Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have lost their lives while serving our country. This national holiday is a day to remember them and their sacrifices.
This loss hits home more often in military families. We have friends who have lost their lives and friends who have lost their spouses. We know people who have received that knock on the door and we know how real Memorial Day can be to the people in our military community.
As military spouses, we might not be sure how we can remember our friends on Memorial Day.
But there are many ways to do so and ways to include our kids. We never want to forget these service members, their families and their sacrifices.
You can plan to attend a Memorial Day ceremony in honor of your friend or friends that were lost. You can take your children with you and explain to them why you are there in an age-appropriate way. Smaller children might not totally understand what is going on but over time, they will.
See what Memorial Day ceremonies are planned in your area by checking with your local newspaper, television station, American Legion or VFW. If you live near a military installation they might have something going on there to honor those who were lost.
While you are at the Memorial Day event you could wear a special shirt or piece of jewelry to remember your fallen friends. This can help make the family feel like they are still remembered and allow you to honor those that have been lost.
Another way to remember your friends on Memorial Day is to keep in touch with their family members, whether that be their spouse, parents or siblings. Let them know that you think of their loved one often and let them know you are thinking of them as well.
You might want to reach out to them on Memorial Day in order to let them know that they are loved and that you are honoring their loved one. When someone in your family dies, you get a lot of support and love at first but that support can stop after a few months. Reaching out to the family, who still might be hurting from the loss is a great idea if you are close enough to do so. Even a simple card sent in the mail can go a long way. You want them to know that you still love and miss your friend and think of them often.
Children can have a more difficult time when a family friend has passed away. Take the opportunity this Memorial Day to talk about this person with your child. Find out how they are processing the death and if they have any questions. If appropriate, you can take the child to the gravesite to leave flowers or another gift. You just want to make sure they know that you are there to talk about what happened whenever they need you to be. If they are quite young, they might not fully understand where their friend went. Talking about the great memories they have had with the friend can help until they are old enough to understand.
Memorial Day can bring up a lot of emotions and feelings, especially for members of the military. Having a plan of how to remember those in your life that you have lost is a good idea, both for you and your children. Whether they have been gone for just a couple of months or many years, grieving can take a lot of time and you don’t want to rush that process.