How to Offer Personal Tribute to Those Who Have Died
The Four Noble Truths tell us sobering news. There is suffering, and impermanence of all things including us and our loved ones. Below I have listed several thing you can do to HONOR a person you have lost. Here is the list.
- Recall a special time before or at the time of death, and consider it a sacred place in space and time. Honor it and the person with the complete softness of your loving heart. Do this now if you wish to.
- Pray for the person you have lost – and the goodness in that lost relationship. You can do this if you are agnostic, even atheist. The prayer is to honor the loved person not to one of many gods.
- Go to your soft, suffering heart and fill it with joyous remembrances of your time with the person. Yes, the person has moved beyond; however, your internal and emotional memories are quite vibrant. They have made a special place for them self in your soul.
- You can carry this to a deeper level by seeing and touching special objects that belonged to the deceased. Or, you can set up a small shrine in your home to pay respect and honor whenever you wish to do so.
- Know that the deceased person would want you to recall your joy, so light up your senses and recall in mild meditative state the pleasant and happy experiences you both shared. If something happened with them that made you laugh, go there! This is what they wish for you.
- Listen to the music the lost person enjoyed, or read something inspirational.
- Think carefully of all the ways you could say goodbye again. Do it now if you wish to.
- Recall the smile on their face, and smile back. You may be surprised at how powerful this experience may be.
- Dedicate meritorious behavior to them. If you wish, set up some special program or fund to champion causes they cared about. The financial level is far less important than the emotional level of actually doing something.
- Write a special tribute about them in a journal. Write often, and read what your have written again and again.
- Lastly, work carefully to discover some ways to celebrate that person’s life and your relationship. Celebrate often and be calm within the warmth of your love.
For more information refer to Reoch, R. (1997). To Die Well: A Holistic Approach for the Dying and Their Caregivers. New York: Harper. See also Holecek, A. (2013). Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Boston: Snow Lion, pp. 312-314.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness