After a loved one dies, what is the one thing you miss the most? This is a question I ask when families share their memories with me. Below are five of the most popular responses.
- “I miss his voice and hearing him laugh.” This is the Number 1 response. Everyone has a unique voice and laugh. Often, voice messages are saved and it’s comforting to play them back to hear their voice.
- “She was the best hugger! Her hugs, definitely her hugs. Warm, welcoming and loving.”
- “Advice – he was someone you could talk to and he always had the right words. Whether it was fixing something or solving a problem.”
- “Her smile, she smiled a lot and it was contagious. When I go to bed at night, I picture her smiling and it makes me smile.”
- “His daily texts and phone calls. Every time I look at my phone, I think of him.”
When reading these responses do you think of what you miss the most of those who have passed on? OR make you wonder what people will miss the most about you when you are gone? Interesting questions for self-reflection or conversations to have with friends and family.
During one dialogue with a wonderful family, this question sparked creating a theme for their sister’s Celebration of Life. These six siblings remembered their oldest sister reading bedtime stories to them. When they grew up and had children of their own – she became the favorite Aunt who read stories to them. The theme for her Celebration of Life was Storytelling. Family members read chapters and excerpts from children’s books. Closing with Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. Guests received customized bookmarks with a photo of her reading to a group of children, a quote and a list of favorite Children’s Books.
As we continue to pivot our way through the uncertainties of Covid and Omicron we may be asking ourselves, “What do we miss the most?” The list may be long and we can also feel gratitude for all we have. Remember that you can make a difference in someone’s day. Reach out with a phone call, text or a card in the mail. Sometimes the smallest gestures of kindness will bring a bit of happiness to someone at just the right time.
- Anita Larson is a Ceremony Leader and Officiant who blogs about her experiences with Celebrations of Life. Providing uncommon ideas and encouraging her readers to “Think Outside the Coffin®” when planning a Fabulous Farewell.