When thinking of ways to memorialize your lost loved ones, perhaps a beautiful floral arrangement at their burial place comes to mind.
While florals can still be incorporated in memorial services and are considered a lovely gesture to gift those you may know who are mourning, some may choose to memorialize their loved ones in additional ways.
There are many personalized ways to go out memorializing your lost loved ones that go far beyond the memorial service itself, and can be done for years, or even generations, to keep their memory alive and well.
According to Janice Meyer, MDiv and GC-C at Stuhr Funeral Home, “Memorializing a loved one is something that we see people in our support group ponder about for a long time. The truth is, grief is fluid. And memorializing lost loved ones doesn’t always come automatically after they pass. It can take time for people to consider exactly how they want to celebrate and cherish the life of their lost loved ones, and we really want to be mindful and support families during this time.”
So, whenever you feel ready, here are a few recommendations:
- Create a photo album of memories
Creating a photo album full of fond memories with your lost loved one is a wonderful way to keep their memory and love close to the heart. You can place this album within reach so it’s never far from you when you want to flip through and reminisce fondly.
Think of photos you love of yourself and your lost loved one, but also photos that embody their personality. You can go old school and take on a crafting scrapbook project or embrace the digital age and use an online printing website like Shutterfly, minted or Snapfish to take any photos you may have on your phone and put them together in a physical book, shipped right to your door.
- Plant a tree or garden
Was your lost loved one a lover of the outdoors? What better way to memorialize them than planting their favorite tree or flowers in a garden? You could do this with other people who loved them and play some of their favorite music while you plant.
Every time you pass by this tree or beautiful garden or stop in for a visit, you can think back on memories with your loved one. This concept also helps breathe new life and natural beauty into the area, making a positive impact along the way.
- Memorialize their favorite place
What places make you think of your lost loved one? Where did the two of you like to go together?
Stuhr Funeral Home recently worked with a family who lost a loved one who loved going to a specific park at sunset. Every single night, she’d go to this park and enjoy watching the beautiful sunset with her loved ones.
Once she passed, her family went through the city ordinances to place a park bench at the very spot where they enjoyed these sunsets together. This was a special way to memorialize their favorite place that they visited with their lost loved one and gave others the opportunity to enjoy new memories in the same place as well.
- Make a contribution to a charity or organization
Some people memorialize their lost loved one by creating a charity in their name with the goal to make a difference in their honor. Some people contribute to a charity that has become close to their heart since the passing of their loved one.
It’s a positive idea to find the light in a difficult and dark situation by raising money for or starting a charity you feel passionate about in the name of your loved one.
Janice Meyer recalled an instance of a family donating to the local Humane Society in honor of their lost loved one who absolutely loved animals. She also has noticed many people donating to faith organizations that meant a lot to their lost loved ones too; deciding how the funds could best be spent with ministers or leaders of the organization.
Many charitable organizations also raise money for scholarships in honor of those who’ve passed or raise funds for research to hopefully find cures and treatments to assist others who may be suffering from something your loved ones experienced during their lifetime.
- Tell their stories
Sometimes, the best way to keep your lost loved one’s memory alive is to continuously tell the stories of your life. You can do this with others who knew and loved them, new people you encounter throughout your life, and even out loud to yourself as you look through those special photos with them.
Stuhr Funeral Home truly places emphasis on the fact that everyone grieves their lost loved ones and finds ways to memorize them in their own time. And it’s truly okay to take your time in making these decisions.