What can grieving families do when many members are geographically scattered?
- Hold a memorial service in another part of the country for friends and loved ones unable to attend the funeral. That’s what my family did when my mother died. My mother’s funeral was in California. My immediate family, local relatives, and friends who did not travel to the West coast were able to share their loss, cherish my mother’s memory, and support me at a memorial service in my home.
- Conduct an online memorial with your family via Skype or another form of group chat. Plan ahead with readings, stories, or photos, anything that will help family members interact, grieve, and feel some sense of closure.
- Organize an event when you will all be together to remember and honor your loved one. You can plant a tree in their memory, all helping in the selection and planting. Or, you can be creative and make a donation to a place the deceased loved that is accessible for you to visit, such as having a plaque added to a bench in their memory at a favorite park or a tree planted in a public space.
- Create an online scrapbook together using Shutterfly, Snapfish, or other online photo service. Use the same login so each member can add their personal photos and journal memorable stories and anecdotes. When you have completed the album, purchase a copy for each family member.
- Choose an annual way for the family to honor your loved one when you are together that ties into your loved one’s passion, whether it is education, clean communities, or feeding the hungry.
- Designate a day for all of you to light a memorial candle either on the anniversary of their death or their birthday.
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