“Those we love can never be more than a thought away, for as long as there’s a memory, they live in our hearts to stay.” – Unknown
Your loved one may be gone from the world but never your heart. To work through grief many people find it helpful to memorialize their dearly departed. There are many ways to do this.
First, recognize that a memorial should bring about happy memories of your beloved and remind you of how they were, not how they died. A memorial is a way to honor their life and all they did for you.
Memorializing the memory of him/her can greatly help you cope with this grief, bring feelings of closure and help you feel close to your lost one who is buried deep inside your heart forever.
There are several different ways to memorialize your beloved and help bring peace to your heart. Because it might be hard to choose, consider a few questions first to help you narrow down your choices:
Many people choose a memorial item that reflects their dearest’s personality. Did your friend have an indoors personality or was outside the place to be? If he was more “indoorsy” and liked to cuddle, read, or watch tv, then maybe you’d want to get a customizable blanket. If he wanted to be outside enjoying sports, water, birdwatching, and the bright sunshine, then consider a memorial garden or headstone in his favorite spot of the yard. Are the remains cremated or buried? Did you save any hair? That will narrow down the available choices below.
What’s your budget? Are you okay with getting a few different memorial items if you can’t settle on just one?
Are you renting a location and you may not stay there forever? If so, maybe an outdoor memorial isn’t the best.
Do you need to ask other parties how they’d like to memorialize their lost loved one? It’s nice to include the children in the decision-making process. Take a vote if need be.
Lastly, remember that it’s okay to take several months to decide what to get. In fact, it may be wise to wait at least a few days when you are not as emotionally upset. Take your time so you can choose the perfect way to memorialize your loved one.
Before further ado, here are 32 different ways to memorialize your dearly departed:
1. Bench You can sponsor a memorial bench in honor of your beloved to be placed at an animal park or local park you guys used to visit. Contact your local city’s parks and recreation department to find out how to do this.
2. Bird Feeder If your loved one enjoyed bird watching, consider building or buying a bird feeder as a sweet way to honor and remember your loved one. You can decorate the feeder by painting the deceased’s name on it or getting the name printed or engraved on it.
3. Candles Keep the memories of your loved one aflame in your heart with a memorial candle. Whether you are looking for a customizable three votive candle holder or a single pillar candle holder, check them out here.
Keep memories of your loved one close to your heart with this silver cross necklace.
6. Memorial Garden
If your dearly departed love the sunshine and fresh air or favorite lounge area, build a small garden with their favorite flowers in their honor in that area. Check out how to build one by visiting this article.
You can turn your ashes into a diamond. Visit Life Gem for more information.
8. Donate to a Charity/Organization They Loved
You and your family can volunteer your time or donate money/supplies to a charity/organization the deceased loved. Sometimes if the deceased died of cancer, families will donate to a non-profit that helps with end-of-life care or cancer research. People often find comfort in helping to take care of others who were in the same predicament as their beloved was.
Did the decedent love the Fourth of July or watching fireworks? You can have their cremains made into fireworks. Heavenly Star Fireworks helps you scatter your beloved's ashes with a bang.
10. Launch the Ashes into Space
Did you both like to have deep talks about the universe, space, and what our purpose is together? For memory's sake, launch the ashes into space and share them with the universe. To find out how to do this, visit Celestis.com.
11. Letter or Poem Sometimes writing helps to deal with grief. You can write a tribute poem or letter to or about your beloved. You can describe him/her or talk about how much you loved him/her. You can share your writings, turn them into a song, or frame them.
Let go of the grief, but never the memories with a customized guest book. You can have it for people to sign, write encouraging messages, or write sweet memories on it during the funeral. You could also use it as a scrapbook. You can include old photos, little memorabilia, and journal in it. You can keep it to reminisce on the good memories by yourself or with others. It can offer comfort and keep your memories alive.
Display a plaque dedicated to the one you will hold in your heart forever.
19. Resin Have hair or ashes? You can turn it into resin art. You could place the items into a resin bead or earring mold and turn them into jewelry. You could also send it to a resin artist to get something made.
Design or buy a shadow box that is going to showcase everything that you loved about your special one. This shadow box reads, “Those who we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear.”
If you don’t have a lot of space, you can designate a shelf specifically to commemorate your lost loved one. Add this shelf sitter and other mementos, then there you have it - a sweet sentimental spot to honor your beloved friend. There are many more customizable memorial shelf sitters to view here.
Signs don’t take up much space but remind you of all those good memories every time you see them. Here are some customizable signs.
23. Solid Glass “Snow Globe”
You can get the ashes swirled into a solid glass “snow globe” that you can display. Starry Night Glass Art company on Etsy does this for people but there are many other companies as well.
24. Name a Star After Your Lost Loved One
Did you and your lost loved one enjoy stargazing together at night? Keep those memories alive by naming a star after him/her at Star Deed. That way, every time you gaze at the night sky, you won’t be alone. Your beloved will be looking down at you from his very own star.
25. Stone Monuments/Headstones
Purchase a stone monument or make your own out of stones to place at the grave or simply serve as a reminder of your beloved.
You can get a custom book printed about the deceased. You could keep this around to read to your kids to help them work through their grief. Different companies will do this for you. Lossbooks.com is one company that does this.
Get creative by getting a tattoo at a local tattoo shop. This is a simple way to remember your loved one. You will never lose this memorial to your beloved, that’s for sure.
Make a terrarium in honor of your special someone. It can be as expensive or intricate as you like. You can get a glass container/box and fill it with small mementos or pictures. Search “Memorial Terrariums” or “Memorial Garden Terrariums” online to get ideas.
Urns that hold cremains are a popular way for people to memorialize their departed. Check out the different photo urns, wood urns, candle urns, and dovetail urns available here. For more information on how to choose an urn, check out this article - "How to Find a Cremation Urn that Fits Your Needs."
You can set up a memorial website in honor of your sweetheart for free. A website allows you to share pictures and sweet memories with your friends and loved ones. Check out how to do this here.
32. Make a Memorial Video or Slideshow
You can collect all your favorite photos and put them together in a slideshow. Add music and there you have it - a perfect tribute. If you are having a funeral, this would be a good thing to have running while everyone enjoys the service.