Do a web page
If you don't have the expertise but you really want to
do a memorial and/or personal page, hire a teenager. No joke, this is what
I did. I also took a couple of one day classes at the local college and
watched my young 'webmaster' very closely. Now I'm able to do most
of the uploading and links myself. I feel like I've accomplished and learned
so much by doing these pages, and, I get to think about all the fun things
our family experienced with Jared too. That's the best part!
Surf the web
There are so many resources for help with grief it could
fill a telephone sized book. The first stop I made was at the Compassionate
Friends website and then I hit some educational sites dealing with suicide
and depression. Over time I have added some really good links here in JaredStory.com.
Never give up learning what you ache to know.
Read good Books
The first few weeks after Jared died it was very hard
to concentrate on anything except my pain but when I started reading various
books on the subject of suicide, what Heaven was like for those with a
"death" experience, the Purpose of Life, and the Holy Scriptures (John
14:27), I began to feel a lot more peace inside. Don't read trash or senseless
books or magazines that have no real meaning, especially things that will
get you down. Use your reading time wisely with uplifting, self improvement
and educational books. And if you have someone in the family who can't
read, read to them out loud. They will enjoy the time you spend with them
and you both will benefit in healing.
Plant a memorial tree
Put the tree anywhere you are allowed to put it. Some
people have planted them at the Cemetery where their loved one is laid
and others in their own back yard. Some very nice people from Bill's work
came to our home a few weeks after Jared died and planted a little tree
in our backyard. I even put Jared's magstep's (magnetic insoles) in with
the tree's roots to help it grow. It's beauty, as it grows, help us remember
how awesome life is.
Design your loved one's headstone
The headstone doesn't have to look like everyone else's.
Bill took on this project himself. Thinking of Jared's life, Bill
added mountains where Jared loved to camp, a river where canoeing and swimming
were fun, a log in the river because Jared was good at balancing on a log,
a cactus because Jared was born in Arizona, and a boy standing on a bird
rock (at his grandparents home in Idaho) because Jared would climb to the
top and act like 'Rocky Balboa'.
Make a treasure box
Take an old shoe box and wrap it in decorative paper.
Wrap the lid separately so you can get in and out of the box as desired.
Put things in the box that remind you of your child. You can live your
child's life for him/her through the treasure box. I made a treasure box
for my brother, Jared, and I wrapped it in brown paper (it appeared more
masculine). I decorated the outside of the box with pictures I had cut
from magazines (bikes, angels, etc.). When Jared would of turned 16, I
will put a small toy car in the box. When Jared would have attended college,
I will put something in the box that has to do with college. As time goes
on, more things can be added to symbolize Jared's aging. (written by Sonja
Keep a journal
I have been writing in my journal since I was 9 years
old and it is a wonderful way to express your thoughts and feelings. When
Jared died, I made an account of the incident and continued to record my
feelings in my journal. I write poems that express my thoughts and I record
memorable experiences that I had with Jared. I recently went back and read
my journal before Jared died and months after his death. I noticed the
phases that I went through and noted the improvements. It is amazing how
much we change when we lose a loved one, we either get better or bitter
and I could see in my journal that I took the better path. (written by
Use anniversaries to have
Do something your child enjoyed doing. This year, my
family plans to go hiking or camping on the anniversary of Jared's death.
Jared loved hiking and camping so we felt this would be a good way to remember
Jared's outdoor, adventurous spirit. The last thing you should do on an
anniversary is sit home and think about your child's death. This is not
only painful and depressing, but it has no healing benefit. Your loved
one would want you to have fun and live life to its fullest. Life is too
short to not have fun, even on a sad day. (written by Sonja)
Surely there is a hymn or song that is uplifting to your
heart. In your moments of despair, hum or sing a song that puts you in
a good mood. Maybe you think there is nothing to sing about, but there
is! You are still alive and your loved one is watching over you from the
most glorious existence of heaven and you will someday reunite with him/her.
(written by Sonja)
It's not only healthy but it will keep you busy and on
the move. I taught Jared how to do "The Bump" a few years ago. That was
a lot of fun for both of us. There are many different styles of dance,
from formal to square dancing, country, and waltzing. Turn on the stereo
and go banana's! (http://www.bananasite.com/)
Don't let anyone see this, or you might get embarrassed... or they
might get embarrassed, ...or, what the heck and who cares,... ask
your friend to join you!!
Enjoy your child's autograph.
Jared's autograph is so spirited and childlike. The papers in Jared's room
with his autograph on were all saved. Some people have them copied and
make letterheads and stationary with them, a great way to help others remember
your child. And other parents have their child's autograph put onto
photos before hanging. Try putting the autograph on a plaque with a cute
verse or saying that your child was remembered for. Remember, with
computers, copiers and scanners, just about anything is possible today.
Create stationary and
with your child's picture or artwork on it. As mentioned above,
technology makes anything possible. The local Technical Schools usually
have printing classes and they might be happy to help you with your printing
and designing needs for a small fee. Also, local printers will give excellent
suggestions for your project.
Do your own personalized, special
cards. Christmas is a great way to help others remember
your loved one. Remember, that The Savior, his birth, his life, his death
his Resurrection is the hope and faith we have in seeing our loved one
again. Christmas is a wonderful way to remember the eternal purposes of
our tests in life. Let Christmas time be a time of hope and celebration,
knowing that you'll see your loved one again.
Use a deep frame box to
special items. Check out the hobby stores for the deep inset
frames, or build one yourself. Make it deep enough to put in the
special items your loved one enjoyed. How about some fabric from the first
prom dress your child wore, a little McDonnalds toy that was especially
liked, or the first pair of glasses they wore. There is a lot of room for
imagination here. May I suggest that each sibling in the family could
add an item they most remember their brother or sister for. This makes
the frame box even more meaningful when it's ready to be hung.
Attend a Survivor's of Suicide
(SoS) group - Look in your local
paper for locations of these groups. Many times they are coordinated with
a Hospice House or a Chaplain. When Bill and I have attended, we have been
able to receive non-judgmental love and encouragement from our Chaplain
friend. Communication of our feelings and listening skills in the family
are encouraged and developed.