Hello, my name is Louie, and I am a grieving 14-year-old. I lost my dad when I was six, and he was my best friend. I find that honoring him can be incredibly hard yet enjoyable at the same time, and both of these feelings are completely normal. Experience Camps taught me the saying, “It is okay to be okay,” which I totally agree with–especially on the anniversary of your person’s death.
When the date of my father’s death comes around, on October 3rd, I am never sure whether or not I would like to ignore the date or recognize it. I don’t really enjoy talking about his death on the day. It isn’t like I’m ashamed, I just find it hard and exhausting to try and explain what this day means to me because I am already sad about it. Plus, they don’t always understand.
So instead of talking, I choose to find an activity to honor my dad. For the past few years, my mom and I have been planting flowers to celebrate his life. We like to do this because it gives us an activity that we both enjoy doing, and I can put my emotions into planting flowers instead of struggling to talk about it with people.
How can you pick a good activity?
There are many things you can do in honor of your special person who has died. It does not have to be gardening like my family does. To help you figure out what you would like to do, think of something your person was known for. It can be something as simple as listening to music they liked, or visiting a place they loved to go.
In the past, when my family lived in NYC, we would visit a park my dad loved every year. We even had the park’s management department engrave his name and a little saying onto a bench in the park, and we would invite others to have a picnic there.
So, when the day comes around for your person who died, let it all out: cry, feel everything, and even lay in bed all day. But also try to find some time to celebrate your person’s life in ways big or small.
Louie C., is a camper at Experience Camps in Pennsylvania, and she is 14 years old.