Honouring your loved one’s memory: creative ways to remember them

Finding a personal way to honour a loved one who has died can provide comfort. Here are some ideas.

Silhouette of a parent and child planting a tree with a bright sun in the background

When someone we love has died, we often feel like we have to ‘do something’. Some people’s grief can be very action-oriented, while others may feel less so. In the midst of the confusion, sadness, and overwhelm, finding ways to honour their life and memory can provide comfort and a focal point for our feelings. While traditional methods like holding memorial services or erecting gravestones are common, there are also other creative ways to remember and celebrate the lives of those we have loved and lost. 

4 ideas for honouring someone who has died

1. Create a memory box or memory space in your home 

A memory box or space is a tangible way to preserve cherished mementos and keepsakes that remind us of our loved ones. Gather items such as photos, clothing or jewelry items, letters, trinkets, and other memorabilia that hold special significance. Arrange them in a decorative box or on a designated shelf, creating a personal sanctuary to reflect on fond memories and feel connected to your loved one’s spirit.  Having an electric candle lit, beside their photo, is also a lovely way to keep their memory close.  

2. Perform acts of kindness

One of the most powerful ways to honour your loved one’s memory is by performing acts of kindness in their name. Volunteer for a cause they were passionate about, donate to charity in their name, or simply perform random acts of kindness in their memory. By spreading love and compassion in their name, you keep their spirit alive through meaningful actions that make a positive difference in the world. 

3. Plant a living memorial 

Consider planting a tree, flower garden, or indoor plant in memory of your loved one. Not only does this serve as a beautiful tribute, but it also symbolizes growth, renewal, and the everlasting nature of love. Each time the plant blooms or thrives, it becomes a living reminder of the enduring impact your loved one had on your life. 

4. Create a memorial fund, scholarship or art installation 

Establishing a memorial fund, scholarship or art installation in your loved one’s name is a meaningful way to honour their legacy while making a positive impact on others, in their honour. Consider donating to a cause or organization that was important to them, or create a scholarship fund to support aspiring students pursuing their dreams, or commission an art installation in a park or place of importance that provides a lasting tribute and a legacy of generosity, kindness or beauty. 

Honouring the memory of your loved one will be a deeply personal experience, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Whether through creative tributes, heartfelt rituals, or acts of kindness, this act of love keeps them alive in your heart and allows you to work openly with your grief. By honouring their legacy in meaningful and personalized ways, you not only find comfort and healing but also ensure that their memory lives on. 

Our dedicated grief support team is here to provide compassionate care and guidance to individuals and families coping with loss who reside in the communities of Etobicoke and West Toronto at no charge. Learn more about our services and register to attend our next Understanding Grief for the Newly Bereaved webinar.

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