The anniversary of a death is often a difficult and emotional day. So, it’s important to understand how to reach out to those grieving in the most comforting and helpful way. We’ve put together a detailed list of suggestions for you to consider so that you can find the right way to let your loved one know you’re thinking of them.
Writing a sentimental letter and sending it off can be a wonderful way to reach out to those grieving the loss of a loved one. The letter itself can be short and sweet, or it can be a little more detailed. You can send a quick note that lets those grieving know you’re thinking about them during this difficult time and that they have your support.
Or you can write a longer letter that includes some of your favorite memories of the deceased. Just as well, you might consider adding some comforting quotes, verses, or poems in your letter. You can also include anything else that might help them feel a sense of love and support. However you decide to do it, the important thing is that your loved one feels your unconditional support.
If it’s appropriate, you can also offer to hold a small memorial service to commemorate the anniversary of their loved one’s death. This doesn’t have to be an extravagant affair either.
It might be beneficial to keep the gathering exclusive to their nearest and dearest friends. You can hold the ceremony at your home, cook a hot meal for those in attendance, and offer memorial service pamphlets as a keepsake.
Or you can invite those grieving to join you for a cup of coffee and good conversation at their favorite café. Again, the most important thing is to ask your loved ones what will be most comfortable for them. This will ensure that you’re supporting them in the most helpful way.
Similarly, you can also hold a special celebration on the anniversary of a death, such as a BBQ or a picnic in the park. This might provide those grieving with the opportunity to spend some time with the people closest to them and feel supported during this challenging yet important time in their grieving process.
It also gives everyone a moment to pause, enjoy each other’s company, and perform symbolic acts of remembrance. For instance, you could light a candle for the deceased as the sun sets over the park. You could also hold a balloon or lantern release as the celebration starts to end.
If those grieving are open to the idea, you might also offer to take your loved one to do an activity in remembrance of the deceased. You might offer to go on a bike ride or take them on a hike. This might be especially soothing for those grieving a loved one who was outdoorsy and enjoyed participating in these kinds of activities themselves.
In any case, getting outside for a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature can be a meaningful way to soothe those who are grieving. And if you like, you can even take a moment during the hike to stop, rest, and share your favorite stories about the deceased. Or you can simply sit in the quiet and enjoy the solitude of the wilderness around you.
In the same vein, you might also reach out to those grieving and ask them to join you for a small gathering on the beach. You can hold a modest get-together with a few of their closest friends and family. Or if they’d prefer it, you can offer to make the event closed to just the two of you.
Either way, experiencing the power of the ocean can often be a therapeutic and healing experience. Sitting and watching the waves roll in might help them find some comfort and closure as they process the emotions that come with the anniversary of a loved one’s death.
Of course, you can also offer to treat those grieving to dinner and drinks at their loved one’s favorite restaurant or bar. Again, you can invite a small group, or you can keep it as minimal as possible. You can take some time to enjoy a hot meal in the deceased’s favorite places.
You can also make the evening even more special by having everyone in attendance say something lovely about the deceased. Just remember that however you choose to honor the anniversary of the death, it needs to be in a way that’s helpful and soothing for those grieving.
If you’re trying to figure out how to reach out to those grieving more subtly, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of things you can do to let them know they’re in your thoughts without pushing too hard. For instance, you can send them remembrance gifts that remind them of the best parts of their life with the deceased.
Maybe they would appreciate a special keepsake like a memorial stone or keepsake jewelry. Or perhaps you can go in a different direction and craft a memory jar for them. You can get it started by taking a few small strips of paper and writing your favorite memories of the deceased on them; leave some blank ones in there, too, so that your loved one can write their own memories.
The most crucial thing to remember is that they need you to be present. And sometimes, all that your loved one will require is a kind word, a hug, or simply that you sit with them while they grieve quietly.
Grieving looks different for everyone, so while some people may benefit from being surrounded by their loved ones, others may prefer to spend the day in solitude. So, ensure that you’re considering what’s comfortable and natural for your loved one when you reach out.