When I ask about a topic to write about, this comes up a lot! figuring out how to keep your angel’s memory alive is so important to our motherly instinct. Just because our child died, it DOES NOT mean they didn’t exist and can’t be remembered. It’s hard going day to day with a reminder that people go about their day as if a piece of the world is gone. It’s your duty as a mother or father to make sure the child’s memory is being protected. You ask, “How do I do that?”
Well, it’s sometimes rather difficult to imagine how to incorporate a missing person into a family event or even every day life, and that’s why I came up with this list. This list is what I do to keep my son Callan’s memory alive. At the bottom I’ll even add other suggestions that I’ve yet to do, but want to.
Family photographs including a photo of your angel – Like the above photo, I had another heart mom take my photo with an actual framed photo of my son before he passed. We use this photo in almost every picture we take to include him in what we are doing now. All you need to do is, pick your favorite picture of your angel, have it printed to an 8×10, frame it, and then have someone hold the frame while everyone gathers around for the family picture. This will keep your child included in all of the photos that happen after his or her passing.
Angelversaries – A lot of people do not know what an angelversary is, and that’s okay because I’m about to explain it to you. An angelversary is the anniversary of a death. So, Callan’s is February 11th, and every year we go out and set balloons free at his head stone. This date is the day you send messages, send things to heaven, and let the world know today you lost a piece of your heart.
Angel birthdays – Every birthday from after he passed until forever, I vowed to celebrate his birthday. I bake a superman cake and we go visit his head stone. We sometimes also do another balloon release. Today we celebrate a birthday that nobody acknowledges anymore. My son was born, and that day is still special, so I will forever celebrate the day he graced the world with his angelic presence.
Yearly Christmas Stocking Stuffer – On Christmas, I usually will find a small stocking stuffer sized sock monkey and place it in his stocking to ensure that even though he isn’t here physically, he will still always be a part of the family. I’ve known people to also take the money they’d spend on their angel and use that for the Angel Tree donations. Another thing I’ve known other loss parents to do is, have a toy drive in their child’s name and donate to Toys for Tots or another local charity.
Have a memorial shelf – When Callan passed away, my husband and mother in law boxed all of Callan’s stuff away to help us move forward, but we kept out his favorite things, pictures, his beads, and pacifier. We placed those things on a shelf, along with his photo album, memory box, and soil we took from the grave site so a piece of his new home will always be with us. This shelf has helped me more than words can express because it’s like I have a physical spot to look at and know he was real. When everything else moves on, I have this one sacred spot to look at.
Memorial Tattoo – I have two, so far, in memory of my son. I joke I’ll probably be fully tattooed in just tattoos for him. Tattoos, for me, are cathartic. There’s pain at first, but the permanence of the ink in memory of your angel validates they were real. It validates your thoughts, your grief, your tears, everything. Tattoos are a great way to keep your angel with your forever. I got Callan’s name and his exact EKG strip, one of his last heart beats that were recorded is on my skin. How much more real can one person get? The second tattoo I got is shared, Peter Pan for my son, and the moon for my daughter.
Butterfly Release – I’ve yet to do this, but I’m thinking of using this idea for Callan’s birthday this year. It’s safer for the environment, and to me, more symbolic than just balloons. Butterflies are a symbol for angels near by.
Paper Lanterns – You definitely have to check about burn bans, weather, and all sorts of stuff before doing this one, but I’d love to be able to have a full memorial service after dusk and float the lit paper lanterns to heaven. You’re supposed to be able to make wishes on them, and I’m a Disney fanatic, so I love the idea of tying in the beauty of Rapunzel’s light festival. It’s a beautiful and symbolic ceremony.
If you have anymore ideas on how to keep an angel’s memory alive, please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your feedback! Also Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.
Lots of love,