One of the most challenging things in life is losing a loved one.  It is the one thing about life that we will all experience at some point. While losing people who we love is universal, the way that people choose to memorialize those they’ve lost is as varied and unique as can be.  These days, celebrating those we’ve lost has become so much more than just a funeral service and a gravestone. Keep reading to discover new and unique ways that you can honor your loved one’s life after they are gone.

Memorial Items

In recent years the tradition of creating memorial items for a loved one who has passed is becoming much more mainstream.   Some people choose to do this by collecting the clothing of the person who has died and using it to create quilts, stuffed animals, pillows, or Christmas ornaments. Another popular way to create memorial keepsakes incorporates the ashes of a loved one who has been cremated. These items include jewelry, Christmas Ornaments, and glass decor. During the creation process, the ashes are included in the liquid material as well as colored pigments or glitter. Once hardened, the cremains are forever encased in these pieces so the loved one can be remembered for years to come.

Memorial Plants

Another popular way to remember a loved one is through memorial plants. The Arbor Day Foundation has a program that accepts donations in your loved one’s name and then plants x number of trees in their honor. If you are looking for a way to memorialize your loved one with a tree that you can grow yourself, several companies have made this possible. The Living Urn is a memorial tree company out of Colorado. This company creates biodegradable urn kits where you can add the cremains of your loved one along with the company’s proprietary soil mixture and a seedling for a tree that is well suited to your climate. You can plant these on your property or get permission to plant them in a place that was special to your loved one. Some other great options to memorialize your loved one are planting a memorial garden, memorial vines, or sponsoring a bench in a local park.

Memorial Charitable Donations

Donating to charity is probably one of the more popular ways people choose to honor their loved one’s life.  These days many funeral announcements request a donation to the deceased person’s favorite charity instead of gifts and flowers. For example, if your loved one succumbed to a specific illness or disease, you may choose to donate to organizations that are researching to find cures or treatments for that illness/disease. If your loved one was dedicated to a particular cause or religious organization, you could choose to continue donating to those organizations in their name. No matter what cause your loved one was passionate about, you can continue that work through charitable giving in honor of your loved one. This is a great way to keep your loved one’s legacy alive and make a difference at the same time.

Create a New Tradition

One of the best ways to keep the memory of your loved one alive is by creating a new tradition dedicated to doing just that.  Maybe you and others who cared about that person can get together each year on their birthday and cook their favorite foods, share photos, watch videos, and share your favorite stories about that person.  Alternatively, you could plan a trip to your loved one’s favorite place each year. By enjoying something and somewhere that they loved, you may feel closer to them even though they aren’t there with you. This type of tradition is an excellent way for all the people who love the deceased to celebrate their life together.

Funeral Gifts

The most popular way of honoring a loved one who has died is still the funeral service. The tradition of giving a gift to the family for the funeral service often depends on many factors.  It’s not always clear what the gift-giving etiquette is for funeral services, and often culture and religion play a big part in how gifts are handled in these situations.  In most cases, the funeral announcement will let you know if the family has chosen not to accept gifts and flowers.  In the cases of those accepting such items, there are some great options out there for memorial gifts. Flowers are the most common gift that you’ll see at funerals, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, you may want to consider a memory basket. Reminiscence of Yesterday is a new service offering Memorial Gift Baskets as an alternative to flowers.  These gift baskets are handmade, unique, and thoughtful gifts that include photos, memories, and other mementos to celebrate the life of a person who has passed. These keepsake baskets are a great way to honor your loved ones and keep them close to your heart. 

No matter how you choose to remember your loved ones who have passed on, try to remember that, you are not alone in your grief.  It is essential to stay connected to family and friends through this difficult time. Maybe you can work together to use one of these methods to memorialize your loved one. 

It may feel difficult and painful to think about these things, especially if the grief is fresh.  However, choosing to keep the memory of a loved one alive is a way to keep them close even after they’re gone, and it is an excellent step forward on the road towards healing.

If you’re interested in ordering a Memorial Gift Basket through our new company, Reminiscence of Yesterday, please feel free to reach out.