Thanks to everyone who wrote in both last week and this for the question on how to honor our loved ones. Another way to honor your loved one is to remember to take care of yourself. Now during the grief process, it might be hard to think about that, but it is important especiallyin the early times when sleep and eating patterns may be disrupted. Getting some exercise is important. Something as simple as taking a walk or working in the gardens that many of you have is important. Of course, if you are up to it there are also biking, running or jogging, and water sports. Think of it as away to honor your loved one by keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
Mary-Ann asked a question for you to ponder for the coming week. She asked: What has made you angry in your grief and what strategies have you used to reduce the anger?
This is a wonderful question as anger is part of the grief process, but keeping it inside can be harmful. Let’s share the ideas that we have to offer strategies to lessen the emotion of anger to each other next week. Remember to try one of the ideas, but if it doesn’t work, then try something else. I look forward to hearing from you and I hope you enjoy more replies about how survivors show respect for their loved ones.
I have a memorial sticker on my back car window of an outline of a soldier. I give and make bears for charities and bears for mother bear project. I always sent candy for the Iraqi children.
For the question, how do you honor your loved one? Although I did answer it last week I realized after reading the other replies that I had forgotten to add that we did plant a tree to honor our son, Nathan, last year on his birthday. It was a wonderful occasion with all of his friends and our family and we had decided to visit that tree every year and repeat the sending off of green balloons, but this past birthday, we ran into an unexpected problem. The tree is planted inour National Forest, here in Oregon (with permission) and we had so much rainthis past year, the pathway to the lake was so destroyed, it was closed off for months. So we had to postpone the trip and hope to get back up there next month... the only month this summer that no one has a birthday.
In memory of our son I do almost everything with him in mind. One visual was to weave arug using some of his clothing from: security guard, police officer, soldier (both formal and field) and casual wear, which is now hanging on the wall. Now I am taking all of his photos from birth to latest and making an album for each of his brothers and sisters and son so they can remember him and pass it on to future family members. Next week, we will be taking our sons remains to Canada, to lay to rest on the one year anniversary of his passing, following his wish. Also, I PRAY, for Alex and for everyone whose life he touched, because we all lost a piece of ourselves when we lost him.
From Kenneth and Debra:
Since Nathan had such a caring and kind heart, we honor him at his birthday by giving the amount we would have spent on his gift to our church's benevolent fund. We don't exactly who it helps but we know it helps someone in need.
After my son's funeral, in Pennsylvania, I came back home to Florida. The choices were to stay home (and cry), or return to work. I chose the latter.Trying to return your life to normal, when your life has been shattered, isn't easy. My husband tried to keep me busy,which was good. We would go to the movies, to the beach and for walks in parks.
One day while we were waking in a city park, I sat down on a bench and cried. I told Rick to just let me cry until I am ready to leave, which, of course, he complied.
I live in a different state from where my son is buried. There is no grave, headstone or anyplace where I can go to remember and grieve. So I looked for something concrete, here, in Naples, to make a memorial for Patrick. After talking to my family,and looking on city and county websites, I decided on a memorial bench in a city park. After that decision, I knew exactly what bench was the perfect choice. Luckily, it wasn't taken.
This bench is a lasting memorial to my son and all the other men, women, fathers, mothers, brothers & sisters who died in service to our country. When someone sits on the bench and reads the plaque with his name, date of birth and date he went to serve in God's Military, it will be a reminder that FREEDOM ISN'T FREE. Never Forgotten - Love and Miss you Patrick. We will be together again.