I have been posting a series of “Truisms About Grief” that I received from fellow grieving dad and friend, Charlie Schmidtke. I met Charlie as part of this grieving dads project. Please share your thoughts or stories regarding this subject.
It may be wise to invest time and/or money in some type of memorial. When I was younger, I thought some of the memorials or activities I had seen were foolish or “weird”. Now I know how important they are for those who are grieving, and I have learned how foolish it is to judge the way others grieve and deal with their pain.
There are countless ways to memorialize our children. Some of the dads I have spoken to have planted trees while others set up a memorial fund that will go to a cause that reminds them of their children. There is no wrong ways to memorialize and I agree with Charlie, I think it is a wise investment.
How have you memorialized your child?
Yes. We have started a Scholarship in her college in my daughter, Tejaswee Rao’s name. We also sponsored a Literary Writing Contest in her name.
I thought about this issue after I posted this Truism. I couldn’t really nail down what it was that I do that honors our children. I asked my wife that question afterwards and she shared with me the following things that I just do as a way to honor them:
1. We sponser a little girl from Gautamala through an organization called Compassion International in memory of my daughter Katie.
2. I organize an event for an organization called “Feed My Starving Children” once a year.
3. I started this blog and the Grieving Dads Project as a promise to them and a way to help honor them by helping others.
4. I live my life in a way that would make them proud
5. I buy things for our garden that will remind me of them. In fact, on my recent trip to Tucson, I stopped by a place called “Ben’s Bells” and purchased two “mini Bells”, one for each of my children. Bens Bells is a not for profit started by bereaved parents in memory of their son Ben who based away. Ben was alittle guy that was full of life. They have a studio where the public can stop by and build Ben’s Bells throughout the year. Twice a year they hang 1000 bells around town for people to find and keep. The idea is to promote random act of kindness. Love this idea and what a great way to remember Ben.
Giving back or the random acts of kindness gives us purpose in life and gratification in the world that changed our perspectives forever when our children died. That’s how we manage to stay positive while grieving at the same time.
Sponsoring a child is an amazing thought, so is random acts of kindness.
Our daughter passed away 6 months ago and I found memorializing so therapeutic that I am constantly thinking of the next idea. So far I have created a scrapbook, website, memorial garden, put all of her mementos in a chest, and a pendant of her footprint. My next plan is to create a business card with her website address/photos and a quilt of her clothes. These are all so gratifying for me to do in keeping Lauren’s memory alive.
Keep it up. It is great therapy!!! If it helps you feel better, do it.
I strongly recommend doing something. About a week after I lost my daughter I started a small memorial garden for Harper. The physical work helped me to get a lot of my anger and frustration out. I would work from sun rise to sun set. We put in a small pond and some perianal flowers and bushes. Each year around the date of her birth into heaven we will add some more. Another neat thing that it has done is when I take my other children hiking or something they usually find some interesting rock or something and they will bring it home to share with Harper in her garden. I find myself standing it when the hurt of losing her gets to be too much. I will go sit in the garden and talk to her and to ask God to take good care of her.
Great idea. Taking on such a physical project will help with the anger.
Quick story that is kind of funny. I have a flower bed in my yard and the rabbits use to pretty much eat everything so I would trap them and then release them at the local Forest Preserve. Shortly after the of my son Noah, I had a dream that there were a bunch of rabbits in my backyard and they were standing on their back legs holding guns (keep in mind this was a dream). I asked them what they were doing and they said “we are giving Noah a 21 gun salute”. I don not remember much after that, but I have touched those rabbits since. They can eat what ever they want. I must say that every time I tell that story as funny as it is, I get a little choked up.
Thanks for sharing.
I would like you to somehow find and contact a SA Dad whose daughter died in their burning car. You are the ideal person to help Justin Nurse. Have a look at you magazine on Twitter his follow up story is in the latest edition.
I foudn the article online regarding the incident, but can you direct me to the magazine you are referring to? I would like to reach out to him.
Thank you for making me aware of this.
We lost our first baby at 12 weeks and 4 days of pregnancy. On our baby’s due date, we released a kids’ helium balloon into the air with a message of love on its tail.
Feeling sad that our child never survived long enough to know the joy of a cuddle, I bought a teddy-bear charm for him (I will always believe he was a boy) and I wear it now, alongside charms that mean something for my other kids, every day he is with me.
My wife an I do a ballon release, make a birthday cake and sign happy birthday. Great way to remember.
I carry a token in my pocket most days that is in the shape of a heart. These a all ways to keep them close to you.
Thanks for sharing.