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Surviving Milestones



Remember, there really is no right or wrong way to honor your child. Do what feels right or is best for you and your family. These are merely suggestions:

  • Plant a garden (in your front/back yard or community)

  • Make a memory Shadow Box

  • Take memorial pictures at cemetery or cremation site or with urn

  • Make a scrapbook / photo scrapbook of items worn/used or bought for child

  • Make or buy a personalized piece of jewelry with your child’s name, date or initial

  • Get a Tattoo of your child (name, photo, date)

  • Take photos of something in nature that help you feel closer to your angel (light, butterflies, flowers, dragonflies, etc…)

  • Collect an art piece that reminds you of your love for your child

  • Make a charitable contribution in your child’s name to your favorite charity or organization

  • Collect candles with scents that remind you of your child

  • Create a place in your home for your child’s special things

  • Purchase and name a crater on the moon after your child

  • Name a star after your child (unofficial, but still cool)

  • Start a charity or non-profit to help others in your situation

  • Keep a blog and write your heart. You can even make it private if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your journey with others

  • Speak to your hospital about starting or being involved with the bereavement support program available

  • Order a charm bracelet

  • Get a custom portrait done

  • Plant a tree

  • Donate memory boxes to your local hospital

  • Donate to a local charity in their name

  • Do a butterfly release

  • Speak their name to anyone willing to listen

  • Collect little things here and there that remind you of them

  • Attend a concert

  • Write a letter to them

  • Send off water lanterns at a nearby lake or beach in their memory

  • Order a personalized baby memorial candle




The holiday season brings an onslaught of media messages that say that this is “the happiest, most joyful time of the year.” Holiday songs convey this message. Magazine covers extol the fun of decorating, cooking, and family gatherings. The holiday bar is set high and it can intensify our loss(es). How can we get through the holidays?


  • Re-invent the holidays
    Often, people are stuck in holiday traditions that no longer work yet they feel compelled to continue. Evaluate what you really enjoy and what you don’t and go with it.

  • Don’t hide your grief
    Try to be honest about what you’re going through — at work, at home, and with your friends.

  • Celebrate your progress
    When you’re approaching an important milestone in your grief journey, you may think you should be happier, or more functional, or farther along in the healing process — and it’s tempting to beat yourself up for that. Let go of your expectations about how your grieving process is supposed to look and be pleased with the steps you did take. It’s important to acknowledge and honor your progress.

  • Give yourself permission not to observe a milestone
    It’s okay to sidestep a milestone celebration such as a traditional holiday.In old European cultures, people who lost someone would wear black for an extended period of time. Their community would know that that person was going to have a different year and give her time to go into the fruitful darkness of her loss.

  • Remember your loved one through a ritual
    Create a family ritual of your own — one that keeps the memory of your loved one alive. It can be as simple as visiting their grave and sharing your favorite stories about them, lighting a candle or starting a foundation in the loved one’s name, encouraging your family and community to engage in a meaningful act of giving back.

  • Reach out for support
    Although it’s tempting to isolate yourself when you’re grieving, you’ll do better with support. Reach out to a therapist or a trusted spiritual guide or a grief support group. Stay connected to supportive family members and friends.




Surviving Milestones
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