Remember dead loved ones, keep them safe

Forum Editor and Forum Editor

How do we remember those who’ve died?

Do we carry around their pictures in our wallets and clutch it whenever missing them becomes too hard? Do we name our first-born child after them because then maybe a little piece of them would live on in the world?

It really doesn’t matter how we remember those who’ve died. We just have to remember them.

My grandma died suddenly when I was 17. The woman was hilarious and would do anything for her grandchildren. Once, my sister and I made her don a cowboy hat and shoot us with a toy gun, all whilst exclaiming, and with great gusto I might add, “yee-haw!”

She loved her children and grandchildren fiercely. Now, we can’t have a get-together without someone mentioning how simply perfect she was.

I remember her the best way I know how—by thinking about her. I keep her laminated obituary on my desk and have a picture of her and I as a baby tucked away in a safe place.

Every time I drive by the cemetery, I visit her. I don’t say anything aloud, but I’m pretty sure she can hear me.

Monday was Memorial Day and those who’ve experienced a great lost spent the day thinking about the people who were no longer with them. This is a great way to spend the government observed holiday, but we should take it one step further.

Why can’t every day be Memorial Day?

Why does Hallmark and the news have to remind us to pay tribute to the dead? If the roles were reversed, you’d want to be remembered. Everybody does.

People lament how lonely and devastated they are when someone dies. Death deserves these feelings, although they are hard to articulate.

It’s like tripping in the dark and having the wind knocked out of you at the same time. It’s like not knowing how to continue life without that person holding your hand.

It’s like a little part of you died along with them and you’ll never get that piece back.

Thinking about these people is sad, even heart-wrenching. Following the cliched “think of the good times you had with them” motto becomes almost unbearable because you miss what you used to have.

But we have to think about them, smile for them. That’s how people go on.

You don’t have to build an altar or stop living your life.

Just live your life remembering they once lived their’s.

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