Whether it's the first death anniversary or the 50th, it's important to keep the memories of those we have lost alive in our hearts. Here is a list of ideas on how to honor our people on the day of their death as well as help yourself in the grieving process. As we know, the best way to deal with grief is to talk about it.
1. If it feels right to you, have a relaxed "celebration of life" gathering with close friends and family.
Invite your inner circle over for a low-key evening of sharing silly memories of your loved one and laughing (or crying) over a bottle of wine and some comfort food. Wearing sweats or pajamas might also be the right move here.
2. Try and cook that person's favorite meal or finally bake that secret family cookie recipe.
Some of the best memories are tied to meals shared with the special people in our lives. If you grew up making pies with your grandma on Thanksgiving or loved grilling burgers on the patio with your significant other on Sunday evenings, making that meaningful meal or treat can help you feel close to them. You can even share it with others to keep the tradition!
3. Take a trip somewhere meaningful.
Traveling can help heal the soul. If there's somewhere you and your loved one always wanted to visit together or a destination you frequented, take a special trip there and talk to them along your journey as if they were right beside you (because they are). Explore, make connections, and honor new and old memories.
4. Spend time in the great outdoors.
The veil between life and death seems to grow thinner when you're surrounded by nature. If you're able to, taking a long hike in a forest or a stroll in your local botanical gardens can help you feel closer to those who have passed. Watch for special birds or butterflies who can be signs of your person paying you a visit.
5. Dedicate something or make a donation in their name.
Is there a park you frequent to clear your mind on a stressful day? You could dedicate a park bench with your loved one's name engraved on it to memorialize them and your favorite spot. If you are more philanthropic, you could make a donation in their name to your favorite charity or one that supports an illness/cause they passed from if that feels right.
Remember, there is no "right way" to grieve, regardless of how much time has passed. You have to do whatever feels right and authentic to you at the moment. If that's staying in bed all day crying and sleeping, that's perfectly good as well.