In memory of my sister Caren: April 15, 1962-February 14, 2013
My sister died on Valentine’s Day. Not that there is a good day to die, but when loss falls near a holiday or any other noteworthy day in your life, it’s hard to separate public celebrations from private grieving.
Here are a few ideas to refashion a holiday, and include the remembrance of someone you loved and lost:
- Write a letter
- Light a candle
- Tell someone about them
- Donate money in their name
- Volunteer at a charity they would have liked
- Do something you loved to do together on that day
- Tell a funny story about them
- Create an online tribute or chat about them online
- Say a prayer
- Do a few acts of kindness
- Set aside time private time to grieve
- Listen to music they liked
- Plant something–when Big Papa’s cat Cleo died, we buried her in the garden and planted Bleeding Heart around her
- Cook or bake something they enjoyed or you enjoyed together–I make Moosewood Mushroom Barley Soup every year on the anniversary of my friend Dee’s death
As for me, it is a surreal feeling to go from having one sibling, to none. Even though Caren had cancer twice as a child, and a lifetime of health challenges, she always managed to pull through. Part of me was convinced she always would. But this time, she didn’t.
On this Valentine’s Day, to commemorate my sister, I’d like to share my favorite version of her favorite song.
Take the road less traveled, Beth