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Death or loss of a loved one is a topic that I am not comfortable with. It is a topic that is often filled with sadness and because of it, people don’t want to talk about it very often. Many of my memories of when they dies are hard, emotional memories. The more I think about this memories, though, it reminds me of the person I lost and the life that they lived. I am sure that the life that they lived is what they would want me to celebrate and not focus on the sadness of their death. I have not lost a lot of people in my life, but I have lost three of my grandparents. I have many fond memories of them in my life and I cherish these memories. I had the opportunity to read the book, The Hand on the Mirror which really made me think about my loved ones and the importance of keeping their memories alive. The Hand on the Mirror shares the authors experiences with death.
“In 2004, Janis Heaphy Durham’s husband, Max Besler, died of esophageal cancer at age fifty-six. While coping with her grief, Heaphy Durham began encountering phenomena unlike anything she had ever experienced: lights flickering, doors opening and closing, clocks stopping at 12:44—the exact time Max died. But then something startling happened that changed Heaphy Durham’s life forever: a powdery handprint spontaneously appeared on her bathroom mirror on the first anniversary of Max’s death. Incredibly, a similar image appeared on the second and third anniversaries as well. Clearly, something otherworldly was occurring.
This launched Heaphy Durham on a journey that transformed her spiritually and altered her view of reality forever. She interviewed scientists and spiritual practitioners along the way, discovering the fragility of the veil between this world and the next and the way the two are bridged by love.”
I love my family. I love the memories I have of those that have passed away. I love the way they loved me, the way I loved them, the way the supported me, prayed for me and helped me. I love the person they were and the person they inspired me to become. It is so important to me to make sure my kids know who they were, even if they don’t remember them. Here are 3 Ways to keep the Memories of a Loved one alive.
1. Talk about them. Tell stories. Share memories with your kids. Your kids may not know them or remember them so if you want them to know a great grandparent or other family member, let them know them through the stories that you tell! Tell them about your great grandmas peaches and cream. Tell them how much your Nana loved music. Share stories about how your grandpa donated money to orphanges in Romania to support you when you studies abroad there. Tell them about how they laughed, how they smiled, what made them happy and about memories you shared together. Telling stories is such a great way to keep a memory alive!
2. Remember them on their birthdays. This is a great day to take a step back and think about your relatives you have passed on. You don’t have to make a cake or throw a party, but you can think about them and remember them on this special day.
3. Keep a memento or item that reminds you of them and look at it often. My grandma gave me a necklace of my great grandma when I was a young girl. I have this necklace in my jewelry box and I look at it often, my kids love to look at it and ask all about Great Grandma Tingey. I love having a photo because not only do my kids know this item is special to me, but they recognize what she looks like from the photo. This memento can be anything, a piece of jewelry, a photo of you together or their favorite book. This is a great way to keep their memory alive!
How do you keep the memory of a loved one alive?
About the Author:
Janis Heaphy Durham was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1951. After earning a bachelors and a masters degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she was hired in the advertising department at the Los Angeles Times, where she rose to senior vice president of advertising. In 1998 she was named the first publisher of the Sacramento Bee. Under her leadership the newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes. Janis retired in 2008 and lives between Idaho and Florida with her husband, Jim Durham. You can download and excerpt of her book, here. Here is a video where you can learn more about Janis Heaphy Durham.
Learn more at TheHandontheMirror.org
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