When someone you love dies finding meaningful ways to honor and remember them becomes an important part of legacy work, healing and maintaining connection.
Below are suggestions for creative remembrance. May they inspire you to find ways that deepen your connection, bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart as you honor and remember with love.
Create a memorial space. Outside: plant a tree or flowers, build a cairn (a memorial crafted from rocks), make or purchase a stepping stone with a meaningful quote or blessing, purchase a memorial bench. Inside: Find a space to place a candle, a plant, objects that remind you of your loved one. A favorite book, picture, article of clothing, prayer. Make it a peaceful place for remembrance and healing.
Find an object that brings comfort such as a stone, coin, feather, charm and keep it close as a reminder that your loved one is always with you.
Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs to sing along with, listen to in private moments, or share with family and friends.
Create a memory box or scrapbook (can be digital) that includes photos, art, poems, cards, certificates, lists of their favorites (color, foods, songs, televisions shows, movies, books, hobbies, animals, holidays, traditions,vacations, jokes, etc.).
Set up a Facebook Memorial Page. Invite friends and family to share memories, stories, pictures, music.
On birthdays or anniversaries invite friends and family to toast your loved one (can be virtual).
Write a poem, song or book about your loved one remembering their strengths, values, and qualities that were unique to them (as well as things they did or said that inspired, motivated, made you laugh).
Make a donation in your loved one’s name to an organization they supported or one that represents qualities, values, hobbies that are reflective of their spirit. Supporting a cause that was close to their heart can be an important way to honor their legacy.
Organizing a team of family, friends, colleagues to participate in a charity walk/run sponsored by an organization that was important to your loved one is a great way to come together in their honor. Sponsoring a charity golf, tennis, basketball event can also be fun and impactful.
A notebook is a wonderful way to maintain connection. Be unfiltered, raw. This notebook is for YOU. Fill it with thoughts, letters, prayers, memories or as an outlet for ongoing stream of consciousness.
A tattoo can be a thoughtful way to honor your loved one. A quote, important date, symbol, song lyric, something in your loved one’s handwriting.
Have a quilt, pillow or stuffed animal made out of your loved one’s clothing.
Have a bracelet or necklace charm made out of your loved one’s handwriting (memorial signature jewelry).
Many schools, parks, and charitable organizations have opportunities to customize a memorial paver.
Lighting a memorial candle on birthdays and anniversaries is a beautiful way to bring light to the darkness that is grief. There are plug in memorial candles as well. Creating a candle lighting chain among family and friends is a special way to share light, love and memories.
Do random acts of kindness in your loved ones honor.
In remembrance, as in grief, there is no one way or right way to memorialize someone you love. Make it personal. Be creative. Do whatever brings joy to your heart and an ongoing sense of meaningful connection.
Thank you. This is very inspiring. I’m not a drinker, but I keep my butterfly “recovery chip” with the Serenity prayer close by. Its a helpful reminder to take it One day at a time, its the perfect size & fits in my pocket when I’m (seldom) out – there’s a lot of triggers. When I’m able to go through her art again…there’s a company that turns drawings into a stuffed animal/figure. I’d like to see how that turns out…
Her art turned into a stuffed animal/figure is both meaningful and lovely. I think you should this. There are a lot of triggers and there is also a lot of hope, light and love.