When a loved one passes away, it’s difficult to cope with the grief and adjust to life without them. By finding a way to honor and remember them, family and friends can have a piece of them to hold onto forever. From making a keepsake to creating an annual tradition, there are many ways to honor a loved one.
That’s why we’ve created this compilation of 25 unique ways to memorialize a loved one. Your funeral home can use this as a guide to providing your families with meaningful memorialization keepsakes.
Are you interested in learning more ways your families can memorialize their loved ones? Download Tribute Center to start creating memorial items for the families you serve!
Creative Personalized Mementos to Try
Whether it’s a DIY project or a customizable memento, family and friends can memorialize a loved one by having a keepsake to cherish forever. Below are a few ideas:
1. Bird feeder
Spending time in nature has a positive effect on emotional health. A DIY bird feeder memorial lets families remember the deceased in the peacefulness of nature. Whether it’s a simple recycled bottle bird feeder, a long-lasting wooden bird feeder, or a creative teacup bird feeder, there are many different bird feeders that can be personalized with a short memorial message.
Books contain stories that leave a lasting impact on the reader, as a loved one’s life story also deserves to be remembered. A personalized memorial bookmark lets memories of the deceased be only a page turn away. You can download Tribute Center for free to create bookmarks, prayer cards, and other funeral stationery items for the families you serve.
3. Crocheted blanket
There’s nothing like wrapping up in a cozy blanket at the end of the day. A DIY crocheted blanket memento preserves lasting memories of a loved one while providing warmth and comfort. It can be personalized with the deceased’s favorite colors and either stitching their name or sewing on appliqué letters.
Mourning jewelry is worn as a reminder of loved ones who are no longer with us. Whether it’s a necklace, bracelet, ring, or locket, jewelry can be personalized to honor a loved one by engraving their name or putting their photo in a locket. Cremation jewelry can even be made with a small amount of a loved one’s ashes.
5. Memorial bench
A memorial bench is something family and friends can make a tradition of visiting together and taking time to sit and think about the deceased. If families are up for a craft project, they can make a memorial bench, or they can dedicate a bench to the deceased. Check with your local park to find out the requirements for dedicating a bench.
6. Memory journal
Another way to preserve memories is by writing them down in a memory journal. Families also can write down current adventures and life events, so it’s like the deceased is there experiencing it alongside them.
7. Name a star after the deceased
At night when family and friends are missing their deceased loved one, they can look up into the sky and know they’re watching over them. Naming a star after the deceased is a way to honor their memory and allows family and friends to look up at the star as a reminder of them.
Not having the deceased around for the holidays is tough on loved ones, but they can honor their memory with a personalized ornament. Frazer Consultants has customizable angel, butterfly, dove, and snowflake ornaments. Families can hang the keepsake on their tree or on an ornament stand to display year-round.
Scrapbooks are a creative way to preserve life’s special moments. Families can compile their deceased loved one’s adventures into a memorial scrapbook, or they can make a scrapbook filled with their life’s current memories so it’s like they’re sharing the moments with their deceased loved one.
Meaningful Traditions to Memorialize a Loved One
Creating a ritual that family members can participate in monthly, annually, or however often they wish is another way to actively memorialize loved ones. Below are a few ideas:
10. Continue a tradition, project, or passion of the deceased
Family and friends can honor a deceased loved one by carrying out a project they started or continuing a tradition of theirs. It can be a woodwork craft, crocheted blanket, or any other project. For traditions, if they had a go-to restaurant or an event they regularly attended, families can carry out this tradition in their memory.
11. Donate in their honor
Families can honor the memory of their deceased loved one by donating in their honor. It can be a monetary donation or donated goods to their favorite charity or cause.
12. Gather and share memories of them
Family and friends can all gather to comfort and support each other through sharing stories about the deceased. Everyone can pass around photos of the deceased and take turns sharing cherished memories with them.
13. Go for a walk or bike ride on their favorite trail
Spending time in nature can help calm the mind. Families can take a walk or bike ride on a loved one’s favorite path. If they planted any trees or flowers in their honor, they can go past those and take some time to sit by them and think about their deceased loved one.
14. Hold a moment of silence for them before meals
Taking some time to think about a deceased loved one is a simple way to create a tradition to remember them. Holding a moment of silence before meals gives family members designated time to think about the deceased together.
15. Include them in your prayers
For those who are religious, their faith can help guide them through their difficult time of grief and provide them with ways to honor the deceased through prayer. They can pray for the deceased before meals, or however often they wish.
16. Light a candle
Filling the room with the light of a candle can help families grieve and pay tribute to their deceased loved one. With Tribute Center, you can create customizable Life Journey Candles for your families to light during dark times.
17. Plant a tree
For those who loved the outdoors, planting a tree is the perfect tradition to honor their memory. Not only does it honor their loved one’s life, but it also contributes to preserving the environment.
Purrfect Pet Memorialization Ideas
Pets are members of the family, so they deserve to be honored through memorialization, too. Some of the mementos and traditions previously mentioned can work for pets, but these are some pet-specific ideas.
18. Clay paw print
Pets leave paw prints on the hearts of their loved ones. Families can use their pet’s paw print to create a clay paw print memorial to remember their pet by. To make a clay paw print, they need to flatten oven-bake clay, carefully press their paw into the clay, carve their pet’s name with a toothpick, and bake it in the oven at 275 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
19. Fur, feather, or whisker clipping
A family’s furry best friend can be memorialized by making a fur, feather, or whisker clipping memento. The clipping can be put into something special such as a locket or a see-through memorial card.
20. Fur spun into yarn
For those who like to crochet, a family can have their beloved pet’s fur spun into yarn to make a special memento, such as a pair of mittens, a hat, or a blanket they can curl up in. Families can do this themselves, but they may want to practice with wool if they’ve never spun yarn before or seek help from someone experienced.
21. Look-alike stuffed animal
It’s difficult for families to cope with the loss of a pet, but they can honor their memory with a personalized memorial item such as a look-alike stuffed animal. They can hug their memento stuffed animal when they’re missing their beloved pet.
22. Paw print painting
By using ink or paint, families can create a paw print painting memorial of their pet. Whether it’s a single paw print and a memorial message, or a big collage of their steps all over a canvas, it’s a thoughtful DIY memorial that families can display in their home forever.
23. Pet tag jewelry
A pet’s tag is a significant item that families may want to hold on to, and if they don’t know what to do with it, they can make it into a piece of memorial jewelry. The tag can be put on a necklace chain, so their owner can keep them close to their heart forever.
24. Pet tag keychain
If a pet tag necklace doesn’t suit a family’s memorial desires, they can turn it into a keychain. A keyring is a safe and convenient place to put a pet’s tag, so it never gets lost and they can keep it close. To ensure the tag’s longevity, they may want to have the sides laminated to prevent scratching.
25. Professional pet portrait
A professional pet portrait can capture a pet’s personality, whether it’s a professional drawing or a photograph. Families also can include their pet in a family photo, so they’ll always have it to cherish when their pet has passed away.
What other ways can you memorialize a loved one? Share your ideas with us in the comments!