8 Unique Memorial Tribute Ideas to Memorialize a Loved One
Thinking about memorial tribute ideas is a practice that can be healing and cathartic, no matter how long it’s been since your loved one has died. The complexity of grief doesn’t end when the funeral is over. In fact, our feelings can evolve over time, as can the grieving process. As it does, and as we move through our own lives, we might search for unique memorial ideas to preserve the memory of a loved one. Here are eight special memorial tribute ideas to help spark ideas of your own. Some are small memorial ideas, others are more lasting. Each can be adapted to your particular circumstances and preferences.
Donate to a Charity
If your loved one was active in a cause (or causes) during their life, it makes sense to continue their legacy by honoring that particular charity in their name. Memorial tribute ideas like donating to a charity can be active or passive, which means it can accommodate most budgets and schedules. Because this can be a small memorial idea if you donate a smaller amount once, or a lasting memorial idea if you donate more or over a longer period of time.
This can be a special memorial idea because it allows you to continue their legacy. For example, If they volunteered at a local organization, you might choose to do the same; you could even recruit family and friends to volunteer together, then celebrate afterwards by sharing a meal. If you prefer a more passive yet meaningful memorial tribute idea, you might opt to donate money to an organization that was important to your loved one. Doing so in his or her name is a tangible way of ensuring their legacy continues despite their passing.
Plan a Personal, Intimate Celebration
A lovely, personal way to memorialize a loved one is to spend dedicated time doing things you once did together. Did they love to cook? If so, plan a family meal and make one of their favorite dishes. You might even cook from their recipe, then share that recipe with everyone as a keepsake. And if your loved one wasn’t comfortable in the kitchen? No problem; you can order their favorite takeout. The goal of these types of memorial tribute ideas is to share the food they loved with the people they loved.
If you want more than food, think about the activities your loved one did at home. Did they love movies or a certain TV show? Listen to a particular singer or band over and over? All of these activities can be incorporated into an evening that celebrates your loved one. Have a movie marathon of their favorites while sharing fond memories of your times together, or make a playlist of their favorite tunes and have a dance party. Share the playlist with those who join you to celebrate your loved one’s memory.
You could even learn something new in honor of your loved one. If they painted as a hobby, consider a painting party in their memory. Or learn to cross-stitch, throw horseshoes, brew beer, or knit.
Take Care of the Earth
If your loved one was a gardener, you have a unique opportunity to continue their legacy by creating or maintaining a garden in their memory. This can be a beautiful, lasting memorial tribute idea that even strangers will enjoy if you plant the garden in a front or side yard, visible to passersby.
You might consider planting native flowers and plants, constructing a rain garden, or creating a butterfly garden in your loved one’s memory. Younger relatives might enjoy crafting personalized stepping stones to mark a path or you might consider adding a small, engraved stone near a favorite plant as a visual tribute to your loved one. Anything in the garden can be a memorial: if they loved watching the hummingbirds, a gorgeous feeder can be engraved with their name. It’s the personal touch that makes the most special memorial tribute.
You can memorialize a loved one in this way even if they weren’t a gardener, of course. Consider adding their name to a bench at a local park (or having a bench installed with their name on it), sponsoring a community garden, or participating in a day-long clean-up event to help beautify the community they once loved.
Another memorial tribute idea to celebrate your loved one and the great outdoors is to plant something in their name. A tree or a rose bush can be a beautiful, lingering reminder of the impact they left on the world. Many rose bushes are named after people, which makes it easy to pick one that might fit. If your loved one’s name isn’t yet the name of a rosebush, consider choosing their favorite color or another option altogether, like a lilac or peony bush.
Make a Personalized Keepsake
If you have clothes that belonged to your loved one, you can turn them into keepsakes. Some people turn t-shirts into blankets while others turn pants, jeans, and shirts into teddy bears. You could also frame a piece of clothing to hang on the wall as a keepsake, or pass a beautiful dress or warm coat to someone whose fashion sense mirrors that of your loved one.
You can be similarly creative with your loved one’s jewelry. Consider passing along sentimental pieces or, alternatively, melting them down to create a new keepsake. These can be an especially lasting memorial tribute ideas if you make matching pendants or earrings for each family member.
Be a Philanthropist
One lasting way to honor the legacy of someone you love is to create a scholarship in their name, perhaps at their alma mater or a local educational institution that was important to them or their family. Think about their occupation or their interests and go from there.
Leverage Social Media
Facebook allows users to create a “Remembering” page once a person passes. Doing so means that people can still view and interact with the profile, which can lend to sharing memories or remembering important dates.
You can also use the internet to memorialize your loved one by creating an online scrapbook or memory board. Pinterest and various blog platforms are easy, free ways to instantly share photos and memories with family and friends near and far. Memorial tribute ideas, like grief, can change over time. Using new resources that become available can make it easier to create a lasting memorial for your loved one.
Organize a Message Release
An in-person, intimate way to remember and celebrate a loved one is to write memories of or messages to them on slips of paper, then attach the notes to helium-filled balloons with ribbons. You can then release the balloons and watch them float into the sky. This is a lovely memorial tribute idea that can become an annual tradition, and it can be done individually or with others. Memorial tribute ideas like this are appealing because it can accommodate people who prefer to keep their thoughts private as well as those who want to openly share a few memories or thoughts with others in attendance. If there’s a particular song that reminds you of your loved one, you could also listen to that as you watch the balloons float away.
Share the Love
If your loved one loved to read, consider making custom-designed, adhesive bookplates to adhere to the inside cover of books, then leave them in Little Free Libraries or on leave-one, take-one shelves in coffee shops and community centers. This memorial tribute idea is a great way to repurpose a personal library once a person passes. You can also sometimes donate to your local library or schools. A memorial tribute idea that springs from a loved one’s hobbies is a lovely, personal remembrance idea that will continue their legacy.
There are countless other ways to memorialize a loved one. What matters most is that the memorial tribute idea (or memorial tribute ideas) you choose honors their memory and helps you feel most at peace. Everyone here at Bateman-Allen wants to support you in every way possible, and we’re here for all of your questions. Please reach out if we can offer any assistance.