The greatest fear in dying is being forgotten. When I didn’t think I would make it through radiation therapy for stage IV oral cancer, I worried about how and for how long I would be remembered. When I got a second chance, I made sure to start creating family rituals for those who passed whom I loved, so my children would know what to do for me.

Try these suggestions to keep the memory alive of someone you loved:

  • Light an extra candle at every birthday celebration to remember her.
  • Say a prayer for her together as a family on religious holidays.
  • On Thanksgiving, or any family dinner, express gratitude for the ways in which she enhanced your life.
  • On her birthday, make her favorite meal for your family.
  • When your children do something in a way that reminds you of her, let your children know how they are similar to her in spirit and talent.
  • At bedtime, instead of reading a book, tell a story about her.
  • If something happened during your day that reminded you of her, be sure to share with your children and light a candle or make a blessing.
  • Make a donation in her memory and write the check together with your children.
  • Watch a family movie or flip through a photo album and share those unforgettable stories.

    It is our obligation to remember those who have passed, so our children will know what to do for us. What traditions do you have to keep someone alive in your heart? Please share.

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