Find ways to say good-bye.
- A funeral service may be the occasion for taking the first step in the grieving process, but families may also benefit from a smaller memorial gathering with close family and friends. Encourage everyone to share memories and stories; sharing funny memories and laughter is allowed, too!
- Plant a garden bed of a loved one’s favorite flower or tree in his or her honor.
Keep memories alive.
- Find ways to celebrate a loved one’s life and important place in the family. For instance, continue to celebrate a love one’s birthday, eat his favorite meal, or listen to his favorite song together.
- Gather pictures, clothes, and other reminders of a loved one and the good times that were shared together. Take turns telling stories or writing about each item. Recording these stories with a video camera can help preserve the memories.
Establish a “new normal.”
- Create new routines or build on old ones that children had with their loved one to help offer a sense of structure and security.
- In time, planning vacations or special occasions can offer something to look forward to.