Rituals are effective and meaningful when they have significance to the deceased and to the survivor. The following are merely suggestions and might be altered and enhanced to appropriately accommodate the relationship involved.

  • Prepare a favorite meal of the loved one and enjoy it as he/she did.
  • Prepare a favorite dessert – share with family or friends.
  • Watch a movie(s) enjoyed by your loved one.
  • Plant flowers, a tree or a flowering bush in memory of your loved one.
  • Enjoy a toast to your loved one on a birthday, anniversary or holiday.
  • Light a candle and recall the comfort or guiding light he/she was for you.
  • Read book(s) or article(s) on a favorite topic(s) he/she enjoyed.
  • Play music appreciated by your loved one and see if you can enjoy it now.
  • Attend a concert/performance that would be pleasurable to you both.
  • Look through photo albums and focus on shared times and memories.
  • Wear a piece of jewelry that was a favorite of the person.
  • Wear cologne or perfume he/she liked on you.
  • Wear an item of clothing given to you by him/her.
  • Buy something for yourself he/she would like you to have.
  • Enjoy lunch or dinner at a favorite cafe/restaurant.
  • Visit the burial place – bring a balloon or symbolic item to leave.
  • Journal some favorite stories.
  • Travel to a place he/she enjoyed or always desired to visit.
  • Review how your life is better because he/she was a part of it.
  • Focus on the gift he/she was to you.
  • Purchase flowers on the anniversary. Bring for display at church or home gathering. When people leave, have them take a flower.
  • Send flowers to a close family member on the anniversary.
  • Read a favorite poem(s) or book enjoyed by your loved one.
  • Watch home videos and remember.
  • Volunteer for an organization in memory of your loved one.
  • Become an activist in the cause of death issue – by participating in a walk-a-thon, phone-a-thon, etc.
  • If you kept greeting cards given to you by your loved one, take time to read them again.
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk taking time to recall shared events in life together.

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Tags: bereavement, grief, rituals

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