Whether you've lost someone close to you or not, most of us understand how vast and deep grief can be. Time can help you heal, but there are still many triggers along the way that can bring you right back to the day you lost them. This can make approaching the anniversary of your loved one's passing a difficult task.
Planning for the anniversary, rather than avoiding it, is a good way to prepare yourself for the emotions you'll feel.
While visiting their resting place is important, it can often bring up more memories of their passing and the day you said goodbye. The anniversary of a loved one's death is often hard enough, and you may feel that the last thing you want is to revisit painful memories. Instead, try focusing on things that make you remember the person they were, the joy they brought, and all the ways they made you smile.
Here are 10 ways to honor a loved one on the anniversary of their passing:
1. Surround yourself with people you love and share memories
People are by far the best medicine and memories are the most valuable treasure you’ll ever have of your loved one. Share them with as many people as possible. The good, the bad, even the ugly. It won’t be easy and you’ll be emotional, but that’s okay. Grief is meant to be felt. There will be light on the other side of it.
2. Write them a note on seed paper and plant it
Sometimes the hardest aspect of grief is holding on to the words we never got the chance to say or thinking that we can’t ever talk to them again. But the conversation doesn’t have to end; it can be valuable to write your loved one a poem, tell them a story, or say goodbye in your own way. Write whatever comes to mind on a piece of plantable paper and then plant it in the ground, and watch it grow wildflowers in their memory.
3. Play their favorite music
Music has a way of resonating with us on so many levels. It holds memories, sparks feelings, and can even change our entire mood. Play their favorite tunes and perhaps even dance it out in your living room.
4. Look at old photos or videos
After losing a loved one, what you crave the most is just seeing their face again or hearing their voice. While nothing can compare to having them with you again, looking at old photos or videos does have a way of making you feel closer to them.
5. Go for a long walk in nature
Sometimes what you need is simply to disconnect from the hustle and bustle and reconnect with something bigger than you. Nature is a promise that life will always go on. “The smallest sprout shows there is really no death" - Walt Whitman
6. Make their favorite meal and enjoy it with someone you love
Food is central to who we are as humans and is something that has always connected us. Whether it’s a big family potluck or making their favorite dessert, enjoying something they loved will remind you of all the good times you spent enjoying it together.
7. Make or build something in their memory
You don’t have to be a skilled maker to create something beautiful in their memory. It can be anything from something simple like a birdhouse or a planter to something more involved like a piece of jewelry or a memorial garden. The act of making something to honor them will feel gratifying.
8. Do an activity that represents their personality or interests
Doing something fun that would have brought them joy is a great way to feel close to someone you lost. It can be anything from painting, golfing, horseback riding, or perhaps just watching their favorite movie.
9. Plant a tree
Planting anything can be therapeutic, but planting a tree is especially nice for a memorial because they’ll live longer and can mark a special place. Years later, you can visit it and see how strong it’s grown.
10. Create an online memorial page
One of the best advantages of the digital world is being able to create shared spaces where memories can live on. If you haven't already, take some time to create a place where friends and family can share memories and photos, year after year. There are tons of great resources out there to do so, such as Forever Missed or Legacy.com.
If you're looking for a beautiful way to commemorate and celebrate the life of a loved one in a natural and eco-friendly way, Botanical PaperWorks plantable seed paper memorial seed cards and favors are a beautiful choice. Each piece uses a special seed-infused paper, that is made with post-consumer materials. When you plant the paper, you’ll grow a wildflower garden as a beautiful living reminder of your loved one.
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