Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rituals to Honor a Loved One

My friend was talking to me about the upcoming anniversary of her mother's death and mentioning that it was always such a hard time of the year for her. She explained that she feels like she might want to enact some kind of ritual but doesn't really have the capacity to think about it. I volunteered to generate a list to share with her, and here's what I came up with. I would love any ideas you have to add!

  • Write a letter to your mom about the past year (alternatively, you could record yourself talking--or just talk to a picture without recording--if it would feel more natural and efficient to talk)
  • Host a call with multiple people who loved your mom; each person could go around and share one memory (alternatively, this could be done over e-mail if it's too painful to talk)
  • Take a relaxing, calm, and quiet bath and light a candle for each of the things you miss about your mom; state each one out loud as you light the candle. Then close your eyes and think about your mother.
  • Have a What Would Mom Do Day. Spend time doing the things your mom liked to do  and try to see them and enjoy them through your mother's eyes
  • Plant something new each year in honor of your mother and watch each plant or tree give life to the world each year on behalf of your mother. This could be an outdoor plant or an indoor one. 
  • Prepare or pick up a special meal or a food item that had special meaning to you and your mom. Prepare it and eat It by yourself, while thinking about your mother.
  • Coordinate an act of service in honor of your mother's gift to the world: prepare sack lunches and deliver them to homeless people, volunteer in a soup kitchen, purchase quality books from second-hand shops and deliver them to a school.
  • Purchase something new for your home that will remind you of your mother all year: a bird feeder, a beautiful frame, a vase, pretty refrigerator magnets, new cloth napkins, coasters, etc. This could be combined with Option 1 or 2 so that you get yourself thinking deeply about your mother and then decide what to add to your home to honor her.  

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