“I’ve come to see the flag,” she declared. The flag waved outside a rehabilitation floor window. The woman parked her walker, sat down, and peered at the flag. “Look at that!” she exclaimed. “The flag is straight out.”

Her husband served in the navy, she shared, and the flag reminded her of him. She came to see the flag many times, an object that linked her with her beloved husband, the man she loved and missed and admired so much. 

Objects that Link You 

Mother’s Day is coming, and if your mother has died, you may want to find items that link you to her. The linking object can be anything–a framed photo, wind-up watch, or rolling pin. I’ve moved several times since my mother died, so I have only a few linking objects. 

One is my mother’s cut glass water bottle, an antique that has been on many holiday tables. When the bottle is on the table, it’s almost as if my mother is eating dinner with the family. Using the bottle comforts me.

Kayla Waldschmidt writes about linking objects in her Grief Resource Center article, “Memory Tokens and Linking Objects.” She defines memory tokens and linking objects as visual reminders of deceased loved ones. These objects are powerful, powerful enough to make you cry.

Find a Link to Mom

Your mother is gone, but your love is not,  and may be even stronger than ever. Take some time to find your linking objects, Waldschmidt advises, and it’s good advice. If you haven’t found a linking object for Mother’s Day, start looking now. Your object doesn’t need to be large. A recipe card or bookmark will do.  

When my father was courting my mother, he gave her a friendship ring — common practice at the time. The 1920s ring is made of platinum, has a diamond in the middle, and blue sapphire chips on each side.

After my father died, my mother gave the ring to me. I will wear it on Mother’s Day and think of her. My mother was my rock, my role model, and biggest fan. I will always be grateful for her confidence and strength. Even if grief is raw, you and I can find comfort in linking objects. When I wear my mother’s ring, I will feel her hand touching mine. 

Harriet Hodson’s latest book, GRIEF DOODLING, is available at Amazon.com: Grief Doodling: Bringing Back Your Smiles (9781608082520): Hodgson, Harriet: Books

For more articles by Harriet Hodgson, click here.

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Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 43 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 42 books, including 10 grief resources. She is Assistant Editor of the Open to Hope website, a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Alliance of Independent Authors, Minnesota Coalition for Grief Education and Support, and Grief Coalition of Southeastern Minnesota. She is well acquainted with grief. In 2007 four family members died—her daughter (mother of her twin grandchildren), father-in-law, brother (and only sibling) and the twins’ father. Multiple losses shifted the focus of Hodgson’s work from general health to grief resolution and healing. She has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. In addition to writing for Open to Hope, Hodgson is a contributing writer for The Grief Toolbox website and The Caregiver Space website. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at The Compassionate Friends national conference, Bereaved Parents of the USA national conference, and Zoom grief conferences. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. For more information about this busy grandmother, great grandmother, author, and speaker please visit www.harriethodgson.com.

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