At some point in our lives, we will have to confront the tragedy of loss. When the flesh of our loved ones is taken away by death, it doesn’t mean that we stop loving them, or stop thinking of them.
There are plenty of ways you can keep memories of your departed loved ones close to you. Let’s explore some of these ways here.
Hold regular memorial events
In Buddhist tradition, it is common to hold memorial services for a deceased person a set number of days after the Buddhist funeral. For example, these memorial services could be held 49 days or 100 days after the death. Memorial services are a good way to bring the family together again to commemorate the life of a departed family member. As a planned event, it gives structure and formality to the memorial.
In the Chinese culture, it is also common to remember one’s deceased elders with an altar at home, or during the yearly Tomb-Sweeping Day (Qingming Festival). These regular acts of paying respects ensures that your loved ones are never too far away from your mind.
Keep something of theirs
If you prefer a more tangible way of keeping your lost loved one close to you, consider keeping some of their significant items. It could be a gift they gifted you; a daily item they really loved, like a particular jacket; or something they made in their lifetime, like a painting they did. This could help you feel closer to them even after they have left, and trigger specific moments and memories you shared.
For a more modern take on memorialising your lost loved one, you could also consider turning their ashes into an item that lasts. For example, you could send the ashes to be converted into a gemstone, which you could wear as jewellery as often as you like.
Support a cause close to their heart
Another way to remember your departed loved one is to carry on their legacy. When you do something that they strongly believed in, you can continue the impact that they have made in the world. This could be a charity project that they had started, or you could begin to volunteer in an area they were passionate about.
For well-to-do and influential individuals, it is even possible to consider setting up a philanthropic movement or a scholarship fund in their name. If you own a business, are setting up a school, or constructing a new building, you could even name it after them. After all, that is how many schools, street names, and companies got their names.
Record your memories
Of course, not everyone may find it within their abilities to set up ambitious projects, or might unfortunately not have any tangible objects left to remember their loved ones by. Some methods may work better for you and your circumstances, but one method that is almost foolproof is to record any lasting memories you have with the deceased.
Journal memorable events, your impressions of them, and include some photos that you have. Record them down while you still remember them, so that these precious memories will not be lost down the road. Time and again, you can look back and celebrate those little moments with them again.
The possibilities are endless – do what’s comfortable for you. What’s important is that you find a way that you can remember your departed loved ones while integrating it into your life for years to come.
If you require any assistance with funeral planning or advise on memorial services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services. We always strive to provide the best funeral service experience to all, in terms of honouring the wishes of our clients, and providing a smooth, worry-free experience.