This past week in my meditation journey, I’ve been facing something relatively new: the idea of honoring someone’s memory in a healthy way. You see, I found out that one of my close high school friends had unexpectedly died, which sent me through all the normal ups and downs of dealing with grief. This process eventually landed me on the thought that I wanted to honor their life, as many do after losing someone. I began thinking about how you can honor someone in a healthy way as a part of your meditation practice. Here’s what I came up with after giving it some thought.
Take yourself out of it
In my opinion, it winds up being regular human nature to become a bit selfish about the idea of death. We tend to take death personally, as it’s a concept that we are not fully comfortable with. Humans tend to be naturally wired to fear the unknown—a behavioral instinct that exists to protect us, but tends to kick in when we experience loss. This, in turn, can make the loss of someone about ourselves if we’re not careful, and sometimes rightfully so, as we are experiencing our own pain that comes with loss. After all, it is our loss, too. But in my experience, I find the healthiest way to honor someone’s memory is to separate your pain from their memory and heal your own emotional hurt first and foremost. Then, with yourself taken out of it, you can truly focus on the person you are honoring, the one who died. It can take time to be able to look back on someone’s life without feeling pain. But eventually, if you focus on meditating and healing yourself, you will be able to. There are some great healing meditations in the Expand app that I would recommend to help you heal in your time of need.
I began thinking about how you can honor someone in a healthy way as a part of your meditation practice. Here’s what I came up with after giving it some thought.
Relive the good
People say that those who have died live on in you and your memories. This can be a hard thought to grasp when you are dealing with grief and loss, but it’s true. If existence is defined by someone having “an objective reality,” who’s to say that the fact that they once lived isn’t enough to keep them alive in your positive thoughts and memories after they pass on. So, meditating and taking a few minutes to relive the good memories you had with them is a beautiful way to honor them. It’s a way to push their image back out into the universe each day, keeping a little spark of them alive as you address the thought of them from time to time.
Honor their legacy
If you want to take it a step further than just reliving the good times you had with them, you can find a way to honor their legacy through your daily actions. Perhaps, you tell one of their stories to someone else from time to time. We tend to do this naturally, especially when we have positive memories about someone. Maybe they loved a type of tree, so you plant a tree in their memory. It’s a beautiful way to start a new life while honoring their legacy. If they loved to garden, you can start your own garden with their favorite plants. Turning their loves into a positive action you take is a beautiful, poetic way to honor someone’s legacy. That way, too, if someone asks about your new tree or your garden, you can share the story of your loved one. It can all come together full circle.
We tend to view death in such a negative way as, especially when we are hurting, it can be hard to see anything else. But when we are able to think of that person fondly and bring forth a positive feeling about who they were and how they lived, we can then honor their life long after they have passed on.
Turning their loves into a positive action you take is a beautiful, poetic way to honor someone’s legacy.
In my case, I created a specialized 20-minute daily meditation through the Expand app to first heal myself and then to help bring forth and honor the memory of my friend by taking a few minutes each day to focus on the positive impact they left on the world. I find that this not only helped me to move past what had happened but also allowed me to honor their memory in the best possible way.