Creating “legacies” can be as unique as the individual who has left us.
I received a referral for a patient who was depressed because he could not attend his great-grandmother's funeral. He was stuck in the hospital for health reasons for almost 2 months. His grief was manifesting as anger and frustration and he was taking it out on, mostly, himself.
At our initial meeting, he shared his love for his "grandma" as he called her and his frustration at the crumpled up funeral program his mother brought back. He wanted desperately to get a better picture of her and was searching through Facebook photos of friends and family who attended the funeral.
I suggested borrowing the funeral program to scan (having a scanner in my office) and bringing him back a nice glossy print. This soon led to him emailing several pictures of her and people from the funeral service for me to print out for creating a scrapbook of an important moment he had missed.
It became his mission during his time at the hospital. It also was a craft project he shared with his mother, who was caring for him. His disposition, and hers, brightened and he had something to look forward to each day which helped him get back to the process of healing physically and spiritually by releasing some of his anger and frustration.
Years later, when he looks back on his time spent in a hospital for more than 50 days, he can remember creating a momento of his grandmother's passing.