After a friend or loved one is no longer with us, we still want to celebrate them on birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions that remind us of them. Keeping with traditions is helpful for many people when grieving. Enjoying their favorite cake or birthday treat, going to their favorite restaurant for dinner, or even getting together with friends and family to remember them during memorable times are some of the ways you can celebrate them. We’ve listed some other ideas below.
- Visit a favorite place of theirs, or one that reminds you of them.
- Go to a park or somewhere quiet to think and reflect.
- Watch their favorite movie or shows.
- Light a candle in memory of them and take time to sit and think about some of your favorite memories of them.
- Get together with friends and family and have a dinner or celebration to remember them.
- Donate to a cause they were passionate about as a gift to them.
- Make a memory jar and ask friends and loved ones to write down a memory to read the next year on their birthday.
- Post on their social media sites.
- Write a letter to them. You can put it away and read it later and maybe even choose to write one again the next year.
- Buy flowers to remind you of them throughout the week.
You may find that your feelings or what you’re emotionally able to handle changes from year to year. Different life events, like a new job, a baby, or a marriage, may bring feelings of grief when you wish they could be there with you to experience those things with you. This is all very normal. Only do what you are capable of doing and don’t try to push yourself too hard. The grieving process is just that, a process. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time and space to heal. Let yourself experience moments of joy and know they would have wanted you to be happy.