8 February 2018

Ever had that feeling you can’t hear yourself think? Sometimes, it can seem a hundred different things at once are cluttering our minds.

For some people, clearing a bit of space can be a positive way to create an atmosphere where we can focus on what’s important to us.

Creating space is about what you feel comfortable with

Creating a special place to think, is one way that can help bring memories to mind.

Sophie Wood created a memory table as a place to think about baby niece Mia.

“It has little angels statues, a photo of her, and a love heart urn with her ashes in,” she smiles.

lit remembrance candle, photo and memento

“Remembrance can be a very private thing,” says life-celebrant Anita Watson-James, who believes a sense of peace can be healing for those left behind.

“Everyone goes about it their own way. It can be good for your mind, and even your physical health, to release pent up emotion at some point when you feel ready.

##In your own time and way

“Someone with a spiritual outlook may well choose a more meditative space in which to reflect.”

Anita suggests the use of soft sounds, colour and textures as well as pictures or items that belonged to someone you miss.

“I've seen painted or carved pebbles or pieces of slate placed around a memorial pond or stream, while angels are often hung on trees or take pride of place somewhere.”

angel ornament in outdoor
setting

“Not everyone feels as I do that the soul lives on, but this is what helps me,” adds Anita.

“Others may simply want to look at photos, play their loved one’s favourite song on a birthday, Valentines or Christmas, then put them away until the next time.”

If you're remembering someone who loved gardening, you might add pictures, their gardening hand tools, plants and maybe their favourite colour to a space you’ve created indoors.

a beautiful garden and potting shed

“On the other hand, you may simply find a sense of peace by being in a place they liked to spend quiet time, such as their shed or greenhouse,” Anita says.

“Using of all of our senses in various ways, may help get painful feelings out of the body, and help us express ourselves.

“We’re all different. Creating space is about what you choose to do, and what you feel comfortable with, in your own way.”

Here are some touches you could add to turn a room, or a corner of your home into a sanctuary for bringing special memories to mind.

##Light a candle

remembrance candle

Candles have long been a traditional way to remember someone by and reflect on the light they brought into your life. Soft candlelight can be calming, while some people focus on a gently flickering flame to quietly meditate on.

Simply sitting relaxed, watching the flame ‘dance’ can help unclutter a busy mind and allow you to focus on a positive, such as a happy memory.

##Choose a colour
colorful chiffon

Some people believe that colours can affect our mood and can even influence our emotions, or help with healing. For others, a favourite colour is simply a symbolic reminder of someone that played a big part in their life.

A tealight holder, picture frame, scarf or vase of flowers could help set the mood of a special space you’ve set aside for someone’s memory.

##Scent

fragrant oil

Scents can often take us back in time, often to some of our earliest memories. Fragrant candles, or a few drops of essential oil in an oil burner, or vaporiser can create a calming ambience and help us feel relaxed.

Lavender and chamomile are associated with soothing and sweet dreams, while woody evergreen fragrances including cypress, cedar and juniper are warming and grounding. Sweet flower fragrances, such as rose, geranium and jasmine can be be uplifting.

##Photos
framed photos of people remembered

A photo is often the focal point for thinking about someone we miss, whether it’s a favourite portrait or a montage of happy snaps that take you back in time.

“We take photographs as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone,” says photographer Katie Thurmes.

“It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What if you could open up that box of photos with a thousand words of joy instead of pain? Is that possible? It can be when you plan to remember,” says life energy coach Joan Hitchens.

“What is important is the story from these memories... Recall the laughter, the warm feelings, the love, the experience that was important enough to mark with a photograph. Isn’t that why you took the photo in the first place?”

##Crystals
rose quartz

Some people use crystals as a way of creating good energy and wellbeing. Crystal healers use the stones to help people achieve a sense of good energy in their lives.

Amethyst, rose quartz and moonstone crystal are often used to restore emotional balance. Some people feel they are drawn to a particular crystal, which becomes a focal point for opening their mind to uplifting thoughts and positive intentions.

##Soothing sounds
vinyl record on a turntable

Ambient music that reflects the sound of natural elements, birdsong, or water can create a peaceful atmosphere, while an indoor fountain can be beautiful to look at, as well soothing on the ear.

A certain song can take you right back to a moment in time. Jason Leach has come up with a novel way to remember someone by. He creates personalised vinyl records for people, with a little of a loved one’s funeral ashes pressed in.

Some people will select a favourite piece of music for their And Vinyly record, while others opt for a recording of their loved one’s voice. Others, he says, simply take comfort from the crackle and pop of the record spinning on the turntable.

##Angels

angelic mother and child ornament

Some people look to personal guardian angels for protection and guidance. Some practitioners offer angel healing, a non-denominational form of spiritual healing, with a focus on healing, harmony and peace of mind.

For other people, angel figurines and art can be a symbolic representation of someone special – a talisman of hope and eternal love.

##Pebbles

pebbles and roses

Pebbles are a symbol of someone’s life and memory. It’s tradition in the Jewish faith to place a small stone when you visit someone’s grave, to show that someone is not forgotten.

Decorated pebbles can be a beautiful and tactile symbol of someone’s lasting memory, whether on a remembrance table, in a memory garden, or something you carry with you every day.