This Memorial Day season, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we honor the memories of people we love. I keep thinking of the line in the Mackelmore song, “Glorious” that goes, “I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave / And the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name.”
My grandpa died when I was 9 years old. My aunt made quilts out of his shirts for each of his kids’ families.
Our quilt still smelled like Grandpa for a few months after he died. I remember hugging it and feeling like I could feel my Grandpa hugging me back. Now, more than 20 years after he died, whenever we pull that quilt out, we talk about Grandpa.
Sometime later, we were at a home decor store, and we found a candle that smelled just like Grandpa. We bought one for everyone in the family so they could remember Grandpa through the fragrance. I don’t remember what brand the candle was, but I can still remember the scent and how it reminded us of Grandpa. Every time we smelled the candle, we talked about Grandpa.
I think there are many possible ways to honor the memory of people you love who have left this world, but each way involves remembering certain things about their lives and keeping those things alive in our hearts by talking about them long after they’ve gone. The quilt and the candle reminded us of Grandpa so strongly because there is a direct connection between the material of the quilt and the fragrance of the candle and our memories of him as a person.
This Memorial Day, I hope you’ll do whatever you can to remember your loved ones who have passed so they can remain alive in your memory. Keep your loved ones alive in your hearts and minds by exploring your memories through fragrance, physical objects, photos, or storytelling. Visit places you visited with them to bring back the memories of their presence. Pay attention to the sights, smells, tastes, sensations revisiting those memories recall for you and bring them alive through your remembering.
That’s how you will honor their memory—through simply remembering. Whether it’s through pulling out a quilt of their shirts, lighting a candle that smells like them, or flipping through a photo album, simply remember and celebrate their lives.
If fragrance is one of the ways you choose to honor the memories of your loved ones this Memorial Day, don’t miss our 24-hour Memorial Day sale. Use Coupon Code MEMORIAL21 for 20% off the entire website on Monday, May 31.
Kate for TheGiftofScent.Com.