Death is a complex topic of discussion for most people. The bottom line is that many don’t really understand death, as losing loved ones is excruciating pain. However, death is as much a part of life as living. And when you pass away, you leave a legacy as a gift to your loved ones.
If the death was a surprise or if you knew someone was sick and frail, it doesn’t make it easier. Facing death can feel like a punch to the stomach. Someone you love and adore is suddenly no longer there.
Many people do not know how to say goodbye and are confused by the grieving process they experience. Some go into shock because they don’t understand why life is full of so much sadness. Think of a person who lost and who had a profound impact on your life.
You can find comfort in their legacy or in the stories and energy they left behind on earth. Take, for example, Sarah, who lost her grandfather when she was 35 years old. For decades, he was part of her life and the one she adored.
He was more like a father to her and she didn’t know how she could go on without him. After his death, Sarah knew it was not going to be easy. She went to the house and sat in her chair, trying to feel something.
The rush from his cologne and the smell from his home seemed overwhelming. She was numb and didn’t want to continue another day, but she had no choice. He decided to walk around his house and take it all in.
It wasn’t long before her mind was flooded with his jokes, laughter, singing, and his generous personality that she found comforting. He was gone, but what he left with her was more powerful than Sarah ever imagined. The thought of closing the door to this house and leaving horrified her, as she did not know how to cope.
It was very difficult for him to accept his death, but what choice did he have? However, he decided that he could find healing and closure for his pain if he honored his legacy.
Twelve Ways to Honor the Legacy of a Lost Loved One
After the loss of a loved one, you will need time to heal and grieve. However, to help him in this process, you can honor his memories. The memorial industry has flourished with new ways to honor someone special. Here are some amazing ways you can honor someone who meant so much to you.
1. Tell your stories
Older people have told many stories in their day. You can help keep your memory alive by telling your stories to future generations. Did they have a joke or a riddle that they liked to quote if it was a younger person? Each person has a unique personality and the gifts they leave behind, and sharing them with others can help heal. Your words of inspiration can be a healing balm for a broken heart.
2. Save them a seat
At family gatherings and special events, reserve a seat for the one who went before you. Just knowing that this place is reserved for them and their memory can go a long way in honoring the journey of a lifetime. Put a picture on the chair and be eager to share your lives and stories with those who may not have had the pleasure of meeting you.
3. Plant a tree in memory
A memorial tree is a fascinating way to honor someone who has passed away. Every year the tree will grow bigger and stronger, but you will never forget them every time you look at the powerful force that sprouted from a seedling. The tree can help you find peace with your passing and learn that there can be life after death.
4. Bring something of yours
In ancient times, people used to keep a locket of hair that they would take from a deceased body. They thought wearing this would bring them comfort. According to The Artiologist, encased hair was first mentioned in history in 1649.
When Charles I of England passed away, the people who worshiped him wanted a lock of his hair to put inside a locket. The owners found comfort in keeping something from their beloved leader.
5. Use your ashes to make jewelry or art.
Resin art is a great way to remember someone you love.
Here’s an interesting and relatively new trend. You can take some of his ashes and turn them into jewelry that you can have near you. If you don’t like jewelry, you can make the ashes into art to hang on the wall.
Having a piece of them so close to you can help you through your dark days. Your life can create another masterpiece for those left behind to enjoy.
6. Create a scrapbook
In Victorian times, there were no funeral homes or lavish services. Instead, they held wakes inside the house. During this time, the family took photographs with the deceased to honor his memory.
The official term for this was “souvenir mirrors”, which is often used for post mortem photos. According to Mental thread, these photos were part of an elaborate grief ritual, which was a way of celebrating the lives of loved ones. However, death prevailed during this time, as people did not have access to the advanced treatments that we have today.
Some people are completely freaked out by post mortem photos, even though they are coming back. Another way to honor your memory is through a scrapbook. You can share photos of them in life and some of their happiest moments.
7. Celebrate life
A celebration of life is very different from a funeral, and many people skip the funeral and go straight to the celebration. The atmosphere is loaded and the people are happier. You often see these events after cremation as there is no need to go to the cemetery or any of the formal funeral events.
8. Write a song or poem
Writing a song or poem is a great way to put your feelings on paper. The song can be reported directly to or about them. Since technology has made it easy to share your artistic side with the world, it is likely to go viral.
9. Create a monument online
Most funeral homes have memorial pages online where people can go and talk about their memories of those who have passed away. However, these are a bit more informal. It costs very little to create a web page where people can go and post photos and tell stories about someone who meant so much that he passed away.
10. Complete his mission
You can honor the legacy of someone who passed away by continuing their mission. Did you help the homeless and wish to establish a shelter in your area? So why not finish your job? When they look down from above, make them smile by continuing their legacy.
11. Create a slide show
Slide shows have become popular in recent years. Ask all your family and friends to send you a copy of the photos with your loved one or friend in them. With a simple online application, you can make your photos scroll while listening to your favorite songs.
Reliving some of these great moments can provide closure. Also, you can share it with people near and far who would like to see these clips.
12. Write a goodbye letter
Many times, there are unresolved issues or feelings between you and someone who has passed away. Since life isn’t perfect, there are times when you may not be on the best of terms. Writing a goodbye letter is a great way to convey all that pain and heartache from the inside out.
Once you vocalize it, you can work on the healing process. Even if you were on excellent terms, a letter saying goodbye could help you heal. Many people will write it down and burn it at the time of their death.
Doing it outside under the stars adds another element of being close to the sky. It is a great way to eliminate all the pain you feel without involving anyone else.
Final thoughts on how to honor a loved one’s legacy
There are many ways to honor the legacy of someone who has passed away. However, if you ever feel that grief and pain are too much for you, you should speak to someone. Trained counselors are well versed in handling these sensitive matters and can help you through these difficult times.
You should know that the pain will not go away overnight, but time will lessen the pain you feel. Someday, you will be able to share their stories and their story without breaking down in tears. Their memories will comfort you through some of the darkest days, but better days are ahead.