Since Christian died we have had a special place in our home for him. He will never have a room of his own. He will never draw on the walls. There will always be an empty chair for him at our dinner table. He will never add his clothes to the washing. He will never argue with his sisters on who’s turn it is to clear the dinner table. He will never ride a bike outside or jump on the trampoline with his little neighbour who is the same age as him. He will never bring me home artwork from Kindy. In saying all of that he still deserves a place in our home. He is our son and brother and he is a loved and remembered member of our family.
We have what some people might call a shrine in our home. It is his place. It is in full view for everyone to see. It is made up with framed photo of his name in the sand, seashells, his ashes, candles, a mirror, a bottle of beach sand from his beach and many other little pieces of magic. It has treasures from people who live all over the world. This place is quiet and beautiful. It is in our dining room, the place where he would have sat each evening withus to talk about his day. Creating a shrine for your child is a beautiful and ongoing experience. You will forever be able to add things and change things. A friend of mine collects pieces of sea glass when she visits the beach, another friend collects treasures that her and her son find on the forest floor.
There are so many things you could do to create a sacred space in your home for your child. I highly recommend this as it has been a step forward in my healing process. These sacred spaces give you a place to reflect and just be however you need to be. They are also wonderful if you have other children. They are a gentle and safe way for your other children to remember and honour their sibling. Let them add their own touches to the shrine. Whether it is a painting, drawing, a letter they have written or a treasure that they have found on a walk in the park.
Another wonderful idea is to create a memory board. You can fill it with anything you want, cards, photographs, ribbon or quotes. It grows with you. I think if you choose to create a memory board you should photograph it every time you change it. That way it is a sort of documentation of your grief. It would be so interesting to go back and look at how it changed , how you changed.
I wish you a beautiful healing time in creating a space in your home for your child/en.