How To Remember a Loved One on the Anniversary of Death

It can be difficult to process the complex emotions surrounding death. We will all have to face death throughout our lives, coping with the inevitability of our own passing and the loss of the people we love most.

One of the most complicated learning experiences in our lives is understanding how to cope with the deaths of the remarkable people in our lives. Grief is not a linear process, and our sadness, numbness, or even guilt will come in waves following our loved one’s passing.

The anniversary of a death is a challenging milestone to reach. Death is strange in that it doesn’t seem to just happen once. When someone who loves passes away, that day, season, month, or even year can be marked by their departure. 

Once they are gone, the yearly anniversary of their death is marked by feelings we can’t hide from. However, these moments are a necessary piece of life. While the loss of this incredible person never gets easier, there are ways to honor the anniversary of their passing and celebrate their beautiful life.

How Do I Honor a Loved One Who Was Buried?

Like most challenging things, it’s good to have a plan for the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Having a plan can help in many ways. It can help us control our emotions when necessary and experience their depth and breadth when the opportunity comes. 

Experiencing a death means having to walk through grief. Grief is an important, crucial part of healing after someone we love passes away. 

So much of life is learned and taught. From the time that a person is born to the day we die, the environment and community we live in shape our lives. Losing a loved one that helped shape your life can be deeply disorienting. Rediscovering those emotions on their death anniversary can be just as confusing as our feelings immediately after our loved one’s passing.

The anniversary of the death of a loved one is an opportunity to re-prioritizing healing after their departure. It’s a chance to celebrate their life and cherish their memory alongside a time to feel the pain of their physical absence. 

Having a plan in place for their death anniversaries will help to not only free our time to process our emotions, but it will also help us feel as if we’re moving forward instead of backward. Here are some thoughtful ways to remember a loved one on the anniversary of their death. 

Visit Their Grave

If possible, one of the best things we can do on the anniversary of a loved one’s death is to visit their graveside. Many people will bring flowers or even a picture to place beside the gravestone of their loved one. This gives us a chance to break away from our busy schedules and the distractions they bring and dedicate time to remembering our loved ones. 

Visiting a graveside has the powerful effect of keeping your loved one’s memory close to heart. Many people will write letters or spend time talking at the graveside because they can feel their loved one is near. 

Light a Memorial Candle

Lighting a candle for those who have passed is a beautiful way of commemorating the anniversary of their passing. Candles invoke a sense of calm and beauty that helps bring the mind into focus. Not only that, but we can customize our candles to commemorate their memory. 

Make sure your candle has a scent that reminds you of them, a color they loved, or another customized element that helps you feel closer to their essence. A candle can be a calming way to remind ourselves throughout the day to be thankful and spend a little extra time remembering who our loved ones were and what they still mean to us. 

Write a Letter

When a death anniversary comes around, it can be easy to feel confused. Most likely, just because life seems to always happen this way, you can be disappointed in how you feel. Maybe on that particular day, you don’t feel much of anything. You may want to express remorse or sadness, but instead, you feel like you just want to go to work. On the other hand, you could also feel overwhelmed by the reminder that your loved one is no longer with you.

Taking time to sit down and write a letter is a great practice to help you focus no matter where you find yourself emotionally on that day. Writing has a healing effect and can even help to improve your mood and bring you feelings of emotional stability. Spending the time and effort to slow down and put your thoughts on paper by writing your loved ones a letter is a wonderful way to commemorate their memory on the anniversary of their death. 

How Do I Honor a Loved One Who Was Cremated?

If your loved one was cremated, there are several ways to memorialize their cremated ashes. Just as in burial, there are many opportunities to honor their legacy and impact on the anniversary of your cremated loved one’s death.

Urns 

Some families chose to keep the ashes of their loved ones in a commemorative urn. These beautiful vessels are unique and can be custom-made for your loved one’s ashes. On their death anniversary, you can spend time with your loved one’s remains in their urn the same way you would at a graveside.

On the anniversary of a death, maybe you rearrange the area where you keep your loved one’s urn, adding new photos, or giving that part of your house a make-over. Many individuals who want their remains cremated will also request their ashes to be scattered in specific locations. These locations hold a special kind of significance, and visiting them on the anniversary of a death is also similar to visiting a graveside. 

Memorial Diamonds 

Instead of storing ashes in an urn, some people choose to carry their loved one’s remains with them throughout their lives. 

A creative option for memorializing a loved one is to transform the carbon from their cremated ashes into a memorial diamond. This is a beautiful and powerful way to celebrate your loved one’s memory. The journey of transforming the carbon from your loved ones’ ashes into a diamond can help provide healing and meaning during the grieving process. 

How Is a Memorial Diamond Formed?

When your loved one chooses to have their remains cremated, their bodies are placed in a specialized furnace known as a retort. When remains are cremated, a painstaking effort is taken to ensure that the body is treated with the utmost care and respect so that the process is effective, hygienic, and ethical. 

The human body is composed mostly of water, so when it is subjected to the intense heat of a retort, most of its mass turns to gas. This leaves behind four to six pounds of what is commonly called ashes. In reality, the remains of cremation are not ash-like and instead leave harder and denser materials like bones that aren’t entirely consumed by the heat.

These remains are processed down to a sandy, gray substance that resembles the human ashes we’re familiar with. The process of creating a unique memorial diamond involves purifying the carbon from the ashes. 

Once the carbon has been extracted from the ash, it is subjected to intense heat and pressure in labs that are specifically designed to grow diamonds. This heat and pressure mimic the conditions of the Earth’s mantle where diamonds are formed, and it rearranges the carbon to form a unique diamond. 

An Eterneva diamond made from the carbon within the ashes of a loved one is completely authentic and graded by IGI professionals.  Because you are involved during every step of the diamond’s seven-stage journey, you can choose the cut, shape, setting, and color of your diamond to honor your loved one’s memory using tiny details you hold dear. 

On the anniversary of your loved ones’ death, you can wear the memorial diamond as a physical connection you can take with you wherever you go, whether that’s a trip to their favorite restaurants or one of their favorite walks. 

Conclusion

Remembering our remarkable loved ones will always be difficult. No matter how much time passes, the anniversary of their death can unearth the pain of their absence. 

Taking time to honor their memory and spending time commemorating the love you hold for them can help us celebrate their impact on our lives. Even though it may be difficult, keeping their memory close to our hearts is one of the best ways that we can heal and continue to learn from these incredible relationships and our neverending love.  

Sources 

How to Remember a Loved One On Their Death Anniversary | caringbridge.org

Cremation | Encyclopedia.com 

They Will Not Be Forgotten | redemptoristdenver.org

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