- Wish “Good morning” and “Good night” to them in your mind, out loud, whatever you’re comfortable with.
- Quietly enjoy everyday life with your remaining family. Nothing honors your child more than when you continue to nurture their family that is still here with you. It is difficult but so necessary.
- When taking a family photo, hold a picture of your child or a small item that belonged to them. It will be their way of being in the new photos.
- Continue to display photos of your child in your home. They will forever be your child and a huge part of your life.
- Create a place in your home that holds mementos of your child. (i.e.: gifts that they gave to you or made for you, a candle, a single flower, whatever you wish to display).
- Wear a locket or carry a pocket watch with their picture in it.
- Some parents get a tattoo to symbolize their child. (a butterfly, heart, angel or even a portrait of their child).
- Visit their final resting place or create a memory garden and maintain it nicely.
- Talk about them. Make sure that everyone in your life knows that you still love to discuss your child.
- Write in a journal about your child for future generations to read. It’s a wonderful way for your future grandchildren to “know” their aunt/uncle.
- When you can, reach out to other families who are suffering too.
- Volunteer at hospitals, hospices, shelters, food cupboards or other charitable organizations.
- Create a scrapbook(s) or a memory box for your other children to take with them when they grow up. It is okay to have a close friend do it for you.
Once a Year/On Special Occasions:
- Plant a tree/flowering bush in your own garden or at their school or church.
- Donate to a charity in his/her name on birthdays, holidays, etc.
- Plant an entire memory garden at your home with meaningful flowers, trees and bushes.
- Donate blood to the Red Cross on their birthday, holidays, etc.
- Volunteer at a shelter, food cupboard or other charitable organization.
- Hold a small remembrance ceremony at your home or at a special place.
- Donate books or toys to libraries, preschools or daycare centers.
- Purchase a memorial brick, a bench or piece of equipment at a park or sporting facility.
- Give out an award in their memory at their school for something that they are passionate about.
- On their birthday, death anniversary date, etc. go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant or make some of their favorite dishes.
- Have a lit candle at their place setting at special holiday dinners or events.
- Allow a close family member or friend to use your child’s name for their own children. This can be such a wonderful and meaningful honor.
- Take your children that are still with you on a trip away. This can help you focus on them and not on your sadness. However, don’t expect to hide from your grief. It will be a nice distraction, though. We did this on our daughter’s birthday that first year (which was just 6 days before her brother’s anniversary date).
While on Vacation:
- Visit a spiritual place there and light a candle for your child, buy a small memento that your child would have liked, discuss your him/her with your family (ie: “Would he have liked it here?” “What would he want to buy or to see?”)
- Bring along a framed photo of your child and place it in your hotel room. It brings along their image on this family experience.
- Visit places that each family member wants to see, including the child you have lost. Ask your other children for their input on this. It helps to include them in the outing. Praise them for their choice.
- Light a candle in memory of them.
- Display a photo of them at the reception
- Include them in a toast from you to their sibling/family member.
- Dance to their favorite song.
- Include their favorite flower or color in the wedding, etc.
- Have their sibling use or wear something that belonged to them.
Items That May Bring Comfort:
We’ve compiled a list of local and regional artists, crafters, and businesses who can create custom pieces to help honor the memory of your loved one. From unique jewelry that was handmade especially for you, to candles to keep them close, there are plenty of thoughtful gift ideas that will truly show how much they mean to you. For more information, we invite you to visit our Thoughtful Memento and Gift Ideas page.