People all over the world have different ways in which they remember those that they have lost. If you are looking for a special way to remember a deceased loved one, you can find some inspiration here.
Establish a tradition for their birthday
Try to find something to do that helps you connect with them, and start doing it on their birthdays. This can include:
- Doing something that they loved to do
- Lighting up a candle for them in the evening
- Holding a big family dinner and raising a toast. You can also invite some of their closest friends
- Taking a trip to a place that held a special place in their heart
- Building on what you know about them, for example, you can take a class in something they were adept in, take the time to make all their favorite foods, or go on their favorite dog walk.
Talk to them
If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you probably have a lot of things that you wish you could tell them. But why not just go ahead? You can visit their gravesite or scattering site and talk to them. Alternatively, you could wait until you have a quiet private moment and say aloud what you need them to hear.
Even though this may feel weird at first, these talks have been found to help provide some sense of comfort to the bereaved. Following the tsunami event that hit Japan in 2011, a grieving relative put up a disconnected ‘wind telephone’ in his garden to ‘talk’ with his deceased family. Now that place has become a symbolic area where people from all over the region come to talk to their lost loved ones.
Take a trip
Take a trip to a destination that your loved one always wanted to go to and do something they always wished to do. Going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip as a family will help you to heal together after what has been a difficult year.
Always have something of theirs close by
This can be anything from wearing their favorite piece of jewelry or clothing to having their ashes made into jewelry or a piece from Ashes with Art. You can also have their favorite clothes turned into a cushion, or framed as part of art. Did you know that there are companies that actually turn the clothing of deceased loved ones into teddy bears?
While more unusual, having their ashes made into jewelry is another special way to remember someone you’ve lost. The ashes can be suspended in glass or resin beads and placed in earrings, pendants, bracelets, or rings.
Set up a memorial firework display
You can go big with a firework display. A memorial fireworks display is a grand and celebratory way to honor the memory and life of that special someone you lost. Bring together as many close friends and family as possible, and have some of your loved one’s favorite music play in the background over some toasty hot drinks.
However, before setting any firework display, safety should always be a key consideration. Ensure that you only buy your fireworks from a registered seller or licensed shop. Also, check to confirm that they are suitable for home use. Ensure that bystanders are standing at the recommended distance for that firework. Check here for more firework safety advice.
For lantern, balloon, dove, and butterfly launches, you need to do some proper research to ensure that you don’t, in any way, negatively affect the local wildlife and pets. Also, always use environmentally-friendly materials. You can also choose other celebratory items such as confetti cannon or even paint filled balloons.
Get something dedicated to them
While the traditional park bench may not be the best way of honoring their memory, there are some more viable alternatives…
- If they were big fans of music, call into your local radio station and dedicate their favorite song to them on their anniversary or birthday.
- If they had a passion for the performing arts, consider dedicating concert hall, opera, or theatre seats
- For football fans, football ground seats can be a great way to remember them
Getting a rose named in memory of a deceased loved one and sharing cuttings among family and friends is a lovely way to honor them
The Woodland Trust allows you to dedicate a tree or an acre of woodland to them
Write to them
According to various studies, writing, especially when you are going through feelings and emotions can be very therapeutic. Making the step to write a letter to your loved one can be a good way to connect with your departed loved one and cope with your grief. You can ‘post’ these letters by burying them at their gravesite or scattering site. Alternatively, you can place them in a fire or send them down a river in boat form.
If writing letters isn’t your cup of tea, you can send them an email. After writer Rax King made a tweet about the emails she sent her late dad, a lot of people came forward to say that they did the same – or sent them text messages or g-chat messages. Even though it is not advisable to actually send these texts and emails, as numbers are often reallocated to other people and email accounts are closed, the simple act of writing can provide a great sense of comfort.
Support a cause they were passionate about
Maybe there is a cause they cared about deeply that you can support. or perhaps there is a charity that fights the illness that killed your loved one or supports families like yours that you can raise money for.
There is no better way to honor the memory of a deceased loved one than by building something positive with their legacy. You can:
- Set up a scholarship or endowment where they went to school, college or uni
- Start your own charitable trust or foundation to lobby for a cause
- Donate a certain amount every month in their memory
- Do a charity run to raise money or start a fundraiser
- Sponsor a child (or even an animal) through a charity
- Create an online crowdfunding obituary asking family and friends to donate
Regularly visit their gravesite or scattering site
For the bereaved loved ones, the gravesite or the place where the ashes of a deceased loved one were scattered is very meaningful to them. There is a great sense of comfort that comes with spending some time sitting there with them.
Preferably, you can bring a wreath, bouquet, or if the landowner allows, something to plant at the site. Back in the Victorian era, people often used flowers to send messages: each held a special meaning. This custom is still a great way to express your feelings. For example, marigolds symbolized grief, rosemary symbolized remembrance, oak-leaved geranium symbolized true friendship, and white periwinkle symbolized happy memories.
Placing a bouquet of your loved one’s favorite flowers is an equally meaningful gesture. If your loved one was buried at a natural burial ground, where planting is restricted, you can scatter native wildflowers in memory of your deceased loved one.