When someone you love passes away, it comes with a lot of grief. The thing to remember is that, while we could be sad about the death of our deceased loved one, we should choose to celebrate their life instead. So, you may have to learn something new with all these emotions: How to honor someone who passed away.
Although this celebration of their life isn't always easy, especially if the one who has passed away is close family and friends, there are still many ways to honor your loved ones by keeping their memory alive.
While many of the common ways to honor someone's memory are typically one-time occasions like a birthday, memorial service, or the anniversary of their death, there are many ways to honor a loved one that have a lasting effect.
Let's discuss the twelve creative memorial ideas to remember your friends and family that will create something special to keep their memory alive for years to come.
1. Memorialize Family and Friends with a Personalized 3D Photo Crystal
Most people go about honoring someone they lost mostly with intangibles, but what if you want something truly special and creative?
That's where one of our favorite ideas for honoring a loved one comes into play. If you want something to commemorate your loved one that you can physically touch and feel that still allows you to stay connected, you may opt for a personalized 3D photo crystal.
You don't need to visit the funeral site to feel connected to your loved one. You can create a 3D photo crystal that will allow you to honor the memory of your loved one every night.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Upload your favorite photo of your loved one with just a few clicks
Step 2: The in-house design team converts your 2D photo into a 3D rendered photo
Step 3: They engrave your 3D model inside of the crystal using state-of-the-art technology
Step 4: Release the final photo crystal for delivery
Whether the person you're honoring is a friend, son, mother, or other loved one, creating a 3D photo crystal of them allows you to continue the celebration of life for your loved one beyond the funeral.
The best part?
The whole process is quick and easy, and submitting a photo can be done in a matter of minutes.
2. Regularly Visit The Resting Place of Friends and Family
One way to honor the memory of a loved one is to visit their resting place. This is usually the site of their funeral or cremation. This is a chance for you to talk to them often, remember all the wonderful memories you had together, and relive your stories.
Some people avoid returning here year after year because they think it'll bring up a lot of grief. While this can be true initially, it'll eventually go away with time (time heals all). The more frequently you visit them, the more you will become comfortable with this routine.
Consistency is key because it gives you a chance to carry on their legacy with your children as you pass down this tradition. The closer you are to your deceased loved one, the more this idea makes sense. Typically, if this person was your mom, dad, son, daughter, or best friend, then honoring them could be as simple as bringing something to celebrate their memory.
Here are some ideas of what to bring:
- Personal Photos
- Their favorite food or drink
Anything that pays tribute to them is a good way to remember their life.
Notice how we didn't call this a "final" resting place? That's because the memory of your loved one will always live on in your mind and in your heart.
Keep in mind:
This idea takes a lot of commitment and requires you to live near where your friends and family are laid to rest.
3. Carry or Create a Personal Item That Belonged to Them
A simpler way to honor a loved one year-round would be to carry a personal item that belonged to them. If you can carry a loved one's favorite item, that will create a memorial of them that stays with you always.
This also creates what's known in neuro linguistic programming as an anchor.
What is an anchor?
NLP anchoring simply manifests a feeling or emotion you want to create through physical touch.
For example, If you want to be more social without relying on alcohol, you can create a positive anchor. Instead of holding that drink in your hand that gives you the confidence to socialize with strangers, you can hold a drink of water (or club soda) instead. This will trigger the positive memory of being confident without having to drink. Although, you'll still feel the same confidence and positive emotions.
This is why carrying your mom, dad, son, or loved one's favorite item with you is so effective. It's a great way to honor a person's memory for life. It creates a positive emotional anchor that allows you to cherish their memory all year.
This is especially true if your loved one's favorite item is something they would want you to have anyway.
Don't have an item to carry around? You can always create your own with a personal photo.
4. Open a Business or Charity in Their Name
One of the best ways to remember your loved one and carry on their legacy long after death is to open a business or charity in the name of your loved one. What a wonderful way to honor your family and friends long after they died.
The beautiful thing about this type of memorial is that it allows you to give hope and support to your community while paying tribute to the person you lost.
This is one of our favorite ways to honor someone's memory because it could help you carry out a wish your family member had that can have an impact on the world.
For example, a contestant on The Voice Season 15, Sandy Redd, honored the memory of her mom, who died after her youngest son was born. Her mother always wanted to start a youth organization for underprivileged kids in the performing arts that would give them hope.
Sandy kept her mothers legacy alive by starting the Mama Bird's Performing Arts Youth Center in Park Forest, Illinois. Her organization runs programs for seven to eighteen year old kids looking for a sense of belonging.
This allowed her to release any grief she had and move forward with a sense of purpose in her life. Starting a business or charity to honor your loved one's memory is a great way to celebrate their life, even long after you're gone.
This could take some financial capital to get started, or you may need to raise money or find programs that can help. The key purpose behind this is to honor your loved one by leaving something in their name.
Some alternatives to this would be to:
- Donate to your loved one's favorite charity
- Plant a tree in their name
If you plant a tree in their name, this also gives you a site to come back to where you can visit them.
5. Create an Online Memorial or Time Capsule
Another way to honor someone long after they've passed is to create an online site or memorial where people can come to pay their respects and celebrate their life.
Like planting a tree, you're creating a living, breathing thing that keeps the memory of your loved ones going.
This is a place to come and commemorate your loved ones by sharing memories, photos, stories, and other aspects of a person's life.
This is also a good way to deal with any grief you may have. Although you can't leave flowers on an online site, you can still write them a letter, share photos, and cherish the memories you had together.
Again, this isn't just something you do every year, but something you can routinely do to honor those you lost.
This might take the form of a memorial website or even a Facebook page. Whatever you decide, this is a great way to honor a loved one who has passed while still feeling connected to that person.
6. Get a Memorial Tattoo
Tattoos are traditionally a way to express yourself through art.
All over the world, tattoos have become a very popular way to memorialize someone in a creative way. Mainly because it's a way to keep the memory of a loved one with you every day and every night.
In fact, in this article titled "Inked in Grief," the Calgary Journal provides the research behind the popularity of memorial tattoos and why they mean something special to the artists too.
The perception of these tattoos is generally more positive than non-memorial tattoos and is said to help heal and repair you from losing a loved one.
7. Learn to Let Go & Live Your Best Life
Make no mistake about it:
The more time passes, the more the world and your life will continue to function as normal.
Losing someone close to you can be difficult. Sometimes you may need to seek out a grief support group to help overcome the emotions that accompany losing a loved one.
You also might want to ask yourself, “what would my loved one want for me?” Would they want you to go on living your best life and making them proud?
If the answer is an astounding "YES!" then make every day and every year count.
Pursue your dreams. Conquer your fears. Relish in all of your favorite things that life has to offer.
This is probably the best way to let go of your grief and honor your loved one.
Five More Ways to Honor a Loved One
8. Do Something You Enjoyed Doing Together
Another thing you can do is to try to routinely partake in an activity that you enjoyed doing with your loved one. For example, if you enjoyed cooking together, try baking a cake or cooking their favorite dish on their birthday.
If you have fond memories of hiking together, go on a hike you did to honor their memory.
Participating in an activity that you enjoyed together will give you the space to cherish their memory while also doing some self-reflection.
9. Write Them a Letter or Poem
Writing a letter or poem to your loved one is an excellent way to help get your feelings and emotions down on paper.
Not only does this help release any grief you may still be holding inside, but it's also a great way to unpack anything you wish had the chance to say to them before they passed.
Tell them all the things you appreciate about them. This is your chance to be vulnerable and get some closure. Not only does this make you closer to them, but it also helps with the healing process.
10. Travel to Their Favorite Place
Did your loved one always have a dream of traveling the world? Is there a specific destination that they consistently talked about?
Traveling probably isn't the first thing you'd think of to honor a loved one. However, it's becoming a more popular option these days. That's simply because it allows you time to reflect and let go of your grief while connecting to the memory of the deceased friend or family member.
There's also room to explore your feelings and connect with a place that is foreign to you. Whether taking a week-long "mental health" trip to explore or fulfilling the dream of your loved one who always wanted to go to Barcelona, you may find that you'll come back a different person.
Traveling in honor of your loved one may bring you the inner peace you've always wanted.
11. Create a Memory Jar
Have you heard of a gratitude jar? It's simply a jar you occasionally put things you're grateful for into throughout the year. Just write it down on a piece of paper and insert it into the jar. The concept is that the jar will be full by the end of the year, and you can review all the notes to practice gratitude.
Well, why not create a memory jar to honor your loved one? It's similar, only you write down your favorite memories you had with your loved ones. Remember that hilarious joke they told you on your birthday? Write it down.
What about that bachelorette party you celebrated together in New Orleans? Put it in the jar.
You can even enlist the help of other family members to add to it. Whenever you're thinking of them, you can go through the memory jar to bring a smile to your face.
12. Listen to Their Favorite Songs or Watch Their Favorite Movies
Is there a favorite song or movie that reminds you of your loved one?
The world of arts and entertainment is exceptionally good at eliciting emotions. You can draw on that to connect with your loved ones.
Compile a list of songs that reminds you of them. Add it to a playlist and listen to it whenever you want to remember them.
What were their favorite films?
Adding them to a list and watching them routinely is a great way to trigger the thoughts and feelings you carry about your loved one.
Bookmark these lists or set a reminder whenever you want to go down memory lane. For example, their birthday or your anniversary might be a good time to honor their memory.
This method of memorializing someone doesn't necessarily need to be only reserved for special occasions. You can do this anytime you feel like it.
We hope this article has helped you find your favorite way to commemorate your loved one for years to come. Remembering those you lost doesn't need just to be an annual occasion. You can do many things outside of lighting a candle or making a birthday cake once a year to help you stay connected to your loved ones.
Want more unique gift ideas for you or your loved ones? Be sure to check out the 3D Photo Gifts Blog!