MEMORIAL DAY IS COMING UP: MAKE YOUR OWN MEMORIAL FOR YOUR LOVED ONE
By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor
Monday, May 25 is the national holiday – Memorial Day – which honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
The word “memorial” is defined as something established to remind people of a person or event. It comes in many forms for the deceased -- memorial events, memorial plaques, monuments and special things related to their “memory”. Memorials are important so that we may always “remember” the deceased and their life.
The word “memorial” is derived from the Latin word “memos” which means “mindful”. That makes sense since when we explore our memories, we once again become mindful of our loved one. Memories are where they continue to live after they’re gone. That’s why we hold onto objects that remind us of them and go to places where we feel their presence. In time, those memories that once caused grief can provide a sense of love and remembrance.
Those who work in the professions relating to death and dying have long understood the importance of remembrance. It is an established principle that helps heal, so we can go on living our lives in meaningful ways.
Memorials are an important part of every culture. They have existed in every culture for thousands of years. For example, the Taj Mahal, Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, and the Great Pyramids were created in the loving memory of great leaders and unforgotten heroes.
A memorial made in the honor of some person also serves as an everlasting tribute to a life well lived and a life worth remembering. It is a representation of that person and how they lived; it is a final gift.
This Memorial Day, why not devote a few minutes to creating a memorial for your loved one? Here are a few ideas:
Make a collage of photos of things that interested them or remind you of them
Gather photos together to make a scrapbook
Make a music playlist of his/her favorite songs
Make a recipe collection of their favorite recipes that you enjoyed
Write a tale of the traditions that your loved one created for the family
Make a favorite meal or food to honor your person on Memorial Day
Participate in an activity that your loved one was passionate about – walking, running, swimming, sitting poolside, barbecuing
Meditate for a few minutes and call to mind some special thoughts of your loved one
MAKE YOUR OWN MEMORIAL ... let me know if you come with a new idea!
Be safe this Memorial Day.
Till my next blog,