The AVBOB Poetry Competition | How to Honour the Memory of a Loved One

How to Honour the Memory of a Loved One

When someone close to us passes, especially unexpectedly, the shock we experience is intense. Death is something everyone must endure, and yet we still feel stunned by the suddenness of the loss. While grieving, much of one’s time is spent dealing with pain and recalling good memories. It is during this time that honouring your loved one’s memory is essential. Bereavement poems, holding on to a personal item, and even sharing their story with the world are all healthy ways in which to remember their life.

If you have recently lost someone, you might be looking for ways to keep them “with you”. Grieving is an exceptionally challenging process and remaining mindful of the precious moments you shared together is comforting. Below are some ideas on how you can honour the life and love you shared with your beloved.

Give Them a Space in Your Home

By designating a room, table, or shelf to your loved one, you can access their memory any time you wish. Display a collage of photos, their favourite poems, and perhaps even recipes they enjoyed; make them a part of your home in a way that brings you healing.

Create a Garden

Whether or not you enjoy the outdoors, gardening is a therapeutic practice that allows you to care for something apart from yourself. Creating a garden in memory of someone does not need to be complicated; you can write some quotes on pebbles or plant their favourite flowers. A delicate plant is a living memory that requires daily interaction through watering and tending, which is why so many people find it comforting.

Start a Tradition with Family and Friends

Special days, like birthdays and anniversaries, are often painful reminders of loss. Transforming these days into a time of appreciation and gratitude is an excellent way to deal with bereavement. You could choose to recite poems, release balloons, or watch your loved one’s favourite movie to remember everything about them you enjoyed.

Start a Charity in Their Name

Whether you start a charity or support an existing cause, the beauty of your dearest’s life will live on in the form of helping others. If you are unsure of what cause to donate time or money to, try thinking about how your loved one changed the world.

Write What You Remember

For those who have lost someone, a big fear is slowly forgetting how those who have passed looked, sounded, and even smelled. Time fades the edges of mental photographs, so keep a diary of the memories you can recall. As new ones emerge, write them down and reread them when you want to reminisce.

Read Bereavement Poems

Poetry is one of the oldest forms of expression and bereavement poems have been around for hundreds of years. Your journey of loss might leave you feeling alone in your pain, but bereavement poetry is one way to relate to the anguish of fellow human beings who have endured the same. In the end, you may have the courage to write a few poems yourself.

If you happen to be seeking bereavement poetry, have a look at our online library of diverse pieces by poets from all over South Africa.