The loss of a loved one is always difficult, and for many children losing their grandparents is their first experience in dealing with death. It can be a hard time for you as a parent, as you yourself deal with the loss of a parent while helping your children manage their grief. It is vital for you and your kids to be open and honest about the passing of a grandparent, what happens next, and how you’re feeling.
Kids often mimic the behavior of adults, so it is crucial not to bottle up your emotions. Instead, show them it is okay to be sad, and that grief is a natural if difficult part of life. There are many ways to keep the memories of a beloved grandparent, and the options you choose will depend on what works best for you and your family.
Do Some Favorite Activities Together
Whether it’s knitting, woodcutting, or baking, doing a beloved activity can be an excellent way for your kids to feel connected with their grandparents after they’re gone. Doing an activity that a grandparent loved can also be a great way to bond as a family and keep treasured memories fresh in your minds.
Encourage Them To Keep A Diary Of Memories
Thinking about a loved one that has passed can be difficult, but over time your kids will appreciate more and more the memories they made with their grandparent. Encouraging them to make a diary to express their feelings and note down their memories can be a great way to improve their mental health and keep them connected with their grandparent.
Many enthusiastic diary writers credit the practice with helping them work through difficult times and reduce issues like anxiety and depression. They can also be a fun activity, from choosing your very own diary to decorating the entries.
Frame Birthday Card Messages
Birthday cards are often kept in folders tucked away around the house or recycled to reduce clutter. A great way to upcycle a birthday card from a grandparent who has passed could be the frame the message inside. The messages inside birthday cards are often heartfelt, making them especially poignant after the sender has passed.
All you need is a suitably sized frame, and you’re good to go. If you have a lot of cards from a grandparent, you could consider framing a few select options or making a memory book of card messages throughout the years.
Host A Celebration Of Life
A celebration of life, unlike a funeral, is held a period of time after the death of a loved one. In some cases, it may be weeks or months, and in others, years. Some choose to host celebrations of life each year on important anniversaries.
It is intended as a way for people to share their memories and love of someone at a time when the grief of loss may not be as intense as it once was. It can be a great opportunity for kids to learn more about their grandparents and the many lives they touched. Take a look at Greenvelope’s guide for some ideas on how to throw your own celebration of life.
Make A Photo Album
If you’re like most families, you likely have a trove of photos from throughout the years, though most are probably more recent and taken with your smartphone. Creating a photo album can be an excellent option to keep the precious memories of a grandparent alive. You could make it a family project, with the kids choosing some of their favorite images of their grandparent to include. It is also a good idea to make notes next to each photo explaining the time, date and activity involved.
Gift Them Some Treasured Jewelry
Knowing what to do with a loved one’s jewelry after they’ve passed can be difficult. You might not want to donate or recycle their jewelry, but if it is not your style, you may not want to keep it either. Gifting pieces to your kids can be a great option and can give them a keepsake to help them remember their grandparent with.
Cook A Favorite Recipe Together
Most people remember a signature dish that their grandparents used to make them. Some might remember even more, but there is often one standout dish. Cooking this dish together as a family can be a great way to remember your loved one and keep their memory alive in your home. Not only this, but our sense of smell is closely linked to our memories, so filling the house with the aroma of a grandparent’s cooking can be a great way to make memories stronger.
Talk About Them Often
It is essential to talk about a loved one after they’ve passed. It may be painful, to begin with, but over time it will feel easier and easier. Talking about a grandparent that has passed can help kids to grieve and show them that it is okay to be sad. It can also show that it is okay to think about the good times with their grandparent and be happy.