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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorials - Bridge To A Fulfillng Future

Many times when we've lost a loved one we step away from the past in order to deal with the present and plan for the future. Certainly this is essential to our survival. But we must always take time out to remember, in order to heal, console and be able to truly move on. That said, a memorial can be a bridge to the future. A granting to oneself persmission to fully connect to ones past and still plan for a fulfilling life. 

This weekend many will be following a national celebration to remember lost loved ones. Some will be engaged in festive celebration. Others will choose to spend the day in somber reflection. Some may not know just what to do. A few may even dread the days activities for fear they will slip back into mourning.

Mourning is a necessary process the mind and body require in order to flush itself of shock, feelings of sudden abandonment and dispair.  At the end of the process one is better able to embrace the memory of the loved one and draw comfort from what they have been given by that one.

The day this process takes place is not important. Whether it is best you  surround yourself with friends and family or are alone with your thoughts all depends on what works for you. What matters most is that we allow the process to run it's course and see it thru.

How do some choose to remember? It all depends on what works best for you and yours.

Fun Family Crafts
One family made a family photo tree.  With each photo placed on the tree a biographical paragraph was written underneath. Each family member contributed one sentence to the biography.

Another family worked on a keepsake memory book. The in memoriam page was the project of the day. Each family member examined several photos and tried to remember the story behind them. Others read excerpts from past journals. The process lead to clarity of memory, a few tears and a lot of laughter.
This process helps each family member to respectfully build a bridge, a clear reconnection to that loved one while learning to accept the fact that we all have our place in time.  As we embrace the memories in such a way, others will learn to embrace the memory we leave others, building yet another bridge that connects the past to a fulfilling future.

Other families just talk. Starting off each topic with "remember when" can help each family member contribute to the discussion while finding a way to trigger a fond memory that opens the doors to a happy place everyone can still enjoy does wonders.

Family Reunion Keepsake Memory Bookket Maker

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