There are a host of triggers that you can tap into to keep your loved one’s memory alive: special meals for holidays, a favorite cookie recipe or hiking trail to follow when you’re feeling blue. Although your loved one’s image is forever present in your mind, photographs capture a special moment or certain expression that elicits fond memories. While these recalls may overwhelm you with absence, they are also helping you in the healing process and to keep memory alive.
Keeping Memory Alive through Art
There are other creative ways to keep memories alive. An artistic tribute hung in your home not only brightens your wall space, but also gives you the impression that your loved one is smiling upon you and protecting your home. Artists can interpret or copy an image from a photograph, provide any expression or background, of your loved one’s favorite spot in the park or out front of the church, for example. With a memorial painting, you get to capture the essence of your loved one’s memory in a tribute that also serves your emotional needs.
A textile art quilt is a work of art that will honor the memory of your loved one with texture, imagery, color and keepsakes. You can choose to focus on his or her favorite color, hobby or location and build the quilt around a theme. If she was at home in the mountains and had a softer personality, you could sew the blue ridges into life in a mosaic of blues, purples and greens. You could pull old articles of clothing, a baby blanket, or even copied photos and work fabrics of your loved one’s history into this new textile tribute. One benefit of focusing on a textile project is that you evoke memories and keep them alive under a subtle haze of his or her scent from the clothing, and then finish with a new piece crafted from the old.
Keep the Memory Alive in a Special Book or Box of Keepsakes
Collect letters, quotations, notes, pictures, and lists to flip through any time you’re feeling blue. Assembling all of the materials in itself can be a cathartic albeit challenging process, and a great go-to resource for when you are feeling the need to indulge your achy heart. Unlike a painting, this memory book honors a tangible living memory of your loved one.
Wear Your Living Memory as a Work of Art
Many people love memorial jewelry for keeping the memory alive. This practice dates back to Victorian times, when a mourning pendant was worn by the widow for one year after the death of a spouse Today, a pendant can be crafted with a lock of hair or cremation ash, and personalized to swirl your loved one’s favorite colors with your own. You can wear the jewelry close to your heart or around your rearview mirror like a protective token.
Although it is quite painful and often seems counterintuitive to strive to keep the memory alive, your loved one is a part of you. Shoving his or her memory aside will only bury your own grief rather than helping you process it. Creating a beautiful tribute will help you move from a space of bereavement to acceptance and inner peace.