One of the most painful things we will experience is losing someone we care about deeply. It could be a close friend or a family member but in either case, we go through a grieving process that is different from one person to another. In many cases, we will go through it privately but there are also times when we want to honor that person in a special way. That is the case with a woman named Nancy Rothstein. She honored her son after he passed away and helped us all in the process.
After Nancy Rothstein’s son, Josh, passed away unexpectedly, she was seeking a way to offer a tribute for family and friends to honor his birthday. With each passing birthday, she adds one more item to the list.
Last April 16 would’ve been Josh’s 21st birthday, and true to her tradition, Nancy shared these 21 ways to celebrate life:
1. Smile. Smiling makes you and those around you feel good. If you don’t feel good, a smile can trick your brain into feeling better.
2. Eat ice cream.
3. Run on the beach. If you can’t physically do this, use your imagination.
4. Call someone who is ill or lonely. Listen to their story. Take the time. Tell them your story, if they ask.
5. Listen to music that touches your heart and soul.
6. Sing in the shower, or out loud if you are comfortable.
7. Visit the grave of a loved one and celebrate your continued BREATH. And tell your loved one what’s on your mind.
8. Play with a dog.
9. Thank yourself for putting up with all the things about yourself that drive you nuts! Activate your sense of humor!
10. Apologize to someone you have wronged in any way.
11. Take a day, or even a few hours, “off” to do something you always want to do but never take the time to do.
12. Eat something you never indulge in (unless allergic!) and savor every bite slowly. No guilt permitted!
13. Re-watch your favorite funny or happy movie in your most comfortable clothes.
14. Make plans with 2 friends that you are crazy about but never see near or far away.
15. Go outdoors to a natural setting. Sit. Close your eyes. Listen to the world. It’s all an extension of you! Your breath connects you intrinsically to the world.
16. Laugh. Do something fun or silly that evokes laughter. It has been said that laughter is God’s sunshine.
17. Place this list in an envelope and revisit it periodically to see how you are celebrating YOURSELF! If you are good to yourself, you can be much better to those around you.
18. Go to your heart and make all your decisions from there; and all will be well.
19. Follow the path that matters.
20. Believe and feel the change you want to see and you will BE the change you envision.
21. Yet you must know that in the end, it is LOVE’s garden you must tend.