8 Lasting Ways to Honour a Loved One

1. Throw Them a (Virtual) Birthday Party or Memorial Do

 Disclaimer: Don’t flout your areas Covid-19 restrictions.

The birthday of a loved one can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, your loved one’s birthday should continue to be a cause for celebration, not for sorrow.

Use this time as an opportunity to bring your family and friends together. Share food, drink, laughs, memories, and stories. Whatever your belief system, your loved one would want you to be happy, so pop the cork and turn the volume up.

2. Hang a Word Cloud on your Wall

If you haven’t come across word clouds, they’re simply a list of words which are formatted so that they form a shape, such as a cloud, or love heart. You can then print and frame this word cloud and hang it on your wall.

Use a word cloud to list your loved one’s favourite hobbies and interests, funny quotes, or triggers for memories. Furthermore, you can add quirky nicknames they were called, or called people and what made them so special.

A word cloud is not only a good way of consistently remembering your loved one, but a therapeutic exercise. You can find Word Cloud makers on many websites including:

wordclouds.co.uk

notonthehighstreet.com

chatterboxwalls.co.uk

 3. Volunteer or Donate to a Cause Close to their Heart

Did your loved one used to frequently donate to a non-profit organisation or volunteer at the local animal shelter?

Carrying on this tradition can help to preserve their memory and ensure that the cause which meant so much to them is still being aided. My dad was a member of Blood Bikes, an organisation where volunteer motorcyclists help transport urgent material between hospitals. Doing a fundraiser for this organisation was a really enriching experience, and one that I knew he’d be proud of.

Alternatively, contributing to a charity combatting the cause for your loved one’s death can be an empathetic step in ensuring that others in the future avoid the fate that your loved one did.

4. Plant their favourite plant

Where there is death, bring new life. Whether its at a burial ground, or in your own garden, being able to watch your loved one’s favourite plant grown and bloom is a beautiful thing.

I’m sure you nurtured and cared for your loved one when they were alive, so channel that energy into something colourful and good for the world. I promise it’ll bring a smile to your face.

 5. Give your loved one’s clothes a new lease of life

Don’t leave your loved one’s old shirts, favourite blanket, or scarf to gather dust in a box in the loft. Instead, re-purpose it into something meaningful that you can use daily. For instance, stitch shirts together to make a patchwork quilt. Alternatively, use the material from their favourite blanket or scarf to make a cuddly teddy bear.

This way, you’ll always have a motif in your company to remember them by and will make them feel closer to you as you go about your day-to-day.

6. Get a memorial tattoo

Maybe you’re an ink fanatic, or perhaps you’re a clean canvas. Getting a tattoo in their memory is something you’ll never regret. It could be a visual representation of something they loved, e.g. their cat, or maybe their handwriting or lyrics to their favourite song. The possibilities here are endless, and whatever you choose will be meaningful and sentimental.

Having a tattoo in your loved one’s honour is a great way of keeping them with you at all times and showing that their impression on you will remain everlasting.

7. Make a memory jar

One of the biggest fears that people have when they lose someone dear to them is that the cherished memories they have will gradually fade as time passes.

Making a memory jar can take the weight of one less worry off your shoulders and bring momentary joy whenever you need it. Ask your friends and family to write all their favourite memories of your loved one on a small piece of paper and throw it into the jar. Whenever you feel distant from them, simply pull a piece of paper out and remember something beautiful.

 8. Mark a spot in their honour

Whilst it is of course a good thing to visit your loved one’s place of rest, it can be beneficial to have somewhere else to remember them in a bit more of a positive light. If you find visits to the cemetery a bit too sombre, perhaps dedicate a bench to them in the park where they used to walk the dog, or a brick at the local golf club where they used to play every Sunday. Maybe put a plaque on a tree in the forest where they used to force you to go on bike rides (even when the weather was terrible).

Having a separate spot to honour them allows you to feel closer to them, without it also being a saddening symbol of their departure.

So, there’s 8 lasting ways to honour a loved one. Any of these will make you feel closer and more positive about an undeniably difficult situation. Remember, your loved ones live on in your memory…