There is no single, straightforward way to deal with grief.
All we can really say is that it is a very personal thing.
But what is widely acknowledged is the importance of finding
ways to honour the memory of a loved one. Somehow, no matter how deep our sense
of loss is, the feeling that they are gone but not forgotten helps us to come
to terms with our grief.
Again, there is no single way to go about this. For some
people, it might be having photographs of their departed family member around the
home to serve as a visual reminder. Some might take comfort in
talking to the pictures, even writing their loved one letters to try to express
their feelings in words. Whatever it takes to let all that pain out.
For many people, symbolism is an important part of the
process of grieving and remembering. That is why memorials are so important,
and have been used by people to honour their dead since the most ancient times.
Gravestones, tombs and mausoleums provide a focal point for reflection, a
special place to visit and remember, even talk to your loved one.
Such memorials don’t have to be of a particularly large scale.
Memorial vases for graves are a popular
option, and provide the practical advantage of a convenient place to lay
flowers when someone visits to pay their respects. In this sense, graveside
vases encourage a sense of renewal, a ritual of returning to honour your family
Some people like to take the ritual of laying flowers a step
further and extend it into ideas of natural rebirth and renewal. Planting trees
is a popular way to keep the memory of someone important evergreen, while
others like to create a memorial garden. Again, such places provide a focal
point for remembering and to many, the work that goes into creating and tending
a garden is itself helpful in coming to terms with grief.
Finally, another option for keeping the memory of a departed
family member alive is to get involved with charitable or voluntary work for a
cause close to their heart. Whether it is making donations or sparing a little
of your time, whatever you can give will provide the satisfaction of doing some
good in the world in the name of the loved one you have lost.