One year ago today I lost my brother. His passing was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. He's usually the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep at night.
Today I'd like to share some things I've done over the last year to help keep my brother's memory alive.
For starters, today my mom, dad and I will be spending the day doing things Jim enjoyed. We're going mushroom hunting and eating Mexican for supper. Both things that Jim loved doing.
As some of you know, I got my first tattoo in honor of my brother. I love seeing it every day and remembering the good times we had. His favorite song was Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, so my tattoo is a bird design.
And speaking of songs, one way to remember loved ones is through song. I have a "mix tape" that was played at Jim's funeral including the 4 songs played during his service as well as the songs played during visitation. Every time I hear these songs, I think of Jim. And there is a new song by Luke Bryan called Drink a Beer that instantly makes me think of Jim when I hear it.
One of the most thoughtful gifts I received after Jim's passing was a memorial tree from Jesse's family. It is a beautiful blue spruce that sits in our front yard. I see it every time I come in the driveway and every time I look out the kitchen window. It was an incredibly special gift that I am so thankful for!
I also designed a sign to hang out by the tree with the bird design.
Something I knew I wanted to do the minute my brother passed was a get a necklace with his thumbprint. There is a local business (that sells nationwide) called Priceless Prints. They take a mold from clay of your loved one's thumb or finger print and turn it into a sterling silver necklace. I wear it every day!
And it's the daily reminders that keep Jim's memory alive. I have a sticker in the back window of my car of the same bird design as my tattoo. Every time I look in my rear view mirror I see it :) And I have pictures and mementos throughout our house that remind me of Jim every day. I have some of his old hats, plants from his funeral and a photo display I had made him years ago.
While this last year has been incredibly difficult, I choose to look back and remember the good things about my brother. And I hope this post gives you ideas to help you remember your loved ones as well.