When someone we love dies, often the material treasures and tangible things here are what helps us to keep them close as we continue through life. The memories of a piece of Jewellery for example, or a moment captured in a photograph, each draw us closer to that person who we miss so dearly. They are a physical reminder of that person who is missing from our lives and a treasured memory.
With both Poppy’s birthday recently and also baby loss awareness week this week, my thoughts have once again been turned to the physical treasures I want to have to remember her. We have a memory box full of special things from her, but I am still on the look out for the right piece of jewellery that I can wear each day – something that Nathan can gift to me and will be meaningful and a treasured memory of our daughter.
It got me wondering if others too are on the search for one way or another to preserve memories of their loved ones too? Which led to me putting together a few ways that I know of that are lovely ways other people choose to remember their loved ones and hold onto those treasured memories.
Engraved rings or necklaces, cremation rings or necklaces and charm bracelets, are all precious pieces that people have made in remembrance of loved ones. I have seen from other bereaved parents some truly lovely and beautiful pieces of jewellery – both as a sentiment and some out of the ashes of their child. I can see the difference it makes to them to be able to have something precious to hold dear… a physical reminder through their life.
Friends over the years have bought me various lovely pieces too, some stay mostly in her memory box, some I wear on anniversaries and others a little more frequently. But, when it comes to remembrance jewellery, like I say – I am still on the look out for that one little special reminder that I want to wear daily and I know I want it to be from my husband.
Prints / Paintings / shadow boxes / ornaments
Since the early days of life after loss, I have wanted to make a shadow box of Poppy’s things. The truth is that 6 years on it is still a task I am not yet ready to face. I like the idea though of something with that individuals things in – that we can see and remember in our home.
Likewise, framed images are a wonderful way to have those who have passed on up there on our walls and a part of our everyday life. It helps us to remember them and the moments that were captured. For us, this is a very natural way we treasure those from our family who have died; with one of our favourite photo’s of Nath’s dad on our shelf, my granddad and then a painting of our family with Poppy in that someone so kindly sent us. I also have one of Poppy’s 3D scan pictures frames up on a little shelf as well as a framed cross-titch.
Other treasured memories come from a print we have that states; “Families Are Forever” (a personal belief of hope we hold) and I have seen many Willow tree ornaments or other significant and lovely objects also being popular to display in remembrance of loved ones.
Clothing into cushions or bears
This idea is one I am seeing more and more frequently and one which I love – Taking a favourite shirt or jumper (or baby grow) and turning it into a cushion or bear. It offers a tangible thing of theirs to hold and bring comfort and looks personal too. It becomes a real family treasure to see that one jumper or shirt daily that triggers a myriad of memories of them in it.
Naming benches or stars
You only have to walk through a local wood, park or along the cliff tops at the seaside to see that naming benches in people’s favourite spot is a popular choice to keep treasured memories alive. I often enjoy reading them and wondering who that person was – why that spot was so special and how lovely it is they can be remembered in such a public way.
Likewise, people naming stars, whilst not as public brings them a sense of comfort and awe to look out at night and think of that special one looking down on them.
Like jewellery these can just have some special significance or be made from/hold ashes of loved one. I have seen some really lovely ones for both men and women to carry around day to day with a reminder of their loved one – A popular one amongst beavered parents is the puzzle piece design with the child’s name and the words “our missing piece”.
However you choose to remember your loved one who has died, remember that that is right for you in your grief journey. Many are content to keep the memories within their heart without anything physical (and obviously that is fine too). Perhaps though, like myself, it may even take you years to find the right little treasure you want to have as a physical reminder of them – but whatever you choose to do, never forget that grief is very individual and changing and always go with what you feel is right in that process.
* Collaborative Post