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5 meaningful ways to keep your loved one's memory alive

Saying goodbye is so hard, and finding how to move forward can feel impossible. Here's how to stake the first step. Image: P.S. I Love YouSource:BodyAndSoul

They say grief is love with nowhere to go, so use these simple tips to find a way to express your love and affection even after the final goodbye. 

Saying the final goodbye and knowing you will never see your loved one again is heart wrenching. The life you once had together is forever changed.

The void is so immense that it makes looking towards the future unbearable. This is what grief does. It takes you down uncertain paths and rough seas until you find your feet again on solid grounds.

The deep sorrow your heart is feeling is actually a love which cannot be contained within the walls of your being. Love never dies. In fact, it continues regardless of circumstances or time.

The love you once shared needs to be expressed in ways which give you inner peace and bring you comfort. Weaving this love in your present and future helps you not only to gently heal but to find meaning and find the courage to move forward. This is a time to grieve and grieve well.

Taking your time to decide how you want to remember your loved one and how you can embrace both sadness and joy is a deciding moment in your journey towards writing the next chapter in your life.

Life although forever changed does not mean a life filled with sadness. You can still bring a spark of joy into your life by keeping your loved one’s memory alive. It is a beautiful way to honour the life and the love you shared. Creating new traditions and rituals not only help you heal your broken heart but it can inspire you in building a life with a brand-new purpose and new meaning.

Here’s 5 meaningful ways to keep your loved one’s memory alive:

1. Create new traditions around the holidays

Holiday seasons can be tough and this is where your loved one’s absence will be felt the most. The beauty about creating new traditions is that you are free to design something which holds special meaning for you.

The possibilities are endless from starting the celebrations with a remembrance dinner, play their favourite music, light a candle or fill your home with flowers. Follow your heart and your intuition.

2. Celebrate your loved one’s birthday

If you love the outdoors, you can organise a day out in nature to celebrate your loved one’s birthday. Choose your loved one’s favourite spot and make it a special day filled with their favourite things and add your unique touch.

Another simple way is to bake a cake and share it with close friends and family. You can say a few words to toast this day.

3. Cook your loved one’s favourite meal on special occasions

This is a touching way to honour your loved one on special occasions. Including things like favourite recipes, foods and drinks revive fond memories and bring joy.

4. Grow a remembrance garden

If you have an outdoor space you can grow a remembrance garden in a small dedicated section. Choose flowers and plants you love. Before you start, set your intention and consciously dedicate this space to your loved one’s memory. Tending to the garden is a symbolic gesture.

As you take care of the garden you are tending to the love which still flows between you both. If you do not have a garden, a balcony or small corner with potted plants work well too.

5. Donate in your loved one’s name

Choose a charity which is close to yours or your loved one’s heart and make a donation in your loved one’s name. Fundraising for a special event such as a 5km fun run or marathon is a great way to honour your loved one. Ask friends and family to get involved and make it an annual event.

Keeping your loved one’s memory alive is not just about the things you do. It is all about intention, connection and a whole lot of love.

Corinne Laan is the author of The Art of Grieving: Gentle self-care practices to heal a broken heart (Rockpool Publishing, $29.95). Now available at Rockpool Publishing. – 27 July, 2022