Remembering loved ones at special times

Kate BucklandBlog

There are times in our lives when we want to be surrounded by the people we love – some of those days are huge, life changing days, like your wedding day, or more often they are days that happen every year, like religious celebrations, birthdays and Christmas.

It’s normal to want one or both of your parents to walk you down the aisle when you get married, or to at least be at your wedding. Christmas is a time for giving, for love and for family – it’s natural to want to share in the joy of the day with those you love. When you have lost someone you love and you can’t do those things, let’s be honest – it can be really tough to deal with, and bittersweet if you’re still mourning.

We’ve put together some ideas for how you can remember your lost loved ones on those special days and moments of your life. These special days can play a really important role in keeping your loved one’s memory alive.

Have a think about what you want to achieve through your actions before you decide what to do. Do you want to feel as though they are there with you? Do you want to quietly reflect? Do you want to remember the good times and smile?

If you’re a bride to be wishing that you had one or both of your parents to walk you down the aisle, a nice way to carry them with you can be to attach a photo of them to your bouquet or to create something wearable. You might choose to have a keyring made containing the photo that can then be strapped onto your bouquet with ribbon, or perhaps you would rather wear a beautiful locket with a treasured photo inside. You can also incorporate a special item received from your lost parent (or another lost loved one you wish was there for your special day) by wearing or somehow including a special item that you received from that person.

At Christmas and other religious celebrations, many families have traditions they follow year in, year out. Think about the person that you have lost and what they loved most about that holiday or celebration. If you feel up to it, place a favourite family photo that includes them in pride of place and carry out their favourite tradition in their honour. Talk about the good times – that Christmas where mum had spent hours cooking then dad dropped the Christmas ham but somehow managed to save the day, or the way your loved one used to laugh so hard at the awful Christmas cracker jokes every single year, or how every year when you were children your mum would tuck you into bed on Christmas Eve and tell you your favourite story before warning you that Santa doesn’t visit unless children are fast asleep!

Perhaps you have lost your spouse and your wedding anniversary is coming up. It can be incredibly difficult to face this day alone, especially if it is your first anniversary since your husband or wife passed away. Surround yourself with loved ones if you would like to. It might be nice to do something that your significant other used to enjoy doing. Perhaps take a walk on a beach you both loved, do an activity in their honour that he or she enjoyed, or go somewhere that was special to you both. Make sure you have support if you need it, too.

The anniversary of someone’s death is never easy. Some people choose to get through it however they best can, while others choose to hold a special memorial ceremony or do something special to remember their loved one. Of course, many people choose to visit their loved one’s final resting place. You might like to plant a small garden in your loved ones memory, or hold a small ceremony with those that were closest to the deceased person in a place that was special to them. Serve their favourite foods and share good memories. Many people choose to mark the occasion quietly, by lighting a candle for their loved one and sitting in quiet reflection. Another nice thing might be to make a list of how your loved one enriched your life, and even in their death continues to do so. This can help you to find gratitude for the good times and the wonderful person that they were.

Ultimately, there is no right way to remember your loved one on an anniversary, holiday or special day. Do what feels right for you, and remember that they live on through their memory and in your heart.