Coping with the death of a loved one is never an easy thing to face and it can be an overwhelming experience. We all have our own ways of managing through trying times and there are an endless variety of creative ways to commemorate a death, which can help in overcoming grief. For more suggestions on how to cope with grief, read our dedicated article.
For those looking for an interesting or unique way of remembering a departed family member or friend, we hope we can inspire you to create a thoughtful, positive and loving means of honouring the memory of someone close that’s passed away.
Ashes to ashes
One way to mark the passing of a friend or relative is to scatter their ashes in a place that would mean something to them. It could be that you scatter their remains at a site of particular importance, such as their favourite place, the place where you two met, or somewhere they always wanted to visit but didn’t have the opportunity to see in their lifetime. However you decide to scatter their remains, make sure it doesn’t contravene local law and regulations, and think long and hard about what the deceased would have wanted. Read our dedicated article about the many things you can do with ashes.
Take up their hobby
Most people pursue a passion or hobby that brings joy and happiness to both their lives and the lives of those around them. One way to commemorate the passing of a loved one is to gather to enjoy their passion with friends and family. Whether it is golf, gardening, parachuting or art, all of the family can enjoy the sensation of doing something their loved one delighted in, while enjoying the company of those that remember them best. It doesn’t matter whether it’s something you’re good at or not, nor if you would choose to partake in the hobby in your own time, as it’s a good excuse to get together and commemorate the passion of someone who meant a great deal to you.
This can also be a great excuse to get all of their people together; friends from school, from work and from elsewhere, as well as all the family.
Plant a new tree
When it comes to family, trees have a powerful symbolic importance. They’re often used to describe the relationships between members of a family, they follow the natural cycle of birth, growth and eventual death, and they’re a beautiful reminder of how families branch out and spread from the same roots. Trees give life to their environment as they take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, which all living things need to survive. They are therefore often planted as a memorial to a loved one, as they symbolise life and new beginnings.
For some, there’s no better way to commemorate the passing of a loved one than by planting a new tree that will grow from a small seed or sapling to become a strong, bold and long-lasting monument to the deceased’s life and their place within the family. Knowing that such a tree will blossom for generations to come reaffirms that although the individual in question may no longer be with us, their memory and influence lives on through those that remember them.
Excursion to a special place
We all have our special places that mean a great deal to us and remind us of a certain time in our lives or of individuals we’ve known. Whether it’s a particular spot in the park, a favourite restaurant, a famous monument, a beautiful beach or a preferred holiday destination – making a pilgrimage to a place held dear by someone you’ve lost can be the perfect way to celebrate the life they lived and the things that were most important to them. This excursion can be combined with scattering of ashes.
Compile their stories
One of the best ways to commemorate a death is through the telling or retelling of the stories that constitute our best memories of them. Whether it’s a small gathering of friends and family who swap stories and anecdotes over food and drinks, or an attempt to compile these accounts into a printed and bound book of memories that can be read again and again over the years, the process of sharing recollections can be therapeutic, enjoyable and a fantastic way to capture the essence of an individual in all their complexity.
Exercise your creativity
One particularly productive way to commemorate a death is to pursue a creative endeavour and to dedicate the work you do to your loved one. Whether it’s sculpture, music, photography or writing, allow the memory of your loved one to flow through you as you create, and transfer your memories into something that can have value for others.