The anguish of losing a loved one leaves an indelible mark on the soul, a scar that time may soften but never truly erase. But when that loss results from suicide, the grieving process assumes a myriad of additional layers—emotions, questions, and societal reactions that can be difficult to navigate.
In our previous blog, “The Unique Grief of Suicide Loss: A Pain Only Some Understand,” we delved into the depth of this specific grief. Today, we’ll explore creative avenues to channel this pain, offering ways to honor our departed loved ones while seeking solace and understanding.
Creative Ways to Honor the Departed
1. Memory Boxes:
Example: A beautifully crafted wooden or cardboard box adorned with photos, favorite quotes, and painted designs. Inside, place their favorite jewelry, letters they wrote, ticket stubs from movies or concerts you attended together, and other cherished mementos.
Tools/Supplies: A sturdy box, photographs, paint, brushes, decorative paper, glue, and protective varnish.
2. Literary Tributes
Example: A handwritten journal filled with memories, conversations, and anecdotes. This can be further adorned with doodles, pressed flowers, or tiny keepsakes.
Tools/Supplies: A good-quality journal, pens, watercolor for illustrations, dried flowers, and adhesive.
3. Planting a Memorial Garden
Example: A dedicated corner in your backyard or balcony with plants that held special meaning to your loved one—perhaps roses if they loved them or lavender if they enjoyed its soothing scent.
Tools/Supplies: Gardening tools, seeds or saplings, decorative stones, and a personalized garden plaque.
4. Artistic Expressions
Example: A mosaic portrait of your loved one using colored tiles or a sculpture representing something they loved (like a bird if they were a birdwatcher).
Tools/Supplies: For mosaic – colored tiles, grout, a base (like wood or canvas), adhesive, and safety gear. For sculpture – clay, carving tools, and protective varnish.
5. Participate or Organize Awareness Walks
Example: Design custom T-shirts with a heartfelt message or their picture to wear during the walk. Create pamphlets or brochures discussing mental health resources.
Tools/Supplies: Custom-printed T-shirts, design software or tools, and high-quality printing paper for brochures.
6. Dedicated Time
Example: Create a small corner in your home with their picture, candles, and some of their belongings. Spend a few moments there daily or weekly, playing their favorite music or reading their favorite poems.
Tools/Supplies: Framed photographs, candles, a comfortable cushion or chair, a music player, and a collection of their favorite books or poems.
The journey of healing from a suicide loss is deeply personal and often tumultuous. While the pain may sometimes feel unending, it’s essential to remember that there are ways to find moments of peace and remembrance.
By investing time and creativity in these projects, you’re not only honoring your loved one but also channeling your grief into something tangible and therapeutic. The act of creating can serve as a powerful tool for healing and remembrance.
If you’re grappling with these emotions, we encourage you to revisit our blog, “The Unique Grief of Suicide Loss: A Pain Only Some Understand” to gain a deeper perspective on this journey. As we move forward, may we find strength in community, art, and the enduring love we hold for those we’ve lost.