Creative Ideas to Remember Your Loved One

Creative Ideas to Remember Your Loved One

One of the most important things that a bereaved individual can do to help them as they grieve is to express their grief in mourning rituals and activities. I think this is true because it gives voice and form to our feelings of loss and helps us take concrete steps in remembering and honoring our loved ones. In other words, it helps us put our grief into action. We all are different and, therefore, different ways to memorialize and remember our loved one will appeal to us or be meaningful to us. Below are a variety of things we can do to help us memorialize or honor our loved one’s memory. The only limit is your creativity!

Memorial Ideas:

  1. Keep a memory journal. As you think of happy memories, write a few lines about what made that a special moment. You may even want to add photos. 
  2. Make a scrapbook or photo album or frame/shadow box special memories. You could hang their favorite verse, saying, or poem on the wall as well. 
  3. Memorial jewelry can be made out of wedding rings or you may simply want to wear your loved one’s favorite piece of jewelry. Lockets with photos or locks of hair can also be meaningful.
  4. Use your loved one’s clothing to make or have made pillow covers, quilts, or teddy bears. Ties, t-shirts, and shirts can all be used. 
  5. Many types of gifts can be made utilizing your loved one’s handwriting – pillow shams, jewelry, wall hangings, for example. There are many ideas for these items on Etsy.
  6. Many people find it meaningful to design and get a memorial tattoo.
  7. Starting a foundation, event, or scholarship in your loved one’s memory
  8. Plant a memorial garden, or add special paving/stepping stones to the yard or maybe plant a tree in your loved one’s memory.
  9. Many things can be made with ashes of a loved one – jewelry, paperweights, and Christmas ornaments are examples. 
  10. Make a memorial Christmas ornament. 
  11. Memorial artwork – either create your own or have one commissioned. 
  12. Create a book – of recipes or family stories, perhaps.
  13. Do an act of kindness or charity on your loved one’s birthday or death anniversary – in their honor. 
  14. Finish a project your loved one was working on – or do one you feel your loved one would have been proud of. 
  15. Host a memorial celebration at a later date with close friends and family.
  16. Watch your loved one’s favorite movie, or read their favorite book, or play a game they enjoyed, eat their favorite meal or dessert, and remember them with joy.
  17. You may find it comforting to wear a piece of your loved one’s clothing – a t-shirt or tie, perhaps. 
  18. Create a tribute video of favorite photos, quotes, memories. 
  19. Take a trip or have an adventure your loved one always wanted to experience.
  20. On their birthday eat their favorite food, or on a family holiday, make some dish they loved.

Other ideas are online at Etsy and on Pinterest. Craft supplies are available at Hobby Lobby. Be creative and do something meaningful to you! Have you done anything creative and meaningful as you remember your loved one? Please share your ideas in the comments. 

A Blessing For Those Who Grieve

I was inspired to write this by the many loss survivors I spend time with each week. Jesus said, in scripture, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” In light of his words, I have written this blessing for my friends who grieve…

A Blessing for Those Who Grieve

Blessed are those who unexpectedly cry in the grocery store, while driving down the road in their car, or when they awake in the morning, for their hearts are tender and they have loved deeply.

Blessed are those who have endured the unendurable, faced the unthinkable, and are still standing, for they have strength.

Blessed are those who question, who seek, who dare ask why, who wail and scream, for they are honest about what they feel.

Blessed are those who have had to say good-bye too soon for they know that life is precious and sometimes far too short.

Blessed are those who have regrets, who have failed, who feel guilty, for they know that relationships are sometimes messy and this is what it is to be human. May they know peace.

Blessed are those who feel abandoned, who are judged, who sit alone and wonder where everyone has gone, for they know the true value of faithful friendship.

Blessed are those who tell their story again and again and again…to sales clerks, to strangers in line at Wal-Mart, to unsuspecting people who ask how they are doing, because it is just so hard to believe it is real, for they know the great gift of simple human kindness and a listening ear.

Blessed are those who can no longer hold their loved ones physically, but continue to hold them within their hearts, for they hold a bit of eternity.

Blessed are those who lay awake at 2 am, exhausted by life and yet unable to sleep, may they find rest.

Blessed are those attempting to build a new life without a set of blueprints or an instruction manual, may they have clarity and a vision for the future.

Blessed are those who are now traveling in totally alien territory, with no clear path before them. May they find purpose and meaning.

Blessed are those who feel broken apart, unable to put themselves together again, for they know how much we all need compassion.

Blessed are those learning to carry a reality that cannot be resolved or fixed for they understand that all problems do not have solutions.

Blessed are those who have fallen down, sitting in the ashes of their former lives, for they have crawled, they have stood back up…over and over and over. They are courageous and learning to begin again.

Blessed are those who have experienced deep loss and deep grief. May hope, light, life, and comfort dawn upon their souls as they continue to walk forward.

– Jan Owen
July 2019