Let's face it, Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays and holidays become difficult to celebrate and bear when a loved one has passed away. The thought of them being gone overshadows the joyous occasion and we navigate through feelings of loss, guilt, joy and confusion. Grieving is tough at any time of the year. Mourning is not linear, there isn't a time frame and the best thin we can do for ourselves is allow those feelings to flow. They are neither good nor bad. They simply exist and we can just let them be.
Here are some suggestions for celebrating our loved ones memory.
1. Allow yourself to grieve and talk to them. What do you mean talk to them? Just talk while you are doing an activity you enjoyed together, whether that was cleaning or cooking or sitting in the yard. Talk to them as if they were here. You can begin with Remember when we.... Last year at this time, we.... Just talk, you may get emotional and cry and that's okay.
2.Spend time with them. This can be the same as above or just visiting them at their grave site. It can be a hike in nature, a trail, the beach. It's a time you have dedicated to honor them.
3.Light a Memorial Candle . It's a way to make their presence known. The candle becomes a symbol. It can be a candle with their favorite scent. It's peaceful and you can make this a yearly tradition.
4.Share stories about them. If there are big family get togethers, you can designate a time and everyone has to share a funny memory, secret, crazy or funny story. Our loved ones live on through our storytelling, our memories and laughter.
5.Write a Letter to Them. This can be a journal that you have and you can write a letter online. There is an online group called AfterTalk that helps others share, write and express their feelings.
6.Cook their favorite meals. Or you can eat at their favorite restaurant. Mourning, grieving and remembering happens around food and what better way than to keep that person alive by engaging in an activity they loved.
There are no right or wrong ways to celebrate. Your loved ones absence will be hard forever, it just gets easier to bear. There is a quote in Spanish about losing someone changes you forever, you are never quite the same. Although that may be true, we can always find ways to channel that energy in something calming, fruitful and mindful.
Our loved ones deserve that we go on the best way we can while we acknowledge all of the love we have for them,