Memory-Making and Healing Activities
Memories reaffirm that loved ones will go on living in our hearts and minds, and that they will always be an important part of who we are. By taking time to do things to remember the deceased, we keep their memory alive. Encourage children to put photo albums together or help plan special events, such as birthday remembrances. Children need to know they can continue to love a person, even if he or she is dead.
Memory-Making and Healing Activities for Children:
- Make a hand or footprint of the child and the loved one. Use Crayola Model Magic, paint or stamping ink.
- Create a collage of picture, personal items and tokens from your favorite memories
- Blow bubbles. As the bubbles pop, explain the transition from temporary to permanent.
- Plant a tree or flowers in memory of the loved one.
- Write a story about a favorite memory.
- Have family members or friends share messages or memories in a journal.
- Create a family activity that will become a tradition, such as ice cream night, volunteering, picnicking or a visit to the deceased's favorite restaurant.
- Draw, paint or sculpt with colors and textures that reflect your feelings.
- Create a hand puppet out of socks. Have the child use the puppet to help when times are tough. The puppet can listen when no one else is available, can give companionship when the child is lonely and can help tell an adult something that is difficult to say out loud.
- Create a memory book or picture album
- Write a message/letter on rice paper to the person who has died. Attach it to a helium biodegradable balloon, and release it.
- At Christmas, hang a stocking or a special personalized ornament in honor of your loved one. Or place fresh flowers in the stocking.
- Make a music CD of songs that remind you of your loved one.
- Use a special symbol, sticker or rubber stamp as your loved one's signature on Christmas cards.
- Write down the thoughts and memories of your loved one in a journal.
Memory-Making and Healing Activities for Adults
- Buy a piece of jewelry made with your baby's birthstone.
- Decorate your child's grave with balloons, flowers, toys, a wreath, small windsock or a pinwheel on his birthday.
- Submit an article or poem about your baby to a pregnancy-loss newsletter.
- If your baby had a name, use it.
- Keep a photo of your baby in your purse or wallet.
- Make an angel-food cake on your baby's birthday.
- On the anniversary of your baby's passing, send the hospital a plant to be given to the next family that loses a baby.
- Purchase a special candle to be lit every year on your baby's birthday.
- Send family and friends packets of flower seeds, (forget-me-nots are especially meaningful) on your baby's birthday.
- Send announcements or Memorial Cards to your friends and family to let them know that your baby was born and died. Let them know that it's okay to talk about your baby. Include the baby's name and birth information.
- Start a collection of angels, teddy bears or stars.
- Talk to your child. Tell him how you feel and how much you miss him.
- Write a letter to your baby.
- Tie a love note to your child onto a helium-filled balloon. Release the balloon to heaven.
- Write music or poetry to or about your baby.
- Create an online memorial at imorial.com.
- Name a star for your loved one. Visit starregistry.com for details.
- Start a special flower garden or plant a tree with a sign that says "Baby's Garden" or "In Memory of…"
- Decorate a T-shirt, create a quilt from your baby's clothes or make blanket that you can wear/use when you need to be comforted and feel close to your baby.
Do needlework or another craft project that symbolizes your love for your baby.