We never forget those we have lost. Their names are forever etched in hearts. Many people do things to honor their lost loved one in some way. Some people plant a tree, create a scholarship at their loved one’s school, plan an annual walk or run, etc. It takes time to figure out what you want to do.
A couple of our friends suggested creating a remembrance Facebook page for my son, Justin Back. I have seen other pages like this, and I decided to make ours into something that is positive to share with others. I love to talk about my children… always have. So what I do is post pictures of our [three] boys at different ages and tell a story to go with each image. We live in a very small community in Ohio and Justin touched so many lives with his bright smile and positive outlook. Thanks to our Facebook page, those who didn’t know Justin before sure know him now! I have had such a positive response to our page, with people asking me to keep it going because it inspires them. This is such a compliment to me because Justin was amazing and left quite the legacy for just being 18 years old. You can follow our Facebook page HERE.
Another thing that I have done is to create a book filled with all of the good memories of Justin. Justin has two brothers, Jake and Dakota. This memory book can be given to their future children, the nieces and nephews who will not have the honor of knowing their Uncle Justin, a true hero.
We also created this website to help others during the grieving process, as well as to provide education and awareness so that tragedies such as ours may be prevented.
Because Justin’s life was taken from him (and from us), we are working on passing stricter laws for sentencing once someone is convicted of murder. We will share more information about Justin’s Law as it surfaces.
In addition to the work and projects above, we are organizing a balloon launch as well as a 5k walk/run to raise funds for The Justin Back Memorial Scholarship Fund.
All of this, we do to honor Justin.
Some other ideas:
Create botanical garden in your loved one’s honor. Every time you care for the garden, you will think of the child or sibling who has passed.
Have a plaque made with his/her name on it and place in a special place.
If he/she liked to run, as Justin did, then become a runner! This makes me think of him every time I run. He is urging me on.
Make a memory shadow box filled with special things that remind you of your child. i.e. medals, toys, pictures, etc.
Make a blanket out of your loved one’s t-shirts so that you can keep it close to you.
Remember, it takes time to get to the point where you can plan memorial projects and events. In the beginning of your journey, all you can think of is what you have lost, just as I did.
What are some other ways to honor the loss of a loved one? I would love to hear them and remember, your ideas may help someone else!