Any type of loss is difficult, but losing a spouse is especially unimaginable. Whether it’s been a year, five years, or 10 years or longer since their passing, your spouse will always have a special place in your heart.
Since International Widows Day is on June 23, we want to share some ways to grieve and honor a spouse who has passed away. Although these grief and memorialization suggestions may not be for everyone, you can decide what works best for you.
One of the simplest, yet meaningful ways to grieve is to visit their gravesite, memorial site, or ash scattering location. You can leave some flowers, talk out loud to them, or take some time to sit and think about them. Even though it may be difficult, it’s important to allow yourself to openly grieve your loss.
Another way to express your grief is to start a grief journal. A grief journal can be anything you want it to be. Whether it’s a place to write memories or how you’re feeling, it’s a powerful tool for grief and memorialization.
If you’d rather share your thoughts out loud, consider joining a grief support group. Contact your local funeral home to find support groups near you. There are even support groups specifically for widows, so you can connect with others who have gone through a similar loss. And if you find you’re struggling with your grief, consider talking to a professional grief counselor.
Although International Widows Day is about grieving your loss, it’s also about finding ways to honor their memory. One way to do this is by making a memorial craft, such as with their wedding band. Many people turn their wedding band into a memorial necklace, whether it’s by simply putting it on a chain or having a jeweler turn it into a heart shape.
Another memorial craft that’s been gaining popularity is memory bears. These are teddy bears sewn from a loved one’s old clothing. You can use their wedding attire, favorite shirt, or another significant clothing item.
Besides memorial crafts, you can honor their memory by making a positive difference. Some ideas include donating to a charity in their honor, volunteering at a cause they were passionate about, or starting a scholarship in their memory.
Creating new traditions also are a meaningful way to honor your loved one this International Widows Day. For example, for those who have children, make sure to tell them stories and memories of your loved one. Also, keep communication open for talking about grief and how they’re feeling.
You also can make a memorial craft together, such as the memory bears mentioned above. These are a great memento for children, as its something they can hold close to them when they’re missing their loved one and want to feel close to them.
Another idea is to take old traditions and turn them into a new way to honor their memory. If you always went boating every summer, continue this tradition with your family. Or, understandably, if it’s too painful, start a new family tradition, such as visiting a place your loved one always wanted to go.
What other ways can you grieve this International Widows Day? Share your ideas with us in the comments!