After one of my close friends died, I started having conversations with her.
That sounds crazy, I know, and honestly the conversations were only one-sided with me talking a lot about how much I missed her and sharing a lot of tears.
It was how I dealt with the loss of the relationship with her.
In one of those conversations I started thinking about what she would have wanted me to remember about her and what she would have wanted me to tell my kids about her.
And then I started thinking about what we all would want our loved ones to remember about us.
8 Things Our Loved Ones Want Us To Remember
1 - They want us to remember who they are.
I think everyone’s biggest fear is that when they will die, they will be forgotten.
Nowadays, we can do so much to remember our loved ones.
There are simple things we can do to keep their memory close like talking about them. They would want their names to be brought up in casual conversations during dinner or at family gatherings. They would want their memories to be shared with loved ones.
The more you let them be part of the conversation early on, the less taboo their name will be later in life.
Framing pictures is another way to keep them from being forgotten. Keep the pictures in places where you can see them and remember them.
You can also start a Memory Page in honor of them to gather memories from friends and family so that their legacy will live on.
2 - They want us to remember our traditions.
Keep the traditions you had with your loved one alive. Don’t stop completely doing them out of grief.
These traditions were part of who your loved one was and what brought them joy.
They want you to still go out to breakfast after Black Friday shopping. They hope you get snow cones on the 4th of July while watching the fireworks.
In a way those traditions bring them back to you for just a moment.
In some cases this can be very painful to go through the traditions you had set with your loved one.
It may take some time to get back to them but don’t abandon those beautiful times you had together.
3 - They want us to remember to laugh.
And to take it a step further, I think they want us to remember when they made us laugh.
They want you to think about the time they tripped over their own feet and ended up falling down in front of their crush.
They want you to remember when they snorted milk out of their nose because they couldn’t stop laughing at lunch.
They hope that a smile runs across your face as you are walking down the street, remembering when you were so engrossed in conversation that they ran into the mailbox.
These are the memories that remind you of who they really were and how happy they made you.
Using a grief journal is a perfect way to record these simple day-to-day moments that you don’t want to forget.
And though they may make you sad at first, they also heal you from the inside out when you remember the lighthearted moments you had together.
4 - They want us to remember their mistakes.
Yes, this is true! They want you to remember ALL of them not just the angelic parts.
These mistakes are what made them human and many times shaped who they were and the decisions they made in their life.
They need you to remember and learn from their mistakes rather than memorialize a person that didn’t exist.
5 - They want us to remember their family and friends.
After someone you love dies, natural instinct of caring for the family and close friends goes away after about a month.
I know many of you have felt that and maybe some of you are feeling it now.
Your loved one would want their other important people taken care of not just in the newness of grief but in a month, three months, and even years down the line.
They loved them as much as they loved you.
The best part is that you can help each other through the loss.
6 - They want you to remember life before they left.
For most of us this is painful and heart-wrenching to even think about life before they were gone.
Most of us try to push those memories away so that we don’t have to think about what a big loss we are suffering.
But our loved ones don’t want you to forget it because that is a piece of them that they left on this earth to be remembered.
It is a great gift to remember your last times together - happy or sad.
7 - They want you to remember to live and be happy.
They don’t want us to curl up and wait the days away. They want us to form connections and to find joy.
But that is hard when you are suffering such a big loss.
It may take time to get back to that place where you are open to happiness and that is okay.
But eventually you need to carry them with you and start to live again.
It means putting out the effort to be part of life again even when it is hard...especially when it is hard.
They don’t want you to pine for them and wish that you were with them. They know you will be together again someday and they are waiting patiently for that time.
They want you to be happy and live life, too.
8 - They want you to remember that even though you can’t see them, they aren’t gone.
Those who you love never truly go away.
They live on through their memories, through their accomplishments on earth and, most of all, through you.
You are their biggest legacy.
It is up to you to live up to what they wanted and to remember these things our loved ones would want us to remember.
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