of silence before eating at a holiday gathering.
When Should You Have A Memorial?
Although memorials can help in your healing process, it is important that they are done when you are ready for it. Do not pressure yourself to have a memorial if you are not yet prepared. The planning process can also help alleviate your grief.
Reach Out To The Compassionate Team At Harbor Light Hospice
Few things in life are more heartbreaking than losing someone you care about, but by celebrating their life, you can allow yourself to grieve in a healthy way and better accept what has happened. If you are struggling with prolonged grief that is impacting your normal routine, it is important to seek professional help.
A local hospice like Harbor Light Hospice is also a good resource for those who are in the process of grieving. Seeking help for your grief can often be the best way to reach a greater acceptance of your loss. Reach out today to the caring team at Harbor Light Hospice for support.