Chapter 4: Living with grief

Remembering the person who died

I remember my aunt on the anniversary of her death. I light a candle and I talk to her. I share dark humour with her because she would have liked that.

I post old photographs of him sometimes on social media and people share memories and stories about him in the comments. Remembering him this way with others who knew and loved him is such a special thing for me. The stories and memories are so precious.

For some time, you may find it very painful to think about the person who died. You may feel pressured to move on – to close this chapter and reclaim your old life. Remember that healing involves finding ways to balance paying attention to your thoughts and feelings with allowing yourself to take a break from them. Striking a balance between acknowledging your grief and engaging with the rest of your life is an ongoing process.

There may come a time when you can begin to shift your focus away from the person’s death to their life history. Remembrances, rituals, and other ceremonies can be stressful, but they can also bring comfort, providing a chance to reminisce. This might be through looking at photographs, sharing stories with others who knew the person, or creating a memorial.