Grieving is never a simple process. No one is just a person. We are a part of every single life we touch, and when we pass on, we have to take that part with us. When someone we care about passes on, we want to hold onto that part for as long as we can. We don’t want to say goodbye, and we definitely don’t want to say our farewells. The choice isn’t really ours, though, we have to let go. What does letting go actually mean, though? The connotation of the word may scare some and reassure others. The most basic definition is to stop holding onto something. It’s connotation, meaning how someone chooses to personally define it, can mean almost anything.
One thing it doesn’t mean, however, is forgetting someone. In all honesty, forgetting someone is nearly impossible, even if we wanted to forget them. We can’t drag a memory folder to the recycle bin like we can on a desktop. These memories stay with us and can have all forms of effects on our lives. We can choose to try and suppress them, or we can choose to remember them. Typically, hiding memories can fall under the same category as hiding emotions. They can build up over time and cause negative effects on us. Cherishing these memories, and sharing them with others will tend to make us healthier and more positive. Finding ways to put these memories on display can also help in letting go without forgetting.
It’s not uncommon to find someone with a family photograph including a loved on or having some sort of memorabilia on display. Sometimes this is military metals or gear if the deceased is a veteran. It could also be something they created, such as a painting or a carved figure. Many times it is just something they loved, like their father’s old tobacco pipe, or a piece of jewelry they wear or have set up on a shelf. These are gentle ways to hold onto their memory without holding onto their passing. Other common items are favorite books, either from the deceased's library or a copy of a favorite title of theirs.
Another great way to keep the memory alive is to pass on their stories to the next generation. Let the lessons they taught you to live on through your children, and their children, and so on. It is perhaps, the best way to keep their memory alive. Material things fade away with generations, get packed up in boxes and left in attics. Stories, however, continue to spread and grow. Many of the inspiring tales we know today came from years ago. Even if the names are forgotten, the message can travel for generations. Each generation can build on it as well, making it something that grows and becomes truly unique to your family.
Another vital way to remember someone is digital. We say vital because it’s not just about remembering them, it’s about building a family tree. There are websites now that allow you to create an entire family tree that can span for decades. While these websites, like Ancestry.com, have basic information on many people, it helps to add to it and verify it. It also helps, because there are many people with your last name, and maybe even your first and last name. Did you know, there are over 46,000 people in the United States with the name John Smith? Imagine, your grandchild is trying to map out his family history, types in John Smith, and 46,000 search results pop up. It is going to take some serious investigation to find the right one.
Another way to remember them is by giving them the best goodbye you can. Work with Dale Woodward Funeral Home in Daytona Beach and together, we can give them a proper ceremony. We also offer assistance and resources to make it that much more special. We can help connect you with grief counselors, help you write a eulogy, and give you ideas for personal touches on the ceremony. Contact us today at (386) 253-7601 to begin making the arrangements.