5 Ways to Celebrate and Remember a Lost Loved One

Last summer, in the midst of packing for a much-anticipated family vacation, I received the news that my mom had died. Of course, I was crushed, and navigating those first difficult days of grief during what was supposed to be a carefree time making memories with my family was so difficult. A year later, I’m still grieving, but have gained the perspective of time. This summer, I’m choosing to celebrate my mom. I’ve learned 5 specific ways to remember a lost loved one and keep their memory alive. 

woman thoughtfully looks out window holding a diary and penWrite Down Things You Want to Tell Them

My mom and I would occasionally text short and meaningful things to each other. The first time it really sank in that my mom wasn’t here anymore was when I thought of something I wanted to text her. That was hard. I still want to tell my mom the important things. So I bought a notebook to use each time I think of something I want to tell her. I write down random thoughts, funny stories, and expressions of love. Even pictures are tucked in the notebook. Of course, it’s not the same as face to face, but having a means of remembrance through communication keeps a lost loved one’s memory alive.

Talk About Them

I feel connected to my mom when I talk about her with those who also loved her. My mom’s friends and siblings have so many stories, and I’ve treasured hearing each one, especially those I hadn’t heard previously. She even had friends on Facebook from her high school that reached out to me to share memories. I feel like my mom is whole again as I’ve pieced her life together in a string of heartfelt memories. I’m choosing to talk about her. It makes it feel like in some way she’s still here.

Celebrate Their Birthday

I know on my mom’s birthday I will be a mess, but I want to spend the day celebrating her life in addition to grieving her loss. Thankfully, I know exactly how my mom would want to spend her special day. She would stay up late and make s’mores. She would insist that all the grandkids have a camp out. She would request angel food cake. Carving out time on this day will hopefully help me heal as well as provide some joyful moments of fun and remembrance. 

Ask for Donations in Their Name

My mom was a huge animal lover. Instead of a big funeral, we asked her friends to contribute to the ASPCA in her name. She would be so happy to see that money going to such a great cause that she believed in. Spreading kindness through supporting organizations that help a cause is one of the best ways to remember a lost loved one.

Listen to Music They Loved

My mom loved music. At any point during my childhood, you could walk by our house and hear Living on Love or Long Black Train blaring from the backyard. Back then I was sort of mortified, but now I find that her favorite songs are the songs I enjoy the most. Music has a way of triggering memories and emotions like almost nothing else, and I’m using it to remember my mama. 

Losing someone is hard. When it’s unexpected it feels even harder. But a loved one’s passing makes it clear how important our connections are. Grief can look different for each individual and we all heal and different ways. Know you are not alone and be gentle with yourself in your grief.

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Sasha was born in Germany and has been traveling the world ever since. After moving back to the states at age 3 she spent most of her growing up years in a small Northern California city. Here she started her first job as a barista. After high school, Sasha moved to Sacramento with her high school sweetheart and attended California State University Sacramento, completing her bachelors degree in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Anthropology. During college Sasha worked at Victoria's Secret. Then in 2011 they welcomed their first son Aiden, and got married shortly after. If things weren’t busy enough, these two love birds packed up their small family and moved to Reno, Nevada. While enjoying the hikes and the views that Reno had to offer they were excited to welcome yet another baby boy in 2014. A short time after his birth they were missing the cold North Cali weather they grew up with, so they packed up the boys and the pups and made their way to Seattle, Washington. Here Sasha worked at Seattle Sun Tan and enjoyed all the people she met. She also completed her 200 hour yoga certification and taught at a local studio. In 2017, Sasha learned she was expecting yet another beautiful baby boy 2017. After his birth, they completed the build of their first home in Fairview, Texas about 20 mins north of Dallas. Sasha and her family spent 3 years in the Dallas area, and this is where she completed her Masters degree in Special Education from Arizona State University (Class of 2020). After graduation, she tested and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a goal for her after her middle son was diagnosed with ASD in 2018. Shortly after sitting for her exam, the family then moved to Orlando Florida for one year and enjoyed all the sun, fun, and Disney Florida had to offer. And finally the family has decided to land by purchasing their current home in Missouri City, just south of Houston. Sasha enjoys reading, doing Pilates, and chasing after her three boys. You can catch a glimpse of this on her Instagram @sasha_camp_.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for sharing. My husband went to be with Jesus in 2020. He was a Native Texan and military veteran. We planned to retire here in Texas. I celebrate every anniversary of his passing it was our wedding anniversary. His March birthday and Veterans Day are among his favorite times of celebration. I journal our memories and look back to vet our joyful serving together in USO and Meals on Wheels . Your story of your mom is inspiring .

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