There are ways in which we can turn those emotions around and find ways to grieve with gratitude. From gathering mementos of your loved one to music and giving back to others, finding ways to express your gratitude for being a part of your loved one’s life can go a long way to easing an aching heart.
Create A Memory Book
It can be a challenge to remember everything about your loved one, the moments you shared, the celebrations you were are part of and even some of the little personality traits that made them unique. Gather photos that make you smile, mementos like postcards from a trip you took together, pressed flowers from your wedding bouquet and other personal parts of your loved one and create a storybook of happy memories. The book can be a family affair or something that is personal for you only. Add in the memories that bring you comfort and a sense of gratitude for having been a part of their life, that moment in time.
Music is a healer of our hearts. A certain song can uplift us when we’re feeling down, remind us of a special moment with a loved one, simply touch our hearts with the beauty of the words or the melody. Use music as a grief relief and create a playlist of songs or music that reminds you of your loved one. It can be music that you both enjoyed, a particular artist they loved or even a melting pot of different types of music that makes you feel at peace. Name the playlist after your loved one and play it on your way in to work, during some quiet time on a Saturday afternoon or whenever the need arises to feel close to them. Let the music flood your heart with the good memories, the love and the laughter you shared.
Journal Writing Your Gratitude
When in doubt, write it down. Journal writing can be instrumental in grieving with gratitude as it gives tangibility to your feelings. “I am grateful for my loved one because…” can be a simple starter sentence. Maybe you start with one sentence a day and work up to a paragraph or two over time.
Write in letter form to your loved one and keep them involved in your day to day journey. The journal allows you to also create a handbook for yourself that can be valuable in helping you through the tough days ahead as it gives you positive reflection on the deceased.
Other options to help find gratitude while grieving:
- Donate your time. Sometimes giving back to others is the best remedy. There are hundreds of volunteer organizations that would be grateful for any time that you can share and this allows you to touch the lives of others and give back.
- Go somewhere or do something on your ‘bucket list’. Maybe you and your loved one always talked about touring through Italy. Maybe you always joked about sky-diving together someday. Choose something off of your list of things you always said you would do and commit to it! This not only lets you pay homage to your loved one but can bring a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
- Plant a tree. Simple, right? It is. Planting a tree in memory of your loved one gives you something to tend to and care for and, in a sense, allows you to continue to care for your loved one. It also serves as a place to visit your loved one and is a beautiful visual reminder.
Losing loved ones is emotionally, mentally and physically challenging and there is no easy way to get through the grief process. Whether it’s creating a memory book, listening to feel good music or even planting a tree in their honor, finding a way to grieve with gratitude can help you begin to find some peace and create a special memorial to your loved one that you will cherish for years to come.
Jewelry Keepsakes has a wide assortment of articles and resources centered around loss, grief and memorializing loved ones.