How do you memorialize a loved one?
Losing someone is one of the hardest things to go through. No matter who it is, when someone close to you dies, the stages of grief begin to consume your life. Whilst some people cope well and are good at dealing with grief, for others it can be an overwhelming process.
However, once these initial stages of grief have run their course, many people have the desire to keep their loved ones alive in their memory. Memorializing a loved one will ensure he/she is never forgotten as you will have something physical to remind you of them.
Why is it important to remember someone who died?
When someone dies, the immediate aftermath is often chaotic and overwhelming and people generally do not have enough time to properly process their grief. With multiple things at play, the funeral is often the first time a person has the opportunity to reflect on their own feelings and acknowledge the grief they are experiencing.
However, once the funeral and this initial time has passed, and you’ve made peace with your initial feelings, there comes a time when the friends and family of the deceased have the opportunity to think about their loved ones in terms of their life and not their death.
Once this time comes, people often seek ways to immortalize the life and legacy of the person who has died. Memorializing someone is a great way of remembering a loved one, which offers peace and comfort to many.
How to remember someone who died
There are different ways in which you can honor the memory of your loved one. Choosing the way in which you wish to honor your loved one is an extremely personal choice which often requires a lot of thought in order to make it meaningful to both yourself and the person who has passed away.
In order to give you some ideas and help you on your own journey of grief, we have collated a list of some of the most popular ways in which people remember their friends and family members who have passed on.
Getting a memorial plaque made is the perfect way to honor your loved one as there are so many things that you can do with it. By collaborating with a carpenter and an engraver, you can ensure the plaque captures the spirit of your loved one.
For exemple, if they loved Disney, you can shape the plaque as Mickey Mouse or if they were obsessed with cars, you can shape it like their favorite car. You can also engrave it with whatever information you wish. You can make it sentimental if that is what you want, or even humorous if they used to make you laugh a lot.
You can keep it wherever you want. If you want to keep it close to you, you can hang it up in your house. However, you could also put it somewhere that meant something to them or a place that was special or significant for both of you. The possibilities are endless with a memorial plaque, allowing you to make it extremely personal.
A memorial garden is another beautiful way of remembering someone, especially if they were someone who was particularly connected to nature or had a green thumb. As this is a physical place, it can be a nice way to get away from your every day life to be in a peaceful spot that reminds you of your loved one. People often also like to spend time at these gardens on the anniversary of their loved one’s death, turning it into an annual memorial event.
If you do not have the financial ability or time to create a memorial garden, another equally beautiful and meaningful way to remember your loved one can be to simply plant a tree. This is an option that will hopefully live on for a long time mimicking what you wish for your loved one’s legacy.
Cremation remembrance jewelry is a form of memorial jewelry for ashes, as a small amount of your loved one’s ashes are incorporated into a piece of jewelry. This can come in many different forms, from rings, to cremation charms, to bracelets or necklaces.
Cremation jewelry for ashes is not something that many people are aware of, however, it is a way in which you can have your loved one with you all day everyday after their death. This provides comfort to many people as it allows people to feel close to those who have died.
Create a memory box
Creating a memory box is a good way to collate all your feelings and memories together, allowing you to look back on the life of the person you have lost whenever you feel like it.
What you include in the box is completely up to you, some like to fill it with pictures, their favorite teddy bear, music they liked, or tickets of things you attended together. You have full control over what you wish to include.
Many people also like to write a letter to the person who has died and put it inside with the rest of the memories. This is a coping mechanism often suggested by grief counselors as it allows you to put all your emotions on a piece of paper and express your grief in a healthy way. Placing this in your memory box will allow you to keep it safe and encompass a healthy outlet of feelings and emotion.
Donate to charity
Donating money to a charity in the name of the person who has passed away is an extremely thoughtful way to memorialize them. Not only are you donating to a good cause but you are championing something that the deceased was passionate about when they were alive.
How different countries remember their loved ones
It is often enlightening to see how other countries choose to remember their loved ones as their rituals might speak to you and you may wish to incorporate some of their coping mechanisms within your own.
The Day of the Dead in Mexico
El Dia de los Muertos, translated into English as the day of the dead, is a Mexican festival that celebrates the life of those who have passed away. A fear that mourning the death of someone will offend the deceased leads to extravagant celebrations of life in the streets of Mexico.
The Ghost Festival in China
The Ghost Festival, sometimes referred to as The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated in China in order to honor their ancestors. The ceremony includes collating familial keepsakes and burning incense around them. It is held at dusk and many light a candle in a lantern and release it into rivers.
Pchum Ben in Cambodia
Pchum Ben (the Day of the Ancestors) is a religious Cambodian ceremony that lasts 15 days. Pchum means "meeting" and Ben, "bowl of food." On the last day of the ceremony, Cambodians honor their ancestors of up to seven previous generations. There is a vigil during which monks sing and in which, according to tradition, offerings of food are made to the deceased.
Sometimes it is offered directly and sometimes through the monks themselves, who are the ones who receive the offering. These 15 days are also vacations throughout the country so Cambodians have the opportunity to visit their families.
As is clear, there is no one correct way to grieve and honor the loved ones you have lost. Hopefully, the ways that we have mentioned above will help you on your journey through grief and inspire you to memorialize your loved ones.