According to Harvard Medical School, people over the age of 40 have a one in three chance of losing a loved one every year. One million Americans lose a spouse every year. While death is a part of life, processing your grief is integral to your mental health. Another important aspect is connecting with deceased loved ones and keeping their memories alive. If you miss a loved one who has passed away, here are some ideas for honoring their presence in your life.

Celebrate Their Life

When a loved one passes away, grief can be so overwhelming that you stop talking about them, take down photos of them and feel sad whenever you’re reminded of them. While this can be a normal part of your grieving process, it’s not healthy to continue this avoidance long term. When you’re ready, put the photos back up. Reminisce about the great times you had with your loved one and share your memories with others. This will allow you to celebrate the person you’ve lost and remember them fondly.

Create a Ritual

While it may seem silly, plenty of people develop rituals to connect with loved ones who have passed on. For some, it’s attending a religious ceremony such as mass or a prayer group, lighting candles or reciting prayers. For others, it’s an activity that they used to do with their loved one, such as hiking a beloved trail, eating their favorite flavor of ice cream or listening to specific songs. Create you own ritual to remember your loved one. This will keep their memory fresh in your mind and ease the feeling of missing them.

Keep a Journal

If you find it difficult to speak about your feelings or you’ve always had a flair for writing, you may find it helpful to keep a journal about your loss. Penn State University suggests writing as often as you like, especially on specific anniversaries such as you loved one’s birthday or date of death. If the idea of writing a journal seems silly, you could also write a series of letters to your loved one. No matter how you decide to do it, writing can be very therapeutic and help you connect with your loved one.

Losing someone you love can be difficult, and everyone handles grief and bereavement in different ways. If you’re struggling to connect with the person you lost, one of these strategies may be soothing and comforting to you. If you are overcome with depression or other pervasive, negative feelings, seeking counseling is another option for coping with the death of a loved one.