To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
When I was young my dad used to take my younger brother and me for “secret” Saturday morning donuts. The secret was kept from my super health conscious mom. It was a weekly bonding experience for my dad, my brother and me. When I was older, I discovered the truth, that my mom knew all along and actually supported these outings. As a stay-at-home mom in those early days, she got a much-needed break and some alone time, while my dad relished in the fun Saturday mornings he got to spend with his kids.
My dad is gone now, but on his birthday this year, I was looking for something fun to do in his memory. So, on Saturday morning after my yoga class, I picked up donuts on my way home. My family was happy and totally surprised, as I’m also a super health conscious mom like my own mom. Donuts runs are definitely a rarity in our household.
The bonding time with my own family was fun. But, I had also reached out to my mom and brother about bringing back “Saturday morning donuts with dad” around his birthday. So, while we were celebrating his life here in Texas, my mom was doing the same in Hawaii and my brother and his family in Illinois. This also got me thinking about possibly making this bigger next year to include family and friends both near and far.
These yearly traditions and remembrances can become very important to you and others after a loss. There are also many organized events across the country that you can take part in if that interests you. Some examples include lantern releases (in the sky or on the water), messages left in a bottle and balloon releases. These joint activities can be life changing. They are connectors among those of us who are grieving. They are a way to not feel so alone in your own grief. They can also be so very healing.
What are your special traditions that you’ve started or kept going after the loss of a loved one?