If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know that it can be a very difficult experience. Your world completely changes when you have to deal with the gut-wrenching reality of missing someone you’re used to living life with. Thankfully, there are ways you can keep their memory alive. Consider these four ways you can keep your loved ones close long after they’re gone.

Do their favorite hobbies

Consider some of your favorite pastimes with your loved one. If you two loved to go fishing, don’t stop fishing, even if you have to go alone sometimes. If they wrote consistently in a journal, read their journal entries to learn more about them. This can be a great time to reflect on your shared experiences and memories that you cherish.

Hang pictures

For some people, it hurts to hang pictures of lost loved ones on the walls. If it’s too painful for you, put the pictures away until you feel like you’re ready to face them. However, if the pictures make you happy, it’s okay to hang them up. They’ll serve as visual reminders of the love you two shared with one another. Plus, if this person inspired you tremendously in life, seeing their picture can serve as the perfect reminder to keep moving forward in life.

Maintain their remains

If your loved one is buried in a nearby cemetery, you can visit their grave at any time. Sometimes it’s best to go when you can handle the emotional weight of it all. It’s okay to cry, mourn, or even read a book while you’re there. You can soak in the moment by leaving an arrangement of flowers or balloons. If your loved one was cremated, you can take a portion of the ashes for a keepsake necklace. Purchase a bullet necklace for ashes. It’ll allow you to walk with a piece of your loved one wherever you go.

Celebrate their birthday

You can celebrate your loved one’s birthday by inviting friends to the house for dinner and games. You can tell everyone that it’s a time of celebration in your loved one’s honor. You might even decide to serve their favorite foods or snacks in order to make it feel like it’s a party dedicated to them. If you don’t want to throw a party, you can use their birthday as a day to celebrate in a different way. If you lost your mother, consider what you might’ve done for her on her birthday if she were alive. If you would’ve taken her to the spa, take another friend to the spa. Pass the love along. You can also choose to go by yourself. It’s totally up to you.

As you implement some of these traditions into your life, you can honor them as you move forward. Even though grief can be such a devastating experience, you don’t want it to keep you from living your own life. In fact, your loved one would want you to keep living a happy and abundant life in their honor.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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