As long as you're alive, you're bound to suffer loss at one point in your life. Whether it's a job, friend, family member, sibling, parent, spouse, or even a pet. These losses cause unimaginable grief that can last for a long time. Everyone has their own way of handling grief.
While some people are able to snap out of it within the first three months, others take longer months, even years, to get over the loss of someone special. The most important thing after loss is moving on. We need to move on with our lives after loss and there are various ways of doing that.
Engaging in different soul-freeing activities after loss helps ease the pain of grief and helps you forge ahead with life. You can choose to change locations, start physical fitness programs, change diet, pick new hobbies which can be photography, visual painting, or traveling. Dealing with grief can take a toll on our health, finances, and even our mental health.
This is why we should never let it get very bad. It is important to deal with it as soon as possible, especially when we begin to harbour negative thoughts. Taking steps to get over grief is not you trying to forget the deceased, but your determination to make the most of life – just as your loved one would have wished.
Benefits Of Traveling For Grieving People
Traveling is a very therapeutic experience, when it is done right. Travelling across plains, seas, mountains, states, provinces, and countries is very beneficial to people recovering from loss. Below, we'll outline a few benefits that traveling can do for you as you struggle with loss.
Traveling exposes you to different scenes as you go. Taking all these scenery in can help distract you from the pain and fill you with the beauty of nature and man's innovations. This helps purge the pain of loss and sate the heart to cope with the realities of loss.
It is the perfect healing plan both for young and old who have been exposed to grief. The healing process is long, but traveling can speed it up – it’s that effective.
After loss, it feels like the world has stopped for a moment. In fact, it feels like the world has ended all of a sudden, but that’s not the case at all. Life goes on for the world as it should for you.
Traveling can help you realize this in a more healthy and wholesome way. Jumping on the bus to a different location will open your heart to new parts, and existence of the world and give you the strength to carry on. It’s like taking a breather.
Nature is therapeutic for many things. It has proven to be the best way of recharging our minds, soul, and body. Therefore, traveling around green and natural scenery can develop new and positive emotions inside of you. Examples are empathy, gratefulness, and composure.
It is the best purging element for people struggling with grief. It helps you discover emotions you didn’t know of and give you a new path to take in life.
DISTRACTS YOU FROM THE PAIN
When the pain gets unbearable, you need to get out of your current location. Traveling is a good way of distracting yourself from all the pain you are feeling. Taking a week or two off work to get on the road to another place would help you focus on something other than the pain you feel.
You get to watch other people on the bus, train, or plane. Observing them can bring you peace and the strength you need to accept that the one you love has died.
Nobody is a stranger to the negative emotions that come with loss. There’s the predominant anger at life and the world for moving on despite your pain. What you need to know is that your emotions are valid.
However, you also need to know that you shouldn’t entertain them. This is what traveling can do for you as you navigate grief. It makes it easier to forgive the world, and the dead. It helps you let go of all the pain, and accept what is.
UNDERSTANDING THE DEAD
When someone we love dies, we don’t usually get it. We start to question the meaning of life. This is unavoidable but repairable. When you travel, especially to a place where the dead loved to visit, it helps open your mind to life and how it works.
You get to experience something new, but from a new angle. It’s like you’re seeing things from your loved ones perspective, and get the much desired closure.
HELPING OTHERS HEAL
In a family, different members get over the loss of another member at different times. If you find out that you’re finding it hard to accept the death of a family member and others have moved on, you tend to feel angry, left out, and depressed.
At a time like this, it is helpful to travel. Your seeming inability to forge ahead will bring the others down and we don’t want to encourage the circle of grief because it only keeps going.
There are numerous benefits of travelling after a death. The prominent ones have been highlighted above but there’s still much to discuss. If you should travel, what type of travelling should that be? Thinking of what to do to get out of the circle of grief is an exhausting exercise. However, the carefully selected list below will show you what kind of trips you can take to get over your loss.
These trips have one thing in common – they are the kind of trips programmed to give you space and a reason to heal. Engaging in energy demanding activities after grieve will only suppress the pain. With time, that pain will become stronger and more dangerous. This is why activities like travelling are better, because they'll help you reflect.
What Type Of Traveling Is Good To Do After A Death?
We don’t wish that for anybody going through pain and we know you don’t wish that for yourself. It is important to heal, even when the steps can seem pretty difficult. However, if you take simple and practical steps like traveling for the reasons listed below, then you are sure to make headway in your journey through grief and out of it.
No one wishes for this experience but it is unavoidable. And unavoidable problems tend to get bigger when you ignore them. Nobody knows how to deal with this, no matter how familiar loss may seem to you. However, the ideas listed below will kickstart your journey out of grief.
WEEKEND OUT OF TOWN TRIPS
You have just lost a loved one and you’re new to the pain and reality of loss. You wouldn’t want to go far if traveling is suggested to you, so getting out of town to a new location that’s close to home would be good for you. Staying over for only the weekend can do greater things than you can imagine.
This plan is also suitable for old people dealing with grief. For one, your body may not be strong enough to handle long bus or train rides. So getting somewhere close by and staying for only the weekend can help you alleviate the pain of loss. It will only be a couple of days but the impact can last a long time.
These kinds of programs are organized by churches or friend groups. It involves a group of grieving persons coming together for a defined purpose – to get over the pain of their loss. It is a known fact that people with similar stories tend to find comfort by being together, and that’s what grief retreats promise its participants.
During this program, affected members get to share their experiences with one another. The thing with dealing with loss is that we always need someone to talk to. And this is possible at grief retreats. There’s no better listener than the one who shares your pain.
A TRIP TO AN OUT OF TOWN FAMILY OR FRIEND
If you can take longer trips, then this option is for you. You can travel to a friend or family member’s place that’s really far from where you stay. This friend or family member may be someone you get to see only once a year or once in two years. Staying in their unfamiliar environment can help take your mind off the pain.
By simply living with them for a few days or weeks, you get to experience something new and different. It helps you appreciate life more and be more open towards the idea of loss. You can also discuss the pain you feel to them and enjoy their empathetic responses to you.
TRAVELING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY
If you’ve got the financial strength and time, it will benefit you a lot to travel to another country after suffering a loss. There are a lot of things that can happen to you. First, in the new country, you hear a new language or dialect, and you come face to face with a new culture and tradition. This will immerse you into a new experience, especially the food.
The lessons to get from this kind of journey are boundless. You’ll be busy experiencing and taking in new realities that you don’t have time to mourn. Of course, you’ll remember the one you lost but with a new fondness, and not the familiar regret.
SOLO TRAVEL TO A NEW PLACE
Traveling with other family members can help you deal with grief positively, but travelling solo is more engaging and the repair is usually deep. You can take a trip to a far place alone to get time to grief and reflect. It could be a different location where you meet up with a grief therapist – if you're insecure about the idea of meeting a therapist.
Meeting a therapist shouldn't be something to be shy about, but it involves a lot of courage to make that decision. Hence, taking a trip to another location, alone, either for therapy or something else, is a good option to explore if you're dealing with grief.
TRAVELING TO NATURE
This is the best way to get over loss or any negative emotion at all. Nature has its own way of reaching deep into our soul and soothing whatever and wherever hurts. It could be a trip to the mountains, a trip to the sea, a trip to the forests – anywhere at all.
Spending some time with nature will open up your heart to new emotions like gratitude, understanding, and empathy. It is a very fulfilling experience – the therapeutic powers of nature. Hiking on the mountain will exact physical energy from you and we all know how exercise can improve one's health. This time, you'll be exercising and healing all at once.
TRAVELING TO VOLUNTEER
Engaging in something else like volunteer work in another state or local government can help ease the pain of loss. You get to engage in meaningful work and heal too. Most times, putting a smile on other people's face helps to alleviate our own pain.
Knowing that you're the reason someone is happy will help you deal with grief. This time you're not cracking jokes, but helping another soul – to either heal, love or eat. It could be a skill acquisition program where you teach others what you know. You may not know it at first, but it reminds you of your capabilities.
TRAVELING FOR PILGRIMAGE
Getting spiritual training also helps alleviate the pain of loss. Some people seek solace in their religion when they're saddled with all kinds of difficulties. Pilgrimage is often a sacred and envied experience in most religions. Hence, if this is something you can afford and something you want, you can consider going on a pilgrimage as it would help you a lot.
You get to experience deeper reflections on life and develop a deep sense of appreciation for life and all its forms. You also find peace. You meet people with diverse experiences and backgrounds and your mind opens up to different possibilities.
Keeping Your Loved One With You As You Go
There are other options to choose from but we'll stop here for now. It's now obvious just what traveling is a beneficial exercise when dealing with grief. Traveling requires a lot of courage. In fact, dealing with grief in general demands a ton of courage. This is not an easy aspect of life to navigate at all. You have to constantly remind yourself that you can do it.
You'll have relapses and some of them may be more damaging than the previous one. It can get so critical that you begin to need therapy. However, getting over grief is something we must do, regardless of how hard it may seem.
It is important to know that tackling grief does not mean that you're trying to forget the dead. Instead, it means coming to terms with the reality that someone has died and is never coming back. It is not an easy pill to swallow; true. But you can get it done.
Rushing would only bury the pain of loss and give it all the room it needs to grow and come back at you bigger and stronger. So, the goal is not to forget but accept. Hence, through the journey of letting go, you must keep the memories alive.
Now, you'll ask how you're going to do that if you choose to travel. Below is a list of things you can do and items you can get to keep your loved ones close even as you travel with the sole purpose of dealing with their exit.
10 Unique Ways To Keep A Loved One's Memory With You When Traveling
These ideas are not requirements for you to follow when you decide to travel. If you wish to keep your loved one close while you travel, then this list is for you. This is a quite lovely idea as it helps you feel like you’re not alone. When a person dies, we shouldn’t banish them from our thoughts and memories.
Grief is like a wound. If you just cover it up and move on, it’ll get infected if it’s not treated and become a bigger problem. This is why you should attend to grief in a tender manner. The ideas listed below are a step in the right direction – which is coming to terms with the fact that someone has died and life goes on.
WEAR THEIR FAVORITE CLOTHING ITEM
This can be a scarf, hat, wristwatch, shoe (if you wear the same shoe size as the deceased), jacket, pants, or shirt. If you can wear their favourite shirt while you travel, it’ll keep you warm. There’s nothing more comforting than knowing that something that keeps you safe once belonged to someone you love.
You get to feel how they felt whenever they wore that clothing item. It’s like an opportunity to relive old memories, only this time they’re not there with you but you can feel them close because you’re wearing something that once belonged to them. It’s an effective way of handling grief.
PREPARE/BUY THEIR FAVORITE SNACK
Getting a snack they always loved to have while travelling would help keep them close. You also get to appreciate their love for the particular snack. It is more fulfilling if you can prepare the snack yourself, but if you can’t, it is not a problem. Instead, what you can do is pay for ten or more of the snack(s) you’re getting and only take two.
The rest can be for other lucky customers. These kinds of charitable actions taken in honour of the one you have lost is a very honourable thing to do. It’s like you’re telling them, I don’t see you anymore but I still respect you. That’s the greatest form of love.
WEAR KEEPSAKE JEWELRY
A keepsake jewelery allows you to use a part of their cremation in making a jewel. This allows you to literally take your loved one around with you, everywhere you go. Jewelery made from the ashes of your loved one, footprint, or picture of the ones we love is a solid way of engraving memories in our hearts.
These people we have loved are important and deserve to be immortalized. These types of jeweleries avail you that opportunity to cement their existence, not just in your heart but in the world. Below is a list of different types of keepsake jewelery that you can make for the purpose of keeping memories.
Remembrance Jewelry & Precious Items
The use of jewelery in the remembrance of dead loved-ones has been around for centuries. Families in the 17th and 18th centuries were given “mourning rings” by families of the deceased. This was the practice of families in the upper class as a sign of their social status. These rings usually had the name, date of birth and date of death of the deceased inscribed on it. Now it can be taken a step further where the picture, ash or bone fragments of the dead can be used to produce memorial keepsake jewelry or ash jewelery.
Cremation is getting popular in the United States. In 2020 alone, more than 56% of people who died in the United States were cremated. You have the choice of choosing to include pulverisation or not. However, whatever choice you make, the ash and/or bone fragments can be used to make jewelery pieces for you. It could be a necklace, bracelet, keychain, memorial coin, glass art, or anything precious item of your choice. Having these items around us and with us as we travel can help you navigate the pain of loss.
Ash memorial jewelry consists of pendants and rings that have a gemstone like resin that is mixed with a small amount of your loved one's ashes. The resin ash mixture is stronger than stone once it hardens and provides a beautiful and vibrant reminder of your loved one.
They're easy to carry around rather than ceramic jugs containing our loved one's ash. They're beautiful and a fond way of remembering the ones we love.
Cremation ashes are a highly personal way to remember a loved one and our selection of keepsakes is created to gently cradle less than a pinch of ashes. Available in pendants, rings, bracelets and more, there are literally hundreds to choose from.
The beautiful items will resurrect fond memories that we need with us all the time, every time you look their way. They bring a sense of safety every time you touch them or look at them.
Thumbprint jewelry lends families, loved ones and friends the opportunity to touch the fingerprint of the deceased. The thumbprint is edited to bring out the individuality of the print and then engraved onto the keepsake so that the recipient can touch and feel the print with their fingertips.
It is a great way of emphasising the fast that your loved one did not just pass through earth. Earth felt their presence and that's what this jewelry remind us of.
Photo Engraved Jewelry
What brings you better comfort than having the privilege to regularly see your loved one in your palms every time you look for them? Photo engraved jewelry allows you to gaze at your safe haven every time you feel lost in the fight against the desolation that loss drags in with.
KEEP A PHOTO OF YOUR LOVED ONE
Taking a short photograph of the one you miss can help you while travelling. Pictures are a wonderful way of keeping memories – so take as many pictures as you can of your loved ones while they’re still alive. While travelling, you can carry a picture of your loved one with you and gaze on it from time to time.
You can put this picture in a keepsake jewellery as suggested above, or you can stick a small photograph of them into your wallet. Memories of loved ones should never die. They should be kept alive and recalled fondly. Getting to grief is learning to remember them fondly even after they have passed.
KEEP THEIR TRAVEL TRADITION
Repeating a travel tradition your loved one never misses will return fond memories to your heart. These can include wearing a particular shade of a particular colour of shirt over a dark jacket. It could be writing their thoughts on the bus. It could be anything. It may be their comfortable look for travelling while they lived.
Repeating this will keep them close to you as you travel. It can bring comfort to your breaking heart and make grieving easier for you. Knowing that they won’t be able to do any of that anymore will make you appreciate their time on earth and feel comforted by the memories you shared.
GO TO A PLACE THEY WANTED TO VISIT
Another travelling goal that would beautify the memory of a loved one that has passed is journeying to a place they wanted to visit and never got the chance to. It could be their favorite place – somewhere they've been to so many times, or someplace where they always wanted to go.
It could be a fun place, a quiet place, or a place of history. You will relive memories of moments when you came to the place with that someone. For parents who have lost their kids, this kind of trip would benefit you a lot. It'll help you appreciate the moments your kid was truly happy, alive and free.
TICK SOMETHING OFF THEIR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST THEY NEVER GOT TO DO
Do you know something your loved one wanted to do while travelling that they never got the chance to? This activity is something they always talk about every chance they get. If you can, you can take it upon yourself to tick this item off their bucket list.
It could be taking pictures of a nice location, or getting off at a bus stop for the sake of pictures. It could be sitting on a particular seat of the bus because some great writer sat there in the past. It could be anything at all. You could pull resources and connections, if you have them, to achieve their travel dream.
CARRY ALONG A MEMORY BOX OF THEIR FAVORITE THINGS
You can think of this activity as one where you are a curator. You are putting together pieces of things that your loved one collected and loved. It could be pebbles, a bracelet, empty ball pens, crumpled papers, badly done watercolour paintings, CDs of songs or movies they enjoyed, or a clothing label they thought was too classy to be thrown away.
These items you once thought rather insignificant when your loved one collected them would become a major point of contact for you and them when they're gone. Carrying these items in a box is a good idea you should try.
CREATE A VIDEO MASHUP IN THEIR NAME & DEDICATE IT TO THEM
While travelling, you can take video footage of your loved one's favourite scenery while travelling. This is possible when you travel through a familiar route that you and your loved one travelled on. This exercise allows you to actively attempt to document the world through the eyes of the one you lost.
Through their eyes because you know they loved those places you recorded. Watching those videos would let you see things in a new light, especially the light of your loved one. You can edit this video or give it to a professional, and post this on your socials.
READ THEIR FAVORITE BOOK
Similar to listening to their favourite songs, you can read a book they loved so much – if they were the type to bury themselves in a book. You get to experience the emotions your loved one must have felt as they read. You also gain more understanding of them, even when they're gone.
This understanding will help you appreciate the fact that they got to live at least. You also feel grateful that you got to be in their life at some point. What's more interesting is that you can also write a review of the book in their honour. You could publish this online and dedicate it to them. If they saw you, they would be really touched.
LISTEN TO A PLAYLIST OF THEIR FAVORITE SONGS
Many of us cherish listening to music while we travel. While grieving, it is possible to enjoy good music and recall fond memories of our loved one. You can curate a playlist of their favourite songs and artists and play it all the way to your destination. Music is a very soft and emotional way of reaching out to people.
By listening to music they loved, you can experience the exact emotions they did when they listened to those songs. You can mirror their expressions as the songs play. You can take it a step further by making it public – this will open an avenue for people to make positive comments on the playlist choice, which is ultimately your loved one's choice.
Keeping A Loved One's Memory While Traveling Frequently Asked Questions
Should you travel while still grieving?
Grief opens up a new space that needs to be filled. Travelling and taking in a new scene is a good way of filling that space up. It helps distract you from the hurt and helps you come to terms with the reality that someone has died. Hence, travelling is good for you if you are struggling with grief.
Can I wear cremation jewelry while traveling?
Traveling with cremation jewelery is easy. Unlike ceramic jars containing cremains, where you need to get approval from security operatives before you can board a plane with it, a cremation jewelery goes almost unnoticed. It saves you the hassle of checking in with the security at stations and airports.
How do I honor the memory of a loved one while I am traveling?
Navigating the choices of what to do may seem like a lot of work when you think about it, but with the help of articles like this, you can make the choice that best suits you. There are a lot of things you can do to honour your loved ones while you travel and they have been listed here for you.
What if I am scared to travel alone after losing my significant other?
Losing a significant other is quite difficult to come to terms with. However, if you’re still scared to travel alone after the demise of your partner, you can start small. No problem is ever solved by taking drastic steps. You can start by taking short trips to places closeby. You can also travel with an article that belonged to them – it will help you feel safe.
What is a unique way to honor my loved one while traveling?
Having decided to honor your loved one while travelling, you may be lost on what to do. There is a plethora of ideas to choose from. You can wear their favorite shirt or clothing item. You can read a book they loved or curate a playlist of their favourite songs and listen to them all the way. There are other awesome ideas to choose from and they’re all listed above. You should check it out.
Will traveling after a loved one dies help me heal?
Traveling is a therapeutic exercise. It has tons of healing benefits for tough times, and it definitely helps you get over grief. You will be exposed to new scenes and new experiences that will open your mind to the beauty of life – which will help you appreciate the loved one that has died. It can give you a new perspective about life and give you strength to pursue new goals and even plant a new purpose in your life.
What if seeing my dead husband’s things around terrifies me instead of comforting me?
If you are still negatively affected by merely seeing the belongings of your deceased loved one around, it means you’re yet to come to terms with the fact that they are dead. This is a normal stage of grieving and you shouldn’t feel concerned about it.
What you need to do is take the first step to overcoming grief – which is accepting that the person you love has died and you cannot bring them back. After that, you can browse through this article for other ideas on overcoming grieve.
Going Away To Stay Close To Your Memories
Beyond any doubt, securing the memories of the ones who are gone is an integral aspect of healing from loss. However deep it hurts, it's important to not get distracted by the pain that we think of only taking the pain away instead of dealing with what put it there in the first place.
It's like an older version of you is placed in front of your younger self. At that time, you're not expected to change anything but accept the fact that something has changed and find a way to make it work.
Moving on doesn't mean forgetting. However, moving on means forging ahead with life as your loved one would have wanted and coming to terms with loss. It means looking back on memories and appreciating them. If you choose to forget, it means you've not yet healed and still have a lot of work to do.
August 9, 2022 by Jeri K. Augustus