You may have many memories of a person over their lifetime but when that same person passes away in an unexpected and unattended death, the person’s death might be what your mind focuses on the most. Taking the time to recall past events and other memories can help your mind to focus on the whole person and all of your memories with the person — not just their difficult or traumatic ending. Here’s a few ways to help bring those memories to recall:
You might find looking at old photographs can help your mind to find and focus on more enjoyable times. You can make their photos into creative mementos with a custom photo gift, or blow up a special photo into a canvas.
Think through major life events and look for the fondest times you can recall with them. Recognize that the event you’re reminiscing about would not have been the same without that person. You can even consider creating a memorial to commemorate them, even if it’s been a long time since their passing.
Did you have a favorite restaurant you used to share together? Or a walking route? Consider taking that walk and thinking of what you enjoyed most or were most grateful for in the relationship that you had with them. Keeping their memory alive can be healing and regenerating.
Did you share a favorite song or musician? Attend a concert together? Consider playing music you shared together and using the listening time as a personal tribute to the person. I recently made a playlist of my friend’s favorite songs, and then played it when the family was together. It made us smile and dance while thinking of our dearly departed.
Even if you are not the person who delivers the public eulogy, you can still write a piece that helps you celebrate their life and pulls together your own thoughts. You might consider drafting a farewell letter that you hold onto personally.
Friends & Family:
Spending time with other people may help you through a difficult grieving period. You might find talking about your loved one with other friends or family members to be a helpful way to listen to other stories about the person. Consider hosting such a gathering.
Unfortunately losing someone unexpectedly may be challenging to recover from, but you want to remember the whole of someone not just their passing; by building a fuller picture in your memory, you can hold onto a more holistic view of the person you loved. Thinking through other times will help you to see more of the whole picture.