Dreams & Rituals
We have many things we do in memory of Clara. We don’t really call them rituals but when I looked into the meaning of the word, I think they would fall under that category. I think we shy away from the word “ritual” because for many it has a very religious meaning. Like worshipping something other than God. I wouldn’t say we do that with our honors in memory. We simply make these special events something we look forward to and do each year.
In Memory #1:
Lach Legacy’s annual Run for Their Live’s. We have been fortunate (or unfortunate, if your glass is half empty) to attend it from the very first year. It took a couple of years but we established our family picture to be taken while we are there. It helps to see this picture change each year. You see, when school pictures come home every fall, we get to change five pictures but one stays the same. Getting to see this family picture change takes the place of changing hers. It brings me comfort to be making memories that include her. We will keep doing this as long as it goes on, even if it means a 7 hour drive 🙂
In Memory #2:
No birthday is complete without a birthday cake. The first few years it is hard to celebrate. As I look back I wish I would have realized just what birthdays are all about. I wish I hadn’t been so sad and angry. I missed out on a day to celebrate the life we held. She left us with so many good memories and those deserve to be celebrated. It was Chris’s idea for the Barbie Doll cakes. I love making them and I am thankful to be able to celebrate even when I am sad or disappointed.
In Memory #3:
May 12th is a hard day for us. In the past I have always visited Elaine. I feel like she is sometimes forgotten in our loss. Her love for Clara was, and still is, evident. I miss having the chance to connect with her, to hug her. I failed on this memory maker this year but hopefully we can connect next year, even if it is only through the FaceTime or Google Chat.
This is a day we often release balloons. The kids like to write messages to send to Heaven. One year a couple balloons got caught in a tree. The boys were very upset. I told the boys that maybe Clara couldn’t read them all at once. By morning they had flown off and the boys were happy. (PS. I know it isn’t environmentally friendly but my boys got a lot of comfort from it so we did it.)
It has been a couple of years since we did this on her angelversary. The older boys have gotten older and it isn’t the same for the little kids. Their losses are so different. It is sometimes challenging to balance the two different losses as well as my husbands and my own.
In Memory #4:
Each Christmas we give gifts to little girls around, what would be, Clara’s age. In the beginning it meant a chance to walk down the girls aisle and add dolls and strollers and barbies to our cart. It was healing for both of us especially when we are shopping for 4 boys and know what we are missing out on.
This year we will search for a 7yo. In a way this will be a golden year. There are seven of us purchasing seven gifts for seven seven year olds. The kids enjoy getting to pick their own gift to give. It is our way of remembering and making memories that include Clara.
We do many more things but these are the ones that are really important to us. They open doors for us to talk about Clara’s life and keep her a part of ours. It is so hard to forget the little girl who gave us so much to remember. Our rituals help us to remember, to celebrate.