Marking the Death of a Loved One: 6 Ways to Celebrate Their Life

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After a loved one passes away, everyday life takes on an entirely new tone. In particular, after the loss of a spouse or a child who has been with you day in and day out for years or even decades, simple tasks like morning coffee, grocery shopping and watching television are suddenly different.

The loss becomes less profound as the days progress and time begins to ever so slightly heal the pain of grief. But when the anniversary of a loved one’s death approaches - especially the first one - those feelings of loneliness can come flooding back.

Just as people process grief and loss in their own unique ways, the same can apply to dealing with the anniversary of a death. Some people may prefer to spend the day alone, while others need the closeness of family or friends.

It may feel natural to grieve the loss all over again, but another way to mark the day is by celebrating the life of your spouse, child or loved one. It's a way to mark the many ways that person impacted your life and the time you had together.

Here are 6 ways you can celebrate a loved one on the anniversary of their death:

1. Eat what they loved

Did your spouse or family member have a favorite restaurant? Gather a group of friends for dinner, order a bottle of champagne and toast the beautiful life you shared with your loved one. Or maybe the person enjoyed a special family recipe. Cook that dish and invite some neighbors over to enjoy it with you.

2. Fire up the DVD player

Go through your DVDs or Netflix to find your loved one’s favorite movie – preferably a comedy. Pop some popcorn and have a good laugh.

3. Throw a party

Was your spouse a social butterfly who loved hosting dinner parties? Or was his idea of a perfect Saturday grilling steaks with neighbors and friends? Plan a party, invite your best friends and know your loved one is smiling down on the festivities.

4. Craft a perfect day

There’s a good chance your family member or friend had a much-loved hobby, activity or even a favorite spot to visit. Commemorate the anniversary of their death by doing what they loved. Go hiking, visit a beloved park, play a round of golf or relax on the beach.

5. Be generous

This is also a great time to think about creating a lasting legacy for your loved one. Maybe it’s establishing a named scholarship at their alma mater, gathering a group of friends to volunteer with a special charity or spending the day advocating for a cause they supported. What better way is there to keep their memory alive than to give back?

6. Do something for yourself

Especially if this is the first anniversary of your loved one’s death, it’s been a truly difficult year. Give yourself a break from the grieving and plan something you enjoy – reading a book on the beach, getting a massage or having coffee with a close friend. Your departed loved one or spouse would be happy to know you were taking care of yourself and your own emotional health.

Whether it’s the first year or the 10th, the day you lost a loved one will forever be marked with a twinge of sadness. By focusing on all that person brought to your life and the time you had together, you’ll end the day wrapped in happy memories.

Stuhr Funeral Home has been a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years. They understand that times of grieving are difficult, especially on the anniversary of a loss. Their team is dedicated to providing the best and most professional care for local clients during their time of grieving and healing.

For more information, visit or call (843) 723-2524.


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