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Grief Rituals

Grief rituals can help with honoring a loved one’s memory and can be a powerful comfort to a bereaved individual. Rituals can help maintain the connection with a deceased loved one, create meaning for the loss and foster healing and peace. No one ritual will work for everyone – even in the same family. It is important for individuals to create a ritual that will have the most meaning and healing for them.

 Some ideas that have been helpful are:

  • Buy a special candle and light it at times that are special to honor your loved one’s memory (birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day).
  • Create a scrapbook to give to someone in the family or to share memories.
  • Plant a tree or shrub in memory of your loved one.
  • Make a donation to a loved one’s favorite charity.
  • Offer a scholarship in a loved one’s name.
  • On birthdays, holidays or other special days buy your loved one a gift and donate it to an agency, hospital, nursing home.
  • Have/serve a loved one’s favorite recipe/food. 
  • Visit/take flowers to a loved one’s grave. 
  • Place a single flower in a bud vase in a prominent place in the person’s memory.
  • Encourage children to draw pictures or create gifts that remind them of the person.
  • Have a birthday party on his/her birthday.
  • Write a letter or note to your loved one.
  • Have a “memory gathering” where everyone shares pictures and favorite stories.