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Reflecting and honouring memories from a distance

15 May 2020

“Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars.”

Gilbert Parker

We have all been forced into a challenging situation with Covid-19 limiting travel, restricting operation of businesses and locations and also requiring us to maintain physical distance. Tragically, it falls at a time where some of us were meant to gather to farewell a loved one. We understand this is a difficult time for one and all, but this can be made even more challenging when we are grieving.

At SMCT, we want to let you know that we are here to support you as much as we can. Although we can’t all come together in groups and host remembrance services or celebrations of life as we might once have done, we can still honour the memories of our loved ones. We can still remember them and celebrate them.

Even in normal times, we can’t always be at the service or memorial of someone we love. So we’ve come up with five ways that you can honour a loved one when you can’t be there physically to say farewell or visit their resting place.

Light a candle in front of a favourite photo

Find a photo of the person you want to remember. This could be a photo that’s always been in your home or perhaps you want to choose a special one that could be shared to all family and friends that they can each print out. Place the photo in a spot that means something to you. It could be in the kitchen because they loved to cook. It might be the window where they can admire nature. It could be in the lounge room, the place where you come together and relax. Then place a candle with your photo and take a moment to reminisce in a memory or say some loving words out loud.

You might choose to do this more than once as it could be quite lovely and healing. It could be something you agree to do with a family member so that you can remember and share together. It’s a simple little thing but it can really warm your heart and make you feel more connected to the memory of your loved one.

Create a memorial spot in your garden

Although you may be too far to visit the grounds of our locations, having your own memorial in your garden can be a lovely way to honour your loved one.

Plant a tree, dedicate a small pot plant or create a garden feature. This can be a special spot where you go to visit and spend time remembering your loved one. It could also be a special place for your family to gather and remember together. The lovely thing about this way to honour them is that it can be a more permanent feature in your home. Something to cherish forever.

Write them a letter, one you will never post

You might have planned to read some words at the service of your loved one or planned to leave a note at their final resting place. The process of writing a letter to your loved one means you get to share all your thoughts, feelings and memories and send it out into the universe.

You can keep it somewhere safe, you can read it out loud or you can put it in a journal so you can add to it. Whatever you choose to do, sharing your memories and thoughts in the written word can be a beautiful way to honour them and writing can be so cathartic and healing.

Share a memory of them with someone you love

Speaking someone’s name out loud is one of the greatest ways to honour and remember them. It can be a true treasure for someone who has lost a loved one to get to speak of them again, out loud.

Perhaps call a family member or friend and ask if you can talk about your loved one. Share stories, memories and moments. You might laugh, you might cry. But you will be creating connections with your loved ones and bringing that person to life through your memories.


Send flowers to someone who is also grieving

Sometimes giving a gift and sharing how we feel can be one of the best ways to remember a loved one. If you want to show someone you love that you’re thinking of them, why not send some flowers. Our florist is open and you can order directly online here

Hold a virtual memorial online

We have all become fast friends with the likes of Zoom, Facetime and Video Messenger. They were sometimes used for work and sometimes used for staying in touch with family and friends. But during this time of social distancing, we have relied upon them to feel connected.

You can use this wonderful technology to hold a virtual memorial. Invite friends and family to meet online, via a link, and get to be together to remember them all at the same time. You might want to have a minutes silence, you might like to have someone read out a eulogy, or you might even want to have a big party to celebrate your loved ones life.

However you choose to gather, don’t feel disconnected at this time when we have to be physically distant from one another. Use these technologies to come together, see the faces of friends and family and honour the memory of the person you loved all at once.

We recently held our annual Mother’s Day Remembrance Service via streaming. It may be of support to you and give you ideas on how to host your own. You can watch it here.

This article was inspired by one of our wonderful Facebook friends who shared some ideas on how to remember and honour our loves ones from a far. Even in times when the crisis isn’t happening, it’s not always possible to be there to share in these important times of honouring and remembering. We hope some of these ideas will inspire you to create your own unique ways to celebrate their lives.

Please do reach out to us in the comments or on our social media channels to share your special moments.

If you are feeling worried or struggling to cope during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can call Lifeline or Beyond Blue for immediate help and support.

Lifeline

Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.

24 Hr Telephone Crisis Support – 13 11 14

lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue

No matter how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting you, Beyond Blue has information, strategies and expert advice to help support you.

Call 1800 512 348 24 hours / 7 days a week
Online forums 24 hours / 7 days a week

coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au