When a person in your life passes on, you likely would like to find a creative, meaningful way in which to memorialize that individual. There are different ways in which you can honor the life of a deceased loved one, including these 50 meaningful, creative ideas.
Make a Time Capsule
Make a time capsule filled with items that are associated with your friend or family member who passed on. A time capsule is particularly suitable if a child has lost a parent. You can instruct others that the time capsule is to be opened when the deceased person’s child reaches a certain age. This will prove to be a meaningful experience for the young person, for you, and for others.
Build a Cairn
A cairn is a type of memorial crafted from rocks. Typically, a cairn is located on a hilltop or at a skyline. You can build a memorial cairn anywhere you have access, including your backyard. A memorial cairn need not be large. There have been some huge cairns built in the past, including Stonehenge in England.
Find and Carry a Perfect Pocket Charm
A pocket charm can come in many forms. For example, it can be a coin-size medallion. A mindful manner in which you can memorialize a loved one is to select and then carry a pocket charm with you that is a keen reminder of the deceased individual who was an important part of your life.
Create a Playlist of Favorite Songs
Odds are you are familiar with your loved one’s taste in music. You very well may have enjoyed many of the same songs. Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs. Consider sharing this playlist with other people who were a part of your loved one’s life. You will enjoy playing the tunes on the list time and time again.
Make a scrapbook that includes photo, art, and other items reflecting a deceased loved one’s life. Creating a scrapbook is likely to prove to be a cathartic experience. When completed, you will have a memorial that will endure over time. Make a digital version of the scrapbook that you can readily share with others.
Create a Facebook Memorial Page
Facebook provides you a number of tools and resources through which you can create a memorial page for a loved one. You can open the doors to the Facebook memorial page and invite people to post photos and stories focused on your loved one.
Create a Memory Board on Pinterest
In a similar vein, you can make a memory board on Pinterest. You can begin the memory board by posting your own images and thoughts. Once accomplished, you can open the memory board for pins for others who also want to pay tribute to and memorialize the life and times of the friend or family member who passed on.
Plant a Memory Garden
Another creative way in which you can memorialize a loved one is to create a memory garden. Certainly, if your friend or family member had favorite plants, include them in the mix. A suggestion: don’t just plane perennials. If you include annuals, you will spend a little time each year selecting and planting new items in memory of your loved one.
Plant a Memory Tree
A related memorial is to plant a tree in honor of your deceased loved one. You might even consider making the planting of the tree something of an event. You can invite others who knew your loved on to participate in the planting. You might even have a meal before or after the memorial tree planting to celebrate the life of your loved one. Consider an evergreen, which is rich in color all year around.
Host a Dinner Featuring Favored Dishes
As a means of memorializing your loved one creatively, consider hosting an annual dinner featuring favorite foods enjoyed by that person during his or her life. Indeed, even having a one-time memorial dinner of this nature is a lovely way to bring people together to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Write an Elegy
An elegy is any type of poem that presents to the world why your loved one was a special person. You can rhyme or utilize free (non-rhyming) verse. Oftentimes, an elegy ends with a hopeful or positive statement, rather than being a sad lamentation about loss. An example of an elegy is Oh Captain! My Captain! This was written by Walt Wittman in honor of Abraham Lincoln
Make a Donation
Although not creative in and of itself, you can make a memorial contribution to a particular charitable organization unique. For example, you can make a donation in memory of a loved one to be used in a specific way by a particular organization. You can pinpoint the purpose of the donation to go towards an objective favored by your loved one.
Write a Message to Your Loved One
If you want to do something truly private to memorialize your loved one, write that person a message. Seal it in an envelope. Attach it to a helium-filled balloon and release. You can also make this type of memorial a group endeavor and invite others to write messages and release in this manner.
Mark a Globe or Map
If you and your loved one have a long history together, you may have traveled to different locations the world over. Memorialize your loved one by obtaining a globe or a wall map. Mark all of the destinations you and your loved one visited on the globe or map. You might consider displaying the globe or map at your office or at a place in your home where guests spend time.
Create a Memorial Bench
Parks and other locations in your community likely would welcome a bench, including a memorial one. With your friends and family, gather money together and have a memorial bench created in honor of your deceased loved one. Ideally, if there is a particular park or other public location he or she enjoyed, arrange to have the bench placed at that spot.
Organize a Charity Event
If your loved one was involved in some sort of charitable work, organize an event to support that organization. You might even consider making this an annual function and something of a living or enduring memorial to your loved one. The event need not be complicated and can be something as basic as a golf or softball tournament.
Custom Car Decal
Design and have created a custom car decal in honor of your friend or family member. Don’t go overboard when it comes to the size of the car decal. By making it something moderate in size, and tasteful, more friends and family members will be eager to display it on their vehicles as a means of honoring your loved one.
Permanent ink is not for everyone. However, an ever-increasing number of people are getting ink in this day and age. Another way in which you can memorialize a deceased loved one is to get a tattoo as a tribute. Perhaps other people will want to join you in this endeavor and you can all get matching tattoos in honor of the loved one who has passed.
Create a Stamp
Most people do not realize that the United States Postal Service permits people the ability to upload a photo and create their own legal, usable stamp. Consider creating such a stamp, with an image of your loved one, as a means of memorializing and paying tribute to your deceased friend or family member.
Make a Quilt from Loved One’s Clothing
If you are a quilter or know someone who is, make a quilt from items of clothing once worn by your loved one. The reality is that you can utilize your loved one’s clothing items to make a variety of different types of items, including bags, purses, napkins, and many other things. These can be used as gifts to others who were part of your loved one’s life.
Create a Remembrance Plaque
A remembrance plaque can be a simple tribute to your loved one. You can include basic information about your friend or family member. You might want to consider using an image of that person, together with a short poem or quotation that your loved one favored. A remembrance plaque might be placed in your home, at your church, or some other location associated with your loved one.
Create a College Scholarship
Establish some type of college or other types of educational, scholarship in honor of your loved one. The scholarship need not be for a huge amount of money. You don’t need to set up an endowment. You might even get others to chip in and help support the scholarship. Consider making the scholarship available to a student that attends your loved one’s alma mater.
Customized Memorial Jewelry
A creative, special way to memorialize your loved one is having some type of customized jewelry created in honor of that person. For example, you might select a customized ring, bracelet, or necklace in honor of that individual. You and others can wear this jewelry item as an ongoing tribute to the deceased loved one. Cremains can be incorporated into jewelry items if so desired.
Memorial Stones With Condolence Messages
A creative way to involve multiple people in memorializing a loved one is to create memorial stones with written tributes. Appropriate stones and indelible ink pens (like Sharpies) can be made available at the funeral or memorial service. People in attendance write their thoughts on stones, the stones being collected as a permanent tribute to the deceased person.
Using photo frames and images of your deceased loved one, you can craft a memorial photo wreath. Consider including photos in the wreath from different stages of your loved one’s life. A person viewing the completed wreath can move about the circle and take in that individual’s time on Earth.
Memorial Holiday Ornament
A creative way to pay tribute to a deceased loved one is through a memorial holiday ornament. Indeed, an ornament of this nature doesn’t even necessarily be associated with any particular holiday. The ornament can be simple. You can obtain multiple ornaments to give to others at an affordable price.
At the funeral or memorial service for your loved one, consider handing out keepsake saplings in honor of that person. By taking this route to memorialize your loved one, all of those who gather to remember the deceased individual will take something home through which they pay tribute to your friend or family member into the future.
Custom Paving Slab or Brick
Have a custom paving slap, or brick, created in honor of your loved one. This can be placed at your home or at some other location that was important to your friend or family member. Keep in mind that oftentimes organizations have brick projects in which a person can donate money and have a walkway brick customized in the name of the deceased loved one.
Create a Song
If you’re musically inclined, create a song to memorialize a lost loved one. If you are not talented in this manner, you will be able to find talent that will be able to create a memorial song celebrating the life and times of your deceased friend or a family member.
Create a Mini-Biography
In a similar vein as a tribute song, write or commission to be written a mini-bio telling the life story of your loved one. You can have the book created in digital form. In this day and age, you can also utilize on-demand printing and have hard copies of the mini-bio printed as needed for other people who know your deceased loved one.
Commission a Piece of Art
If your community is like those nearly everywhere, you likely have artisans available who would be willing and able to fashion a fantastic piece of art to memorialize your loved one. Class and ceramic pieces are particularly lovely ways of remembering a deceased friend or family member.
Commission a Painting
On a related note, consider commissioning a painting to honor your loved one. You might want the painting to display in your own home. The painting might be suitably displayed at the deceased person’s place of business. It also can prove to be a perfect gift to another person who cared about the person who passed on, including a spouse or child.
Light a Candle
It’s simple. Light a candle in honor of your loved one. Historically, there have been traditions in churches (and other spiritual locations) of lighting a candle with regularity to pay tribute and memorialize a deceased loved one. That practice is not as common in this day and age. Although not an original idea, returning to the candle lighting memorial is a meaningful way of remembering your loved one.
A more creative way of memorializing a loved one with candles is to make them yourself or have them custom made. By taking this route, special candles can be distributed among friends and family. Perhaps consider having a candle lighting night annually in honor of your loved one’s death. Others who loved your family member or friend can all light their tributes wherever they may be at the same time.
Bring friends and family together to read a book or two enjoyed by your deceased loved one. You can create something of a book club. Start the endeavor with no expectation beyond taking in a book or two favored by the deceased person. You might find that the book club endures well into the future.
Create a Memorial Book Shelf
On a related note, create a memorial bookshelf to hold some of your loved one’s favorite books. Creating this type of bookshelf, with your loved one’s favorite titles, creates a special link to that person. It can provide some unique insights into what was important in your loved one’s life.
Volunteer for Your Loved One’s Favorite Cause
Reference to your loved one’s favorite project or charity has been mentioned previously. Another way you can memorialize the life of your loved one, and create an ongoing gift, is to volunteer for his or her favorite charity, project, or cause. Don’t think that you need to make a long-term commitment. With that said, you might find that your loved one’s cause may become one of your own favorites.
Complete Your Loved One’s Bucket List
If your loved one had created a bucket list and had some items left on it, consider completing it – or at least part of it. Even if you select one remaining item for that individual’s bucket list, picking up where that person left off is an amazing tribute. You are also likely to have an enjoyable and memorable experience in the process.
Adopt a Section of Highway
Local, state and interstate roadway managers are always on the lookout for people to adopt sections to keep clean. Consider adopting a section of a highway in honor of your loved one. This usually results in the installation of a sign noting that the section of roadway is maintained in honor of a particular individual.
Make Amends With Someone
If you are like most people, you have someone or other in your life who you’ve been at odds with. That individual may have been associated in some manner with your loved one. In many ways, one of the most beautiful ways you can honor your deceased loved one is by making amends with someone else.
Frame Something Written by Your Loved One
Odds are you have something that your loved one wrote during his or her lifetime. It may be something as simple as a nice, memorable note to you. Frame something that your loved one has written. This will be a lasting reminder of the importance that the individual played in your life.
Honor Lost Loved One at Major Life Events
When a major life event of some type occurs, remember and honor your deceased loved one. For example, if a family member passed, raise a toast to that person at a holiday gathering or special event, like a wedding. Toasting your loved one can become an ongoing, living tribute to that person.
Try Your Loved One’s Hobby
Even if you’ve never done it before, consider at least trying your loved one’s hobby. For example, if your loved one enjoyed coin collecting, consider taking up where he or she left off. You might not ever have the same gusto your loved one had for a hobby, but you’ll be celebrating his or her life by keeping a hobby or interest alive.
Write a Letter and Say Something Unsaid
The death of a loved one is a time for mourning and grief. It can also be a time for healing. If there were some things left unresolved at the time a loved one died, take the time to write a letter to that person and say those things that may have been unsaid in life. Once complete, take the letter, light it on fire, and imagine the message going to your loved one in the smoke. Many people find this process a good method for healing old wounds.
Tend to the Grave
Cemeteries are supposed to provide basic services to a deceased person’s grave. You can take that a step further and spend some time on a regular basis taking care of your loved one’s grave. These visitations are likely to prove to be meaningful and even anticipated moments in your life.
Ask Children to Draw Pictures
If your loved one was a family member, ask children in the family to draw pictures of what they remember about the deceased individual. This can even be done by children in memory of a person who was not part of their families. The artwork of kids can be vibrant and compelling. Thus, when completed, consider framing the work for display.
Frame a Cherished Item
Odds are your loved one has some items used or possessed in life that he or she particularly treasured. Consider having one of those cherished items frames. For example, perhaps your loved one was a sports fan and owned a jersey that was particularly treasured. Frame it as a lasting memento.
Wear Something that Reminds You of Your Loved One
From time to time, wear something that reminds you of your loved one. Indeed, if you’ve ended up with some items of your loved one’s clothing, and they fit and meet your needs in other ways, consider donning these items from time to time. You’ll be making a simple and yet meaningful tribute to that person.
Give the Loved One a Seat
Particularly in the more immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death, consider “giving that person a seat” at events and gatherings. For example, if a family member has passed, consider leaving a seat at a holiday meal open and in their memory.
Write a Prayer
If you’re a person who prays, write a special prayer in honor of your deceased loved one. You might present the prayer the customized prayer at a funeral or memorial service. Moreover, you can recite the prayer on your own on a regular basis as a means of remembering the life and passing of that important person.