Grief is an incredibly powerful thing that excludes no one. While the funeral service can feel like an incredibly public thing, it can leave some feeling that they need to honour their loved one’s death in a more unique and sentimental way.
Honouring a loved one should be a completely personal process that you feel is right and reflects the nature of your relationship. However, if you are struggling with ideas, there are some listed below.
Funeral stationery can be a poignant way to remember a loved one. For example, funeral memory boards and scrapbooks can be kept to flick through whenever needed. Funeral order of service also functions as a keepsake for some funeral guests wishing to remember their loved one and the day they said goodbye.
When a loved one dies and chose to be cremated, some people have found unique ways to keep their loved one close to them. Over recent years, ashes have been able to be transformed into lots of keepsakes. For example, ashes can be made into pendants and added to jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets to be worn every day. Other things ashes can be turned into:
- Coral reef
- Vinyl record
- Classic urn
If you are particularly crafty, you could turn some of their old clothing into something else. For example, for children who may have lost a parent, or vice versa, old, worn clothing can be used as the fabric for creating a cuddle toy or blanket. This can be an especially sentimental way to honour a loved one. Additionally, if you are creating it yourself, the process can be cathartic and special.
For some, a green funeral is a way they’d like to be remembered. A green funeral is where the body is not buried traditionally in a coffin but is instead held in a biodegradable pod and then buried in the ground. The biodegradable pod functions as a coffin for the body and over time, through decomposition, the body fertilises a tree, creating new life.
This may not be ideal for everyone but can be a nice way to honour someone after death. For example, you could plant some trees or flowers in a special place in your garden or land to memorialise your loved one.
Alternatively, building a birdhouse or other wild animal feeding station can be a nice gesture to invite more positive things in the wake of a death.
A classic way to memorialise someone is by naming something after them, such as a bench in a park they loved.
A tattoo may not be ideal for some, but for those who favour the idea, tattoos in the deceased’s handwriting are popular memorials. Some people also choose to symbolise their loss with something personal, such as their nickname, favourite flowers, animal, etc. Its personal to you.
Simply keeping something that was close to the deceased can serve as a valuable keepsake. This can be anything that you find of sentimental value.
Some people find personal belongings especially sentimental. Things such as letters they wrote can be tattooed onto you if you’re brave enough. Alternatively, framing things written or drawn by them can be a warm way of keeping their memory alive in your home or personal space.
Take a trip
Perhaps there was a destination they always wanted to visit or a place that was important to them. Or perhaps they were originally from elsewhere. Visiting one of these places can be a sentimental and cathartic way of saying goodbye to them.
Connect with what they cared for
Connecting and indulging in their hobbies and interests can help you to feel closer to them after their death, as well as provide you with some form of release. For example, if they were a keen cook, you could compile a small recipe book of the things they liked to cook/eat and give it to the rest of your family as a keepsake.
Or, maybe they were into art and painting, framing their work or trying to use it as inspiration can be cathartic.
Alternatively, if they were involved in any charities or other organisations it can be a nice gesture to volunteer there or continue their work.
However, you choose to memorialise and honour your loved one should be entirely up to you. There is no way right way to grieve or mourn and as such, the send-off and honouring should reflect your relationship.