5 Tips to Honor a Loved One’s Memory

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 66th birthday. I miss her. I wish I knew what she would look like, act like, and be like now. I wish she were here to know her beautiful granddaughters and see me as a mom. I wish she were here to witness my life and growth and continue being my biggest fan.

One thing I have realized, the longer I do this work, is that it doesn’t matter when your parents die… it is always hard. Even if they live a full life, even if you weren’t close, even if their death is the end of a long illness… it is sad and it hurts. 

We have a tendency to diminish what we are going through by saying, at least they are in a better place or at least they aren’t suffering anymore. But the reality is, it is normal to be sad when we lose the people we love (or wish we loved).

Our parents are literally our human creators. They are the reason we exist and often a big part of why we are who we are. Whether they are the ones who raise us or they are the ones who leave us, their presence in our lives impacts who we become. 

Not surprisingly, my mom’s death shook me to the core of my being. I had to completely reevaluate who I was without her… and who I wanted to be as I moved forward with my life. 

This week, on her birthday, I remember. While I long for her presence in my daily life, I have a few helpful tools that help me stay connected even though she has been physically gone for 8 and a half years.  

Here are some of the things I do to help me honor her memory and warm my heart. Feel free to use any and all of these for yourself when you are missing someone you love: 

1) Do something on that day that you know they would love or would love to do with you. For example, my mom loved going for walks and getting pedicures… so I do that in her honor. 

2) Write them a letter. For my mom’s birthday, I wrote her a birthday card telling her what I am up to, that I miss her, and what I did in her honor. It felt so good to connect with her in that way. 

3) Share memories of them with other people who care. I shared a post about my mom on Facebook and then asked other people to share stories of her that they remember. 

4) Think about something you miss most about them and try to embody that within yourself. I miss how witty and goofy my mom was… so I did my best to talk in silly voices and connect with people in a really authentic way.

5) Keep their memory alive. Start a facebook group in their honor; donate to a charity that they cared about; get a tattoo as a symbol of your relationship. 
We have a Jan Schiff Memorial Page where we post on occasion and other people can continue to share memories. I have a tiny star tattoo on my back that is a little reminder that even though I can’t see her, I know she is always with me. 

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for letting me share about my dear sweet mom and for helping me celebrate her birthday this week. 

If you have lost your mom, dad, or someone else you love and you feel like you are just getting by, please know that you are not alone… you are not weird. It is totally normal and natural. 

I hope that these are helpful tips for how to honor someone’s memory even when they aren’t here to celebrate with you. If you like this post, scroll to the bottom of this page and subscribe to receive my weekly newsletter and my 7 Days to Thriving Mini-Course. 

I would love to hear from you; so add your comment below.

4 Responses

  1. Darlene Garcia

    I love the idea of the memorial page on Facebook. I honor my husband’s memory every 17th of the month since he died on July 17, 2015. Some of things we do as a family is:
    Share videos that either has him or his voice on it
    Write messages to him on balloons and release them
    Eat at his favorite restaurants

  2. Christian Baloga

    This is beautiful. You are not alone. My sister passed away in March; my mom just passed away a month ago today; you have here many beautiful ways to honor loved ones. I hope you are doing well. Thank you for this.

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