With spring’s arrival, flowers begin to bloom, weather becomes warmer, and winter fades away. Spring is often seen as a new beginning and a time to remove the old and make room for what is new. That can sometimes be difficult for a grieving family. It’s important with grief to continue to keep your loved one’s memory alive. Fun ways to do that include creating a memory stone, planting a tree, or growing flowers in their honor. It lets the children know, that even though life is moving forward, and new things are happening, their memories will never fade away.
- Create a memory stone. A creative activity you can do to honor your loved one is creating a memory stone. All it takes is some acrylic paint, paint pens and a large stone, which can be purchased at many gardening or craft stores. You and your children can decorate the stone in memory of your loved one using their favorite color, a quote that reminds you of them, their photo, and more. Decide as a family how you would like to decorate the stone or have a stone for each family member to individually decorate. After decorating, you can place the stone somewhere in your home or in a garden outside. If you place it outside, make sure to seal it so it can last for a long time.
- Start a memory garden. You can also grow flowers, plants, or herbs in memory of your loved one. This is an activity the whole family can participate in from beginning to end. Many people plant gardens in the Spring and watch them bloom for a long time. Flowers, plants, and herbs as well as things needed to plant them, like soil and planters can be found at many local stores. You can include your children in choosing what to plant. This can be your loved one’s favorite flower or plant, a flower in their favorite colors, or something that has meaning to you. A popular flower that is often planted in memory of someone, is the Forget Me Not flower. Your garden doesn’t have to be large or extravagant. You can have a flowerpot with a few flowers or just one. In addition to planting your garden, you can write your loved one’s name or a favorite memory on a plastic or wooden stake that can be placed in the soil near the flower. This is something your children can help care for as well through watering or removing weeds.
- Plant a tree. This activity is one that can last for years to come. Trees, like other plants, can be purchased at gardening centers or larger hardware stores with a gardening department. You can plant the tree at your home, or have one planted at a local park. A great way to personalize it is to have a plaque made in their honor and place it in front of the tree or creating one as a family to honor them.
- Upcycle clothing or items of theirs: Lastly, with Spring comes ‘Spring cleaning.’ Often people will clean out their garage or a closet. If your family is comfortable, you can donate your loved one’s clothing to someone in need. You can also create a blanket, stuffed animal, or pillow out of their clothing. You can include your children in picking which items you would like to donate or which ones they’d like to make something out of or to keep. Using a blanket or hugging a teddy bear made with your loved one’s clothing can be therapeutic and beneficial in keeping their memory alive.
The last 12 months have been quite the adventure, and we could all use a little fun and creativity. While moving forward is inevitable, this is a great time to create fun memories with your children while keeping memories of your loved one alive. Use this time to bond as a family and spend time honoring your loved one in creative and fun ways.