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10 Ways to Immortalize a Loved One

10 Ways to Immortalize a Loved One

Losing a loved one is a universally shared experience. However, the pain and emotion we experience is still deeply personal.

It can be difficult to accept that your friend or family member won’t be around anymore, but there are many things you can do to ensure his or her memory lives on forever:

1. Plant a Tree Using Their Ashes

plant a tree

    There is something humanly beautiful about the circle of life. Cremation creates the opportunity to experience this phenomenon first hand. Use your loved one’s ashes to plant a tree in their honor.

    Companies like Bios Urn and Poetree allow you to use the memory of a deceased family member or friend to impact the world in a meaningful and environmentally friendly way.

    2. Name a Star After Them

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    stars

      Stars are powerful representations for many of us, both figuratively and literally. If your deceased friend or family member was an astronomy enthusiast or just represented a strong influence in your life, star-naming is a wonderful option.

      The International Star Registry is a company that will allow you to commemorate the name and memory of your loved one beautifully.

      3. Get Their Portrait Tattooed on Your Skin

      tattoo

        If you are a body-art enthusiast, having a portrait of your loved one tattooed on your body can be a very personal way to pay tribute to someone.

        Just be sure to choose a reputable artist to get the best quality work. The last thing you want is a bad experience associated with something so meaningful.

        4. Keep a Diary of Your Thoughts to That Person

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        journal

          Sometimes losing someone means being left with unexpressed feelings. Other times it means positive life experiences lose their luster when they can’t be shared with a loved one who has gone on.

          Journal writing can be very therapeutic. Perhaps writing to the person you’ve lost and sharing your emotions, dreams, concerns and thoughts can keep his or her memory alive.

          5. Print and Frame a Collage of Old E-mails or Texts They Sent to You

          collage

            We tend to miss the everyday things about the people we lose. Maybe your best friend would send you funny emails every Friday. Or maybe your husband would send you sweet texts as he thought of you throughout the day.

            Crafting a collage or shadow box with reminders of the person you loved can serve as a source of inspiration.  Or, when you’re feeling down, these beautiful reminders can lift your spirits.

            6. Start a Charity or Advocacy Movement in Their Honor

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            charity

              Many people find it fulfilling to advocate on behalf of friends or family members who died tragically or unjustly. Pushing for change in the name of your loved one gives a tragic death an honorable memory.

              The family of Kyle Lewis started an amoeba awareness campaign after the four-year-old died from an amoeba contracted while swimming in fresh water. The family spreads awareness about freshwater swimming and provides nose plugs for free.

              7. Don’t Lose Touch With Their Family

              stay in touch

                Families often become distant when people pass away. Keeping in touch with each other not only keeps the memory of your loved one alive, but also honors the loved one’s desire to see your families stay together.

                It doesn’t take much to periodically call or send a card to siblings or cousins. Just let them know you’re thinking of them.

                8. Remember Their Birthday Every Year

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                birthday

                  Birthdays can be really hard for surviving family members and friends. Instead of being sad, though, many people throw birthday parties, visit their loved one’s grave site or participate in some other activity in their memory.

                  9. Write a Creative Nonfiction Story About What They Meant to You

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/34222973@N08/3402221680

                    Special experiences shared with loved ones are dear to us. After a close friend or relative has passed away, remembering the good times and shared experiences helps keep their memory alive.

                    Write a short story about a particularly inspiring, deep or positive shared moment. It’s a wonderful way to both express yourself and share the memory of your companion with others.

                    10. If You Can, Make Sure They Know How Much They Mean to You Right Now

                    know you care

                      One of life’s hardest lessons is learning that you must show and tell the people dear to you that you love and care about them. Make sure they know how much they mean to you now. Don’t wait until they’ve gone away to appreciate life with them.

                      While we all suffer greatly at the loss of loved ones (which speaks volumes for the strength of love), we can channel that grief into something beautiful by focusing on honoring their lives and memories.

                      Featured photo credit: pamhule via flickr.com

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                      Kayla Matthews

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                      Last Updated on September 17, 2018

                      7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

                      7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

                      Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

                      Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

                      When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

                      Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

                      1. You’re depressed about your home life.

                      No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

                      However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

                      If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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                      When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

                      You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

                      2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

                      Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

                      If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

                      You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

                      If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

                      3. You can’t stop snooping.

                      Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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                      I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

                      Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

                      So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

                      It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

                      If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

                      4. You’re afraid of commitment.

                      If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

                      Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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                      No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

                      If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

                      Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

                      5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

                      If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

                      Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

                      Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

                      Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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                      If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

                      6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

                      When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

                      When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

                      If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

                      7. You chase past feelings.

                      It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

                      You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

                      When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

                      Final thoughts

                      If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

                      Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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