How Do You Memorialize Loved Ones at Home?

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I'll admit to being shaken by Monday's events in Boston. I used to work and live near the marathon finish line, and have wandered down there numerous times to soak in the good feelings that permeate that area post-race. While I now live in Saint Louis, part of my heart is still in Boston and I'm grieving with everyone there.

It also made me think of Maxwell's interview with Nate Berkus the other day (Did you see it? If not, it's here). If you don't already know this, Nate lost his boyfriend, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, in Sri Lanka in the 2004 tsunami. Nate honors Fernando's memory with his photographs and books, which Nate has chosen to live with. It's also formed part of Nate's larger philosophy about surrounding yourself at home with the things that matter — souvenirs of places you've been and the people you love. 

Some people hang photos, while others might keep a piece of furniture they inherited — whether it's a chair that their mom sat in every day, or a treasured antique. What it is will uniquely depend on who they were and, along with your own things, it will become part of the story of your own life. 

On a personal note, my brother died in 1996, and while I don't keep any photos of him around, I do keep a small framed woodblock print of a parakeet he did as a kid, along with a few of his drawings. Art is the first thing I associate with my brother, so it seems the most fitting reminder of who he was. 

If you've lost someone, do you keep a visual reminder of them in your home? Does it help you to look at it — whatever it is — every day?

(Image: Dabney Frake)

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When Dabney's not writing around here, she's digging through other people's attics for fun and interesting stuff, or running around with her bloodhound Friday. Originally from the East Coast, she's still shocked to find herself living in Missouri.

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