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Commemorating a loved one

Remembering and honoring the person who died helps people keep memories alive. Sometimes it helps shape meaning from loss. You can commemorate a loved one in various ways:

*Artwork. Creating art can help you explore your feelings, chronicle the life of the person who died, or express your ideas of an afterlife. Children struggling with grief may find creating art particularly helpful.

*Journal. Some people create a journal to memorialize a loved one's life. You can also develop a timeline of important dates and events.

*Memory box. You can use pictures, objects and art supplies to make a memory box for display or keepsakes. When you are ready to go through your loved one's belongings, you can set aside items for the memory box.

*Slide show. You can use favorite pictures, songs and sayings to create a poignant multimedia remembrance of your loved one's life. Or splice old videos together and copy them onto DVDs for others to enjoy.

*Photo wall. You can create a collage or remembrance wall from photos taken at different times and events.

*Good cause. Sometimes people leave instructions about how they want to be remembered through memorial gifts to various causes, such as medical research, peace efforts, and scholarship funds. If not, you can think about how best to honor your loved one.

*Garden. Planting a garden or a tree can be a wonderful way to remember someone.

*Gravesite. You can plant flowers there, say a prayer, or simply visit for a few moments of contemplation.

*Echo. You can create an "echo" of your loved one, by doing something silly, pleasurable, or solemn that they once did.