No Longer Here – But Never Forgotten
A remarkable and cherished woman passed away a few months ago. She was a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, mentor, role model, businesswoman, and confidante. Her name was June, and she was my sister-in-law. I was blessed to know her.
I was thinking about her loving daughters facing their first Mother’s Day without her physical presence. I remember my first Mother’s Day after my own beloved mother left this earth, and wanted to investigate some ways we can continue to recognize and celebrate the women who made such a difference in our lives.
No matter what kind of relationship we had with our mothers, be it loving and nurturing or complicated and strained, it’s important to review and remember. As we acknowledge this loss, we can reflect on all that she brought to our lives. Perhaps she was a source of comfort, support, wisdom and encouragement or maybe she challenged us to be better and push beyond our limits. Whatever her role, she helped shape us into the individuals we are today. Let’s explore how we can enshrine with gratitude the love, lessons, and legacy.
Memorial Traditions and Rituals
Establishing a memorial tradition or ritual can provide a meaningful way to connect with your mother’s memory on special occasions or whenever you feel the need. Some suggestions include:
- Lighting a candle or releasing a sky lantern in her honor.
- Creating a small memorial garden or planting a tree in her name.
- Visiting her gravesite or a place that was special to her, bringing flowers or other tokens of remembrance.
Host a gathering with family and friends to share stories, memories, and celebrate your mother’s life. This can be an annual event or a one-time occasion, where loved ones come together to remember her and honor her impact on their lives. Encourage attendees to share their favorite memories, stories, or lessons learned from your mother, fostering a sense of community and connection.
Memory Albums and Scrapbooks
Creating a memory album or scrapbook filled with photos, letters, and mementos that represent your mother’s life is a beautiful way to preserve her memory. Share this keepsake with family members or friends, allowing everyone to contribute their memories and reflections. This tangible tribute can be revisited and cherished by generations to come.
Charitable Acts and Contributions
Honor your mother’s memory by making a donation or volunteering at a charity or organization that was meaningful to her. Giving back to the community in her name is a powerful way to celebrate her life and continue her legacy of love and compassion. Consider making this an annual tradition, encouraging family and friends to participate in charitable acts in her memory.
Incorporating Her Passions and Values
Embrace the activities, hobbies, or values that were important to your mother. By engaging in these pursuits, you can feel connected to her spirit and celebrate the things that brought her joy. Whether it’s cooking her favorite recipes, listening to her favorite music, or supporting a cause she was passionate about, these activities can help keep her memory alive.
Creating Lasting Legacies
Establish a lasting legacy in your mother’s memory by creating a scholarship fund, sponsoring a community event, or dedicating a bench or plaque in her name. These enduring tributes not only honor her memory but also inspire others to learn about her life and the impact she had on those around her.
Nurture yourself during difficult times; it is essential for healing. Taking small but meaningful steps towards self-care can make a world of difference in managing the grief process and bringing you joy and peace. Consider taking a walk, reading your favorite book, journaling about your experiences to express emotions without judgement, playing music that speaks to the heart or meditating – all which will help provide moments of reflection on this journey.
Honoring and celebrating the memory of mothers who have passed away allows us to protect and treasure the majesty of ‘all that was.’ With each act of gratitude, heartfelt moment of appreciation and dedication of remembrance, we ensure that our mothers continue to live on in our hearts forever.
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Grief and the Body
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences grief differently, and taking care of physical and mental health is essential for healing and moving forward. To address the stress that grief puts on our physical and mental health, seeking support, practicing self-care, mindfulness, seeking professional help if you are feeling stuck, and taking time for oneself are effective strategies.
“If you cannot hold me in your arms, then hold my memory in high regard. And if I cannot be in your life, then at least let me live in your heart.”