Keeping memories of the person who died

Good memories of the person who died are important to us. They are the way that we can still feel connected and close to them. As we grieve though, we worry that we will not be able to remember them. We then worry that because we are finding it hard to remember them this means that we no longer love them. This isn’t true but we need to understand how memory works

The way our memory works

Our brain is amazing – it can store lots of different memories.  It stores them in different ways a little bit like the way we store files in a computer or filing cabinet but often our brain needs help to find those memories again easily.It needs clues such as smells, colours, pictures, textures, and sounds to be able to find them and remember them again.
The more we talk and think about that memory the stronger it gets and is easier to bring back.

Making memory boxes and books can help us on our sad days when we want to remember the person who died and feel close to them again.

Memory boxes

Why not collect together things that belonged to the person who died …….here are some ideas of the things that you could include:

  • their favourite aftershave or perfume
  • photographs, cards,  letter
  • jewelry, key rings or watches
  • small items of clothing
  • glasses
  • passport
  • holiday tickets
  • favourite books or music
  • your poems or letters about them

Decorate the box in their favourite colours or with things that remind you of them

Memory books

These are like the memory box but tell you more about the person- from when they were small to the time they died. People make them for all kinds of reasons but the are a very good way to find out more about the person who died and collect memories about them.

Collect things like :

  • photographs
  • certificates
  • letters
  • old school reports
  • newspaper cuttings

You can ask other members of the family to give you their memories of them. Perhaps they knew them when they were at school, were best friends or worked with them. They may have interesting stories to tell that help you remember more about your special person.

Don’t forget to include the funny things they did- even their jokes!

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