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Illness & Death
Illness & Death

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Donna Moore, Chair of Cedars UU Church, Pastoral Care Team in Bainbridge, WA

When a Young Person Dies; Keeping Their Memory Alive
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What can you do when a young person dies and you want to keep their memory alive? That's what one mom asked. She was deep in grief and she didn’t want her little girl forgotten. She wanted to keep her daughter a part of her life, but she was in so much pain, she couldn't figure out how she could do it.

When our son and daughter died in infancy, my husband and I also searched for ways to remember and honor their memory. We donated a rocking chair to the children's hospital where they were treated because there were never enough rocking chairs. It bore a plaque that stated it was in our children's memory and the doctors told us that they thought of us whenever they used the chair. We also donated children's books to a library and had a label affixed in memory of our children. And we  established and donated to a research fund at the hospital where they were treated.

In Elizabeth Edwards' book, "Saving Graces," she shares a number of things she did to keep her teenage son Wade's memory and spirit alive. She donated funds to create a computer lab in his memory at a local school and she also volunteered there. To remember Wade on the first anniversary of his death, she worked with a local ice cream store and prepaid for a number of cones. She then printed vouchers for a free ice cone in Wade’s memory that she distributed to children on the anniversary of his death.

A reader shared something similar; she ordered from a fast food restaurant and when it was time to pay, she was told her bill had been paid for. She was given a certificate that said she had been gifted with a random act of kindness in memory of a deceased child. It included a website that was a memorial to the child.

The same reader shared that a friend’s family made magnets to remember their beloved daughter and sister. They chose a quote: “Remember Cathy, live life with a shout not a whisper.” They had the quotes printed on regular printer paper and used magnet kits purchased at office supply stores. Family members keep the magnets on their refrigerators and it gives them an opportunity to think and talk about Cathy.

If you, too, are aware of creative ways to keep your loved one’s memory alive, please share them with us.


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