1. Visit their final resting place
Take flowers to the gravesite, a memorial site, or if you scattered their ashes in a place that was special to them, take a trip there.
2. Hold a special remembrance ceremony
If faith brings you comfort, your church, cleric, or a celebrant may be happy to arrange for a ceremony to mark the death anniversary, or to include prayers for them in the week’s service.
Formal secular occasions to mark the anniversary of their death could include a remembrance evening with speakers and readings, or even a tree-planting ceremony. Plan a memorial service or candlelight vigil.
3. Look through old photos
Look at old photos and home videos. Do this alone and have a good cry or reminisce over photo albums with family and friends. Turn their old photos into digital photos by scanning them and storing then in a computer or online.
Build a memorial with portraits, personal items, and objects that remind you of your loved one. Post their photos on a memorial site or social media with a word of remembrance.
4. Write a letter, poem or online blog/memorial
Although our love is constant, our thoughts, feelings, regrets, and memories can change as every death anniversary passes. Writing can be a therapeutic way of processing complicated thoughts and feelings, as well as expressing heartfelt sentiments.
‘Post’ your letter or poem in a hidden outdoor spot, or online on a memorial blog, or community forum. On the other hand, keep it somewhere safe and make a personal ritual of writing and re-reading letters and poems every anniversary.
Reach out to someone else grieving the loss via letter, card, phone call, or e-mail
5. Play their favorite song or watch their favorite movie
Music is incredibly evocative and certain tunes can make us catch our breath or transport our memories back to special moments in time.
Listen to their song on the day you mark their death anniversary. This could be by special request on a radio show, or as part of a playlist in a get-together with friends.
6. Take time out
A death anniversary can be a time to get away from it all. Some people prefer to have time away from places that hold memories on a death anniversary. For others, a place where special moments were spent with their loved one is a poignant way of keeping them close.
Cook your loved ones’ favorite dish and or use one of their recipes to prepare a meal. Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one.
7. Create an online memorial
Memories can grow more precious as the years go by and they are also a wonderful legacy to hand down to children and grandchildren. A memorial page here at #NaweMilele.com can be a great way to keep memories alive and revisit when you are thinking about someone you love on their death anniversary. You can keep it private, or invite friends and family members to share photos, memories, and loving sentiments.
8. Establish a Charity in their name
Volunteer with a charity or cause close to your loved one’s heart. Create a new ritual to celebrate the life of your loved one. Choose a ritual that can be repeated in the years to come. Do something your loved one would have enjoyed.
9. Shine a light
There is a long tradition of lighting a candle in memory of someone, whether in a place of worship or at home as you quietly contemplate.
On the anniversary of someone’s death, you could choose a scented candle with a fragrance that brings memories back. Light a candle in honor of your loved one.
10. Plant a tree
Plant a tree in their remembrance. Plant one at his home, your home or village or a school he/she attended. You can as well release balloons or butterflies in the sky.