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Remembering Loved Ones

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:22 AM

On the list of top 20 stressors in life, the death of a spouse and the death of another close family member are in the top five. It is important to remember that every person is unique and will grieve in a distinctive way. It is impossible to predict how long grief lasts. Rather that asking, “How long does grief last?” a much more important and helpful question is, “What is going to help me manage at this particular moment and time?”


Thom Dennis, Bereavement Services Coordinator for NorthShore Hospice, offers the following helpful resources for coping with the death of a loved one:

  • Create a memorial garden or plant a tree. Gardening has been proven to be very therapeutic. Planting is a symbolism for new life. The garden or tree can also serve as a place to visit when you are feeling down.
  • Scatter the ashes in a meaningful spot. It can be a meaningful place for you and your deceased loved one, it can be a place that was loved by that person or brings back memories for you. Be sure to check local laws before spreading ashes.
  • Create a piece of art. There are some artists who will create glass pieces that incorporate the ashes.  You can also go the more traditional route of painting or sculpture.
  • Dedicate a candle for your loved one. Light the candle with friends and family on special dates, such as anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, or whenever you miss that beloved person.
  • Preserve memories. You can do this by collecting items that have significance and crafting a snow globe with these items. You can also create a collage of pictures and items that bring back happy memories or moments shared together.
  • Frame special items . Choose accomplishments, a memory or a legacy to frame so you think of your loved one every time you see it.
  • Wear a loved one’s accessory. This allows you to have a piece that was owned or worn with you at all times and can help you feel a lot closer to that loved one.
  • Gather family and friends to celebrate the anniversary of the death or birthday. Creating happy memories during these moments will help those still in mourning.