In this article, we'll explore 3 unique and creative ways to remember your loved one and discover how they can help keep their memory alive and enrich our lives in meaningful ways.
WHAT IS THE ART OF REMEMBRANCE?
As humans, we have an incredible ability to remember events, people, and emotions that have shaped our lives. However, as time passes, our memories tend to fade.
When a loved one passes, it can have a deep impact on us emotionally. We feel the need to stay connected to them. One way to do that is to cherish and preserve our memories or to stay connected to them through their belongings or activities. The art of remembrance can be a powerful tool to help us honour, respect, and cherish the memory of a loved one.
There are many ways to memorialise a loved one, from simply displaying a photograph surrounded by their favourite candles to holding a memorial service to commemorate the death of a loved one. What’s important is to find a way that feels right to you.
TRADITIONAL WAYS OF REMEMBRANCE
Many people are familiar with the traditional ways to preserve the memory of their lost loved one. Traditional ways to remember a loved one include:
- Visiting a gravesite or memorial and leaving flowers.
- Displaying photos and keepsakes, either at the gravesite or at home.
- Holding memorial services and events at a church or at the home of your loved one.
However, as funerals become more of a celebration of life, fewer people are opting for traditional burials. Which often means there is no grave to visit. As a result, more people are looking for new, more meaningful ways to connect and honour the person who passed away.
WHY IS PRESERVING THE MEMORY OF OUR LOVED ONES IMPORTANT?
Preserving the memory of our loved ones is important because it allows us to keep their spirit alive and stay connected to the departed loved one.
Memories remind us of the good times we shared with our loved ones and help us to remember how much they meant to us. Memorials help us to keep our loved one's close to us in our hearts.
Sharing stories and memories with others can also bring comfort and healing and help us to cope with the pain of loss.
Preserving the memory of our loved ones can inspire us to live our lives in a way that would make them proud. This is especially important when it's a mother or father figure that has departed.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
Dr. Earl A. Grollman
WHAT ARE SOME CREATIVE WAYS TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF OUR LOVED ONES?
There are many creative ways to pay tribute to your loved one. This article is going to look at 3 of the best and most unique ways to memorialise their memory:
- Finish their bucket list
- Immortalise them
- Create a memorial lantern
1 - Finish their bucket list
One of the nicest ways to feel connected to a loved one is to finish their bucket list.
You don't have to do all the items on the list. Choosing just one or two can be sufficient to keep them close.
If your loved one left a bucket list project unfinished, you could complete it for them. You may have to step out of your comfort zone, learn new skills or make new friends to complete it, all of which can seem daunting but will ultimately help with the grieving process and also help keep their memory alive.
The movie UP by Pixar, is a heart-warming film showing just how magical it can be to complete a loved one's life dream. In the movie, an elderly Carl loses his longtime wife Ellie. Depressed, lonely and faced with the prospect of losing his house and living the rest of his life in a nursing home, he decides to fulfil his loved one's life ambition to visit South America. He attaches balloons to his house and sets off on an adventure, not realising that Russell, a young boy scout, is also on board.
Through his journey, Carl transforms from a forlorn and depressed man to a joyful and adventurous one, finding purpose and meaning in the world around him.
The message of the movie is clear; there are many ways to celebrate a loved one who has passed and completing something that was important to them can ultimately bring closure and embark on a new way to celebrate their life.
2 - Immortalise them
There are so many ways to immortalise a lost loved one and to preserve their memory after they are gone. Thinkwillow has put together some of the best ways to immortalise the recently deceased.
If your loved one enjoyed reading or creating poetry, then this is definitely one of the sweetest, most creative ways to honour someone. Poems are special by themselves, but they can also be combined with different memorial projects.
Here are just a few ways that you can honour your loved one with a poem:
- Include it in a book written to honour your loved one
- Print it out and frame it together with a photo of your deceased loved one
- Add it to a scrapbook
- Keep it in a shadow box
- Paint it on a canvas or memorial stone
- Add it to a memorial bench.
- Set it to music and turn it into a song
- Add it as part of a collage
- Create a calligraphy print
If your loved one had a strong connection to nature and had an environmentally friendly funeral (add link to article) service, painting a memorial rock and leaving it at the site would be a good way to respect their wishes and express your love.
Write a book: Keeping their memory forever in print
You don't have to create a masterpiece or be a top notch author to create a book. Simply write what you feel. Writing about your loved one can be a cathartic way to memorialise them as well as coping with loss by documenting the emotions you may be unable to say aloud.
You could even turn it into a family d.i.y project with each family member adding a chapter or contributing a memorial photo. Not only is this a great way to remember them after they are gone, it can also be tremendously therapeutic for those struggling with grief.
If you don't feel you have the skills, then you could take advantage of the latest AI tools such as chatGPT and let AI write it for you. Or, if you want something more professional, then websites like Fiverr and Upworks are a good place to find ghost writers who will craft a story for you. This provides assistance to have written down the words you may be unable to find that describe your loss.
Write a song: Music is the food of love
Honour your loved one with a song that can be sung on birthdays and celebrations to keep their memory alive. One of the nicest ways to use this idea is to create the lyrics and then set them to music that your loved one enjoyed listening to.
You can make it a special song that can be sung at the funeral or memorial service or played on a loved one's birthday. This can help bring together members of the family and can be a creative outlet for channelling grief.
Connect the world: Creative digital memorials
When it comes to all things internet, there are some very creative ways to honour a loved one. Here are two of the best memorial ideas:
- Remember your loved ones with a beautiful online memorial website.
- Create a video game to remember a loved one.
If you are internet savvy, then putting up a simple 1 or 2 page website with photos, stories and videos is a simple way to preserve the memory of the loved one who has passed and document their life achievements. It also allows friends or family members an easy place they can visit or pay tribute to the deceased. Websites like Kudoboard or Murial can facilitate this process for you.
If your departed loved one was keen on video games, then creating a character that represents them in a game or building a game based on your loved one's favourite hobby can be both rewarding and therapeutic for all involved. Building a game could provide comfort for children to remember a parent after they are gone.
3 - Create a memorial lantern
A memorial lantern has to be one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep their memory alive. They look visually appealing and are suitable as an indoor or outdoor memorial. Personalise them by adding decorations or just keep them plain and unadorned. Either way, when you light a candle in memory of your loved one, it provides a great source of comfort to the one left behind.
There are many ways to honour memories of a loved one. It's important to remember that there is no one size fits all. You can create a ritual that is right for you. If you want to pay tribute to a loved one in a non-religious way, then try any of these 3 memorial ideas:
- Finish their bucket list.
- Immortalise them with any or all of these:
- A book
- A poem
- A song
- A website
- A video game
- A simple lantern
Losing family and friends can be hard. The sense of loss can seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know what to do to honour your deceased. However, with a little sensitivity and creativity, it is possible for friends and family members to come together and make a memory that will help keep them close.
Share your stories with us at ThinkWillow. We would love to hear how you honour your deceased loved ones.If you have an experience, you would like to share with ThinkWillow please get in touch. Email us at email@example.com We will reply personally to you.