The anniversary of a loved one’s death can be challenging, especially during the first few years after the loss, and finding the perfect way to pay tribute to someone who has played such a big role in our lives can be overwhelming. Whether you’ve decided to honor their life on the anniversary of their death or another occasion, such as their birthday, there are many unique ways to celebrate the memory of your loved one’s life. We’ve put together five of our favorite ways to pay tribute to a loved one to help get you started on your journey of remembrance and healing.
1. Try Something New
Though it may not be easy, try turning the anniversary of your loved one’s death into something positive. Perhaps your loved one had a bucket list or enjoyed certain hobbies like golfing or volunteering. Participating in these activities, or fulfilling an item on their bucket list each anniversary, is a great way to bring back memories and reminisce about times when your loved one was their happiest.
2. Write a Letter or Poem
Writing can be therapeutic and a great way to process complicated thoughts and feelings. By writing a letter or poem each anniversary, you’re also able to look back and read your past work to see how thoughts, feelings, and memories have changed or progressed.
You also have the option to share your letters or poems on grief blogs, place them in a spot that was special to your loved one, or keep them somewhere safe just for yourself.
3. Walk Down Memory Lane
Getting together with friends and family on the anniversary of your loved one’s death can be a great way to share memories and reminisce. One way to spark memories is to look through family photo albums and enjoy the stories that are shared. Or, if you’re making a memory book, use this list of 35 questions to help prompt storytelling among those you’re with.
4. Light a Candle
Lighting a candle to remember and honor those who have passed is a tradition passed down for centuries, one that allows us to express what we cannot communicate with words. On the anniversary of your loved one’s death, choose a scented candle your loved one enjoyed, or one that brings back memories, and light it to honor their life.
5. Express Your Love with Flowers
Did you know there are nearly 400,000 different flower types in the world, each expressing different sentiments? A single bouquet of flowers is enough to tell a story and express one’s emotions. By understanding the language of flowers, you can very easily show your love for those who have passed by laying a bouquet by your loved one’s resting place.
Did any of our ideas stand out to you? If not, it’s okay; we all grieve and heal in different ways. Find what’s unique to you and your family to celebrate and honor your loved one. Our website provides several resources for anyone seeking grief support, and our team is always willing to help.