Action Memorials (a Copyrighted Term)
Help You Recover From Grief and Find Joy Again
By Harriet Hodgson
I lost four loved ones -- my daughter, father-in-law,
brother, and former son-in-law -- within nine months.
Like all bereaved people, I wanted to honor my loved
ones' lives with memorials. My husband and I held
memorial services in honor of our daughter and former
son-in-law. We flew to Long Island and attended a
memorial service in honor of my brother. We also donated
financial memorials to churches and the local food bank.
You may have held memorial services, too, or donated
money in memory of a loved one. Other memorials are
described in the article, "Grief & Bereavement," on the
Memorial Online website. Keeping a journal, scrapbook,
or creating a multi-media presentation are ways to
remember a loved one. "Online memorials are becoming
popular," the article notes, and these memorials include
stories and photos.
Memorials help us cope with grief. Judy Tatelbaum, in
her book, "The Courage to Grieve," discusses ways to
resolve grief. "Learning how to finish is an important
skill for us to develop," she writes, "whether we are
facing finishing with dead people or with live ones." I
see memorials as part of grief resolution, yet I want to
continue to remember my loved ones and the joy they
brought to my life.
Therese A. Rando, PhD, explores this point in her book,
"How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies." She
writes, "Perhaps the most effective way of keeping your
loved one alive is through your own life and actions."
We do this by telling stories about our loved ones,
acting on their values, enjoying life more, and if
necessary, changing our behavior.
In his book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People,"
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner talks about life's troubles.
"None of us can avoid the problem of why bad things
happen to good people," he says. According to Kushner,
sooner or later we all play the role of Job, either as a
victim of tragedy, family member, or friend and
comforter. "The questions never change; the search for a
satisfying answer continues."
It took me two years to find an answer. I created Action
Memorials (term Copyright 2009 by Harriet W. Hodgson)
and they are working. What is an Action Memorial? You
find an outstanding trait that your loed one had and
make it part of your life. My daughter had a marvelous
sense of humor and I vowed to laugh more. My father in
law was one of the most ethical people I have ever
known, and I vowed to stand up for ethics. My brother
loved to read, so I promised myself more recreational
reading time. My former son-in-law loved nature and I
try to observe nature closely.
Action Memorials connect me with my loved ones every
day. I feel closer to my loved ones and, thanks to
Action Memorials, they will always be part of my life.
Weaving Action Memorials into my life brings me joy. You
may create similar Action Memorials honor of your loved
ones and find comfort in them.
Copyright 2009 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an Independent Journalist for
30 years. She is a member of the American Society of
Journalists and Authors, the Association of Health Care
Journalists, and the Association for Death Education and
Counseling. Centering Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska has
published her 26th book, "Writing to Recover: The
Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life." The company
has also published the "Writing to Recover Journal,"
which has 100 writing prompts, and the "Writing to
Recover Affirmations Calender," a stunning collection of
nature photos and life affirmations.
Please visit Harriet's website to learn more about this
busy author and grandmother.