How Memorials Help You Heal During Grief
What is a Memorial?
When you hear the word “memorial”, I imagine different ideas, thoughts and images may come to mind based on your experience. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of memorial is:
(adjective) 1. Serving to preserve remembrance: commemorative 2. of or relating to memory
(noun) 1. Something that keeps remembrance alive
While the definition goes on to give some examples, the above definition reveals that there is freedom to decide or create what memorials may mean in your life as you remember your loved one.
Big or Small – Anything Can Serve as a Memorial
What does come to your mind if I ask you to tell me about a memorial? I wonder if it includes traditional memorials such as a funeral or celebration of life or rather big memorials such as monuments, buildings, statues or even a holiday. Charitable organizations may be created as a memorial. During a year when memorials have been anything but traditional, it has been important to find new ways to create memorials. This is where the opportunity to create or identify something small and personal as a memorial. These types of memorials might include a photograph, making a favorite recipe, creating a private garden or personal art creation, or a small ritual done regularly like lighting a candle or a moment of silent reflection.
Unity Hospice ‘Forget Me Not’ Ornament. One way to honor a loved one.
A Part of Every Culture
Memorials are a part of every culture and have existed in every culture for thousands of years. They serve as a tribute to life. Just as every life is unique, so are memorials. Some memorials are created as an expression of grief such as a grave-site marker. Other memorials are created as an expression of love by furthering something that person loved such as an educational scholarship or a bench in a favorite park. Regardless of the reason it was created, a memorial can often contribute to the healing process of grief and allow a memory to live on.
Letting Legacies Live On
We know that this year many people have not been able to have and create the memorials they would have at other times. Regardless of what is going on, it is still important to remember those who have died. In what ways is your loved one’s legacy living on?
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