At times you may fear that you are going to forget your loved one or pet, but this is impossible. It is during these times that we tend to think we need to hold onto every piece of clothing or item that reminds us of the one who is deceased.
Over time, this memory clutter can feel like added weight and begins to impede your ability to feel peace and calm in your home. Pick out a memory token or linking object that is special to you and then let the rest go (only when you are ready—and you will know when the right time is).
You’re probably wondering, just what is a memory token? A memory token is something that is a visual reminder of your loved one. After our first dog died, we found a small bulldog stuffed animal that reminded us of him. My husband and I both have this animal hanging on the rear view mirrors in our cars and every time I see it, I think of Titan and now Dozer. Pictures or collages can be wonderful memory tokens—pick out pictures of special moments, trips, or milestones. Seeing them will automatically ignite your memories. Or get creative and make a craft in honor of your loved one. In February, come to the Grief Resource Center to create either a heart pin or a 3-D butterfly to remember your loved one for the Valentine’s holiday or upcoming spring.
Linking objects are also powerful. These are items that keep you connected to your loved one. When I graduated high school, my Grandma gave me a beautiful stuffed bunny rabbit. It was a gift in honor of special memories we had made while I was growing up when I would stay overnight at her home and we would cut out bunny rabbits from magazines and make projects with them. That rabbit keeps me connected to my grandma even though she died several years ago. For a lot of people, this object is jewelry, your loved ones favorite item of clothing, or car. Take some time to find your memory tokens and linking objects. These are comforting to have and keep you connected to your loved one. And spark your creative juices to find new ways to continue to honor them—and share them with us. We’d love to hear what you come up with!