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Special Ways To Celebrate A Life Of Someone So Dear
Sometimes when you browse the internet, you come across an article that provoke something inside. One such article was ’40 Special Ways To Honour Your Child’ Originally published in the Still Standing Magazine, it had some good ways to celebrate a life of someone so dear. It began by saying there isn’t a right or wrong way, or even a time limit.
My interest got sparked, a number of questions quickly came to mind. Have we done enough? Could we have done it any better? What other things could we have done to honour our baby angel? The truth is that there is not a right or wrong way, just ways that are right for you and your family.
I sent a simple question out to others on the net asking “what did they do?” Between their answers, my own and a few from other sources, I have compiled a list of the best and most created ways to honour your child.
Some of these suggestions may not work for your family or beliefs, please feel free to alter or put your own spin on them. We also would love to hear about ways you have celebrated the special events and moments honouring your angel's life.
HERE ARE THE SPECIAL WAYS TO HONOUR YOUR LOVED ONE.
Never Forgetting - The truest and most honest thing any parent can do to honour your child is to keep them safe in your heart. I know, it sounds an odd thing to say, especially because we all hurt in so many ways, it is more about getting the balance right.
Create a Place - One thing that has been suggested to me was to create a place in your home for your child’s special things, it can be as simple as a picture on a wall or a cupboard jammed packed of all the little things that you can’t bear to get rid of.
Welcoming Home - One of the things we have always done, is to keep one of his baby coats hanging by the front door, it sounds a little silly but for us it just feels right, just knowing there is always a place for him and he is always welcome back home.
Memory Shadow Box - One of the ideas I like is a Memory Shadow Box, we already have a Memory Box which we keep all the stuff that we find most precious to us, but we keep it safe and only get it out when we need it, so why not put a few little things in a frame and display them with pride.
Giving It Back To An Angel - One of the silly things I do, is when I find a small white feather, I would pick it up, kiss it and gently blow it back into the wind, hoping it will carry itself back to my angel.
Celebrating Their Special Days - Just because they’re not with us in the living world, doesn't mean that they are no longer with us in our live and our thoughts. Celebrate their birthday and other occasions, in a big or small way, its whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Giving To A Stranger - One of our online friends, would treat people to a coffee on her daughter’s birthday. I love the thought of any random acts of kindness.
Setting off Fireworks - Another one of our online friend’s son, was born close to bonfire night, so each year they send him up some sky rockets for his birthday.
Releasing A Balloon - One thing we have done and still try to do is release a baby blue balloon, on the anniversary of his death. I know this is probably not the most environmentally friendly thing to do, but there is something about watching it take flight and disappear into the distance that is so comforting and peaceful.
Sailing A Lotus Lantern - One of the events that we were looking at starting, was a mass river lanterns festival. Parents would be encouraged to write a message to their angel on the lantern before lighting it and then letting it sail freely across a local lake or stream. The lanterns are traditionally believed to guide the souls in the water.
Light A Candle - The Wave of Light is an opportunity to join with bereaved parents, families and friends around the globe to commemorate all babies who sadly died too soon. This yearly event just asks for you to simply light a candle at 7pm local time on 15 October and leave it burning for at least one hour.
Do A Butterfly Release - Releasing live butterflies for a loved one is a unique way to honour and remember them. The butterfly has long been a symbol of freedom, love and new life or the beginning of a new journey.
Get a Tattoo of your Child - One of the things that seem to be quite popular, is to get a tattoo. Whether it’s your angel's name, photo, date or something of a deeper meaning, it doesn’t matter as long as it would mean something to you. I have been looking at getting inked but not yet found the right image or the image having the right meaning about our baby boy.
Collect little somethings - Sometimes you find something that reminds you of your little angel, it may be a little pebble on the beach, a coin on the pavement or even a discarded feather. Some people say that these things are left by an angel to help you at your time of need, so why not start collecting little things from here and there that remind you of them.
Random act of Kindness - Giving back is always a reward in itself, the smile on someone’s face when you hand a homeless stranger a McD's, hot soup or a coat on a cold winters day will give both parties the milk of human kindness, if then you can spare two seconds just to let them know why you are giving it seems to melt the hardest of hearts.
Setting Up A Charity or Non-profit Organisation - One thing I was drawn to, was to create this non-profit organisation, to help others who found themselves in the same situation. I quickly realised how awarding this is and it also gave me a release to talk about my feelings while helping others. So why not start your own or contact the administration asking how you can help.
Fundraisers and Donations - One common theme is the gift of giving and many of us, fundraised and then donate the money to charities and non-profit organisations in their child's name.
Setting Up An Award Or Scholarship Fund - We also set up the George Isaac Loy Award, this annual award is given to a child who has done amazing work in the shortest of time. Our beautiful baby boy was with us for such a fleeting moment of time but he filled our lives with so much joy. We felt setting up an award was a great way of sharing this meaning.
Looking After A Christmas Tree - Another one of our recent traditions is to place a potted mini Christmas tree by our son's grave, we normally would remove it after the holidays and then we would nurture it back to health ready for the following year.
Plant A Tree - Expanding on what we have done with our little tree. One of our online friends also has done something similar, because of the last thing she did with her daughter was to put up their tree so each year on her anniversary they decorate a small tree and place it by her grave before going home to decorate theirs, in addition for the last 18 years she has been planting the tree to make a wood in memory of her baby angel.
Dedicate A Tree - We also have had a tree planted in George’s name; this scheme is provided by The Woodland Trust (UK), the rangers would plant and care for the sapling in a selected woodland area, your tree would grow alongside others becoming part of the beautiful countryside, the area would become home for wildlife and a living legacy for generations to come.
Naming A Star - My older son and daughter clubbed together and named a star after their baby brother, as each night passes, we can look into the sky and know there is a little piece of the heavens that carry George's name. This gift was one of those things I was going to get around to but never seemed to get the time. Our little boy is in heaven looking down on us and it was good to know others miss him too.
Buy A Bit Of A Celestial Body - One thing I read about is to purchase a crated on the moon, this would be named after your child. Each night you could look up and let them know that you love them to the moon and back.
Giving A Gift - A wonderful gift is the act of kindness and one of the best example of this is from one of our friends, at Christmas they would give presents that would have been bought for they daughter and donate them to a family in need.
Sending a Message in a Bottle - This is one for the romantics. There’s something undeniably romantic about tossing a message into the ocean and seeing to whom fate is going to choose to read it.
Write A Letter To Your Angel - This is a private way of putting your feelings down on paper, some people would keep it safe while others burn the letter, letting the embers float away to the heavens.
Sponsor An Animal - Many zoos and safari parks run schemes that allow you to sponsor an animal, this can be a great way to keep your angel’s name alive while doing something positive. Personally, I would choose an elephant, as they never forget.
Adopt An Animal - Most towns and cities have an animal shelter for abandoned animals. By adopting from a shelter, you are providing an animal with a second chance they deserve.
Sponsor a Child Who Shares Your Child’s Birthday - World Vision run a scheme to transform a child live. Sponsorship is a personal way to show human compassion to a child in need.
Adopt A Child for Xmas - This was a new one on me. Friends from across the pond, would arrange to adopt a child in need for Christmas, I love the idea of giving to a child in the community, I have not found to much information online about how to do so.
Have A Family Day - This is a great way to celebrate your child's life. It could fall on their birthday or a special anniversary. A family of friends, their son's birthday falls around memorial day, so they would go to their local amusement park. They said "On his first anniversary year they went to Disney, the following year they went to Great Wolf Lodge. I don't want the days to be sad. Instead I try to make it family friendly fun filled days. I want to spend the day having joy celebrating his life instead of being sad about his death. My surviving kids have some of their best memories on those days and that's what I want most for them."
Make Or Buy A Personalised Piece Of Jewellery - The choice of design and what you do with it is very personal and only you will know what is right for you and your family. Here are a couple of suggestions that my help you. Use your child’s name, date, initial or something that just keeps them close. Some friends of ours are planning to get their sons ashes made into jewellery but yet are still scared to open his urn, another set of friends have had a handprint charm made.
Donate Enrichment Toys - A friend of ours, gives their pets enrichment toys from their daughter.
Have A Bereavement Bear Made - A friend of ours, at our request, will be making us a teddy bear with some of George's old clothes. This is a personal and unique way of keeping our son in our everyday life.
Dedicating A Bear - Many families find great comfort in dedicating an Aching Arms bear and for them it’s a special way of remembering their baby, in return you are sent a bear that has also been dedicated by another family who also shares in the pain.
Build A Bear - One of our friends took their little girls to build a bear and they got the chance to build a 'Jacob' bear. When they are feeling sad, they have got something to cuddle up to.
Order A Molly Bear - Before writing this article, I have never heard of a Molly Bear. Each of the unique bears are weighted to be equal the weight of your angel.
Give A Gift - Some kids spend the holidays in a hospital. Your local children’s hospital probably has a way to donate toys and games at the holidays.
Start Or Join A Support Group - If you feel that you want to share your experiences with others, but there isn’t a group in the area that fit your needs, there is nothing in the rule book about starting a support group for other grieving parents. Other parents maybe also in need and would be happy to share their feelings as well.
Painting A Picture - One of the things I felt right about doing was to paint a picture, it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, it doesn’t have to be a portrait, just something that has meaning to you.
Take Photos - Whether it is a random, spur-of-the-moment snapshot or well-thought-out composition, take snapshots of something in nature that helps you feel closer to your angel, this could be a sunset, footsteps on a beach, wild flowers’ butterflies etc.
Display You Work - An exhibition can be a perfect way to inspire others. I displayed a number of paintings and photos in a local gallery, the exhibition highlighted the short life and the feeling of loss when a parent faces the destructive nature of losing a child, many parents a forced to re-examined their own feelings and self-belief.
Write A Poem - Putting pen to paper and write something from the heart, it can be both therapeutic and a way of releasing your feelings.
Publish Your Work - Using social media or bereavement site is a great way for others to see your words come to life
Keep A Blog - Write your heart. You can even make it private if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your journey with others.
Write To Us - We would be happy to place your angel’s name on our iWall along with your story, we always try to follow your wishes before publishing. If you have any other stories or information please feel free to contacted us and we would try to publish it on our site.
Speak Their Name To Anyone Willing To Listen - This is one of those must dos, I always include George into my conversation, the same way I include my other living children, I am proud of him and I am happy to let the world know.
Be A Voice For Others - Speak to your hospital trust about starting or being involved with the bereavement support program available.
Join A Convection - Some of us find it hard talk about our feeling, facing the battle of self-doubt but no matter how hard it is, I try! George’s story was read out in a debate on baby loss in the House of Commands, it was hard hearing our lives laid out for others to read but if it saves another family going through the heartache of SIDS and child loss, it was worth it.
Get Running - One of the things I do, is to run in my son’s name, I made a promise that ‘When he would of took his first steps, I will run a marathon’.
Write Down Your Memories - Make a scrapbook of all your thoughts and feelings, add photos of items worn, used or bought for your angel.
Get A Custom Portrait Done - Many professional studios are able to insert your baby angel into a family portrait.
Donate Memory Boxes To Your Local Hospital - Another scheme we was looking at setting up, was to place memory boxes, free for bereaved parents in local hospital. I am yet to secure funding for the project but it still remains one of our aims.
Collect Candles - From time to time you will smell a scent that remind you of your child. A typical producer of these scents is from candle makers, it could be wild flowers on a summer’s day, freshly cut grass or even cinnamon. If it refreshes your memories, why not.
Order A Personalised Baby Memorial Candle - In the past I have painted pastel candles for the community, so this one should have been right up my street. A baby Memorial Candle allow you to remember your precious angel with this Keepsake.
Plant A Garden (in your front/backyard or community) - A common theme with many of my friends, one of which planted yellow rose bush in their son’s memory and blow bubbles and light candles around it, another one have Buddlea bush planted in the garden, it attracts lots of butterflies in the summer.
Participate In March Of Dimes Walk - This is a US group and sadly I know very little about them, but we support what they stand for, I would walk in my son’s name to raise awareness of SIDS or other childhood bereavement causes.
Order A Miscarriage Of Life - This scheme currently runs in the UK, it is designed for parents, who sadly loss their baby in pregnancy before 24 weeks, the sadness is increased by the fact that there is no documentation that acknowledges the loss of
Make Something Personal - A Friend when they lost their son, made him items for his box. Crocheting 2 blankets for him. One I kept and one he was cremated in. She also wrote him a letter that went in in his box with him.
I’ve made pages in my journal dedicated to him.