Keeping their memory alive after death

Following a death, you may spend time to reflect and acknowledge the person’s life. In this way the person who has died will still have a voice, a story, or a connection that remains with you.

There are different ways in which you can remember the person who has died. You may feel sad and at a loss but still want to recall and remember good memories.

Ways to remember

Some of the ways you could remember and share happy memories include:

  • A remembrance service or celebration of life (many hospice or palliative care services and some hospitals, hold memorial services)
  • A memory box or scrap-book
  • A framed photo of happy times
  • A candle lit in their memory
  • A tree or plant in their memory
  • A CD of their favourite music
  • A letter written to them to express feelings
  • A bench or plaque dedicated in their memory.

Christmas and anniversaries can be difficult, especially if it is the first one after the death. You may consider not celebrating as a sign of respect. You may want to change how you acknowledge this event. You may want to celebrate as a way of honouring the memory of the person who has died.

You may need to allow feelings of grief, sadness, anger, loneliness or emptiness for a time.

Adjustment following a death can take time. There is no right amount of time to grieve. Each person will take as much time as they need.

Finding support

Sometimes people experience difficulties in their grief. They may feel angry, depressed or not be able to stop crying. They may spend much of their time alone because they don't want to talk with others. If you are having trouble with your grief, talk to your GP. There are things that can help. This may be a support group. It may be finding someone special to talk with such as a grief or bereavement counsellor.

Page created 18 November 2021