Celebrate The Life Lived
Everyone has special dates that they shared with their loved one. Whether that be certain holidays, an anniversary, or birthday, your feelings will likely be complicated on these days. We suggest turning these dates into a celebration for your beloved. Invite friends over for a meal. Share the good times you had together. Invite others to tell their stories. Exchange videos and photos. Listen to their favorite songs. Cook your loved one’s favorite foods, have their favorite restaurant deliver, or ask friends to bring something for a communal potluck meal. When grief and sadness rise up within you, allow yourself to feel it, then make space for joy, love, and celebration. This day can become a yearly memorial to your loved one, even if you choose to celebrate it on your own. Just don’t be afraid to reach out to your community if you’re needing comfort.
Visit Your Loved One’s Final Resting Place
Having a physical location to remember your loved one can be deeply cathartic. For many, it can provide a certain clarity and closure to know that they can always go to a specific spot to pay their respects. Many final resting places can be found in a cemetery, whether it be a mausoleum, gravesite, or columbarium. However, a final resting place can also be more abstract. For instance, if your loved one decided to be cremated, they might have been scattered at sea. In that way, visiting the ocean can become a place to connect with your loved one. You might also create a memorial location outside of a cemetery by planting a tree or donating a bench in their honor. If they were a regular at a local restaurant, you might even ask that a menu item be named for them. If they were involved in local politics, petition that a building or street be named after them. Whatever you decide to do, the act of doing it can help you on your grief journey.
Get Involved On Their Behalf
Perhaps the most active way to preserve the memory of your loved one is to do good for others on their behalf. Donations can be made in someone’s name, so in lieu of flowers at a funeral, you could ask your friends and family to instead contribute to the charity or cause of your choice. The charity can be in support of something that your loved one was passionate about, or against something they believed to be wrong. If you would rather avoid politics, you can instead create a foundation or scholarship in their name. This will allow others to benefit from the generosity of your loved one long after they’ve gone.
Live Your Life
Immediately after someone passes, you may not want to be around many people. As time goes on, however, you’ll likely want to re-enter your community for comfort and companionship. People will often experience feelings of guilt when they realize they’re having fun without their loved one. These feelings are normal, but we gently urge you to note them, not be ruled by them. Your loved one would want you to be happy without them physically present. They would want you to live your life to the fullest. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion as you step forward into this new chapter of your journey. Open yourself up to new experiences. Hang out with friends. Plan a trip. Go on a walk and enjoy the beauty of this marvelous world around you. As you live, so will the memories of those who have gone before you.
Life after losing a loved one can be unavoidably different and at times difficult. However, you don’t have to simply rely on the memories you keep in your mind. We hope these suggestions will allow you to move forward on your grief journey, and a gentle reminder that the best way to keep the memory of someone alive is to go on living with the lessons they taught you. Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Funeral Home will always be here for you.
We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.