PLUS 39 Creative Ways to Remember Your Parents & More!
Want to memorialize your parents in a special way?
What important moments/qualities about your parents should be remembered?
Are there ways to memorialize your parents online?
For those closest to the deceased, it may seem that life goes on for other people after the death and memorials surrounding your loved one. But it may still be difficult for you to move on. Finding ways to memorialize your parents can be a therapeutic way to move forward in your own life after a loss.
After the wake or viewing, your parent’s funeral service, the burial or internment, and any memorial service is over, what more can you do to keep the memory of your loved one alive? Fortunately, there are many available and unique ways to memorialize parents.
Why It’s Important to Memorialize One’s Parents
For most people, their parents have been the primary person in their lives. Their parents have raised them from birth, taught them all they know, and continued to assist them through the trials and tribulations of both teen years and adult life. So, after a parent’s passing, it may be difficult to deal with your grief. What better way to show gratitude toward your Mom or Dad than to memorialize them after their death?
Paying tribute to your parents after they are gone helps to keep their memory alive and to cope with the grieving process. And it’s also an opportunity to pass on their knowledge, skills, expertise, and contributions to those who can benefit. And by getting other friends and family members actively involved in paying tribute, they can feel that they are part of something important.
Finding the Essence of Your Parents
When thinking of ways to memorialize your parents, start with what they enjoyed most in life.
What brought them joy and happiness?
How did they contribute to their family and to the world around them?
Are there any important life events or milestones that made a difference in their lives?
How do you want to be reminded of their presence in your daily life?
How to Memorialize Your Loved One Online
Memorializing your parents online is a way to create a permanent, accessible record for family and friends. One of the first ways to memorialize your parents online is to provide your local newspaper and the funeral home with your loved one’s obituary. Many funeral homes and newspapers have the ability to post the obituary online, either permanently or for a set length of time. You and other family members and friends can access the webpage as often as you like while it is active. You can also print out the web page, take a screen shot or use it for other creative purposes. If you need help creating an obituary, many funeral homes and newspapers will have an obituary form that you can use to guide you through the process.
Some family members have gone a step further by creating a Facebook page, website or an online blog page dedicated to their parents. You can set up a website with navigation tabs that focus on certain time periods in their lives, any interests and hobbies, or contributions they made in the community or through their career. You can also upload photos, videos, and more to create a well-rounded web page or Facebook page that is filled with information and is visually interesting as well.
BONUS TIP: Create a special hashtag for all friends and family to use when they post any photos of your loved one and any memorial services online. That way, no one will miss a special photo.
The ways in which you can honor a loved one are limitless. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
15 DIY Projects to Remember Your Loved One
- Create a booklet with all of your parents’ sage advice.
- Print and bind a cookbook with your parents’ favorite recipes. Be sure to make enough copies to give out to family members and friends.
- Make a quilt from your parents’ favorite t-shirts or sweaters.
- Create a scrapbook album of all of your favorite memories of your parents.
- Have a photo blanket made using commemorative photos of your parents.
- Put together a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs. Listen to them whenever you want to feel uplifted.
- Make a time capsule and include some of your loved one’s cherished belongings, photos, etc. You don’t have to bury it, but you can open it each year on a special day, such as the anniversary of their death or on their birthdays.
- Plant a memory tree or a private or public memorial garden in their name.
- Make a memorial for your loved one in your home.
- Write a poem about your loved one and your feelings about them.
- Record memories by creating a video of their life or by documenting the funeral or memorial service.
- Make a Christmas ornament or Hanukkah decoration (or other holiday item) in honor of your loved one. If desired, you can make several and give them out as Christmas or Hanukkah gifts.
- Craft a wreath or shadow box in your loved one’s memory.
- Make a bookmark with your loved one’s picture and a favorite saying, quote, musical lyric or religious passage. Be sure to make enough for all who will want one.
- Create a photo wall in your home or at a special event, such as a family wedding, for your loved one to be remembered.
39 Ideas to Memorialize Your Loved One
- If your parent loved to read and/or write, you can instill the love of books to others by arranging a book collection and donation by family members to local underprivileged children.
- For pet lovers, family members can regularly donate time and resources to local pet shelters.
- Adopt a pet or a zoo animal in your loved one’s name.
- If your loved one had a favorite park or trail, you could install a park bench at or near their favorite spot.
- Have your parents remembered at a religious service on the anniversary of their deaths.
- Start a scholarship or fund to a charitable organization in your parents’ names.
- Make a donation or fund a project for a local church or charity organization.
- Wear a piece of their jewelry every day.
- Have a star named for your parent.
- Hold a memorial service or a candlelight vigil.
- On your own or with the help of family and friends, complete a project that your loved one was working on.
- Get a tattoo in their honor.
- Volunteer your time for one or more of their favorite causes or organizations.
- Try to make them proud every day.
- Make sure that any last wishes your loved one had are honored and come to fruition.
- Be sure that your loved one is remembered at special family functions: weddings, anniversaries, holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
- Pay for a brick to be engraved with their name at a public park, their alma mater or another place of significance to them.
- Have a section of highway named for them.
- Finish checking off their bucket list.
- Hold a charity drive in their name and collect needed items for others.
- Decorate their grave or internment site with flowers and keep the area clean.
- Take a trip that includes at least one important place in their life.
- Ask a former employer to help memorialize your loved one.
- Donate books to a local library or to school children in your loved one’s name.
- Build a public or private garden pond to memorialize your loved one.
- Have your loved one’s cremated ashes made into a piece of jewelry to wear.
- Scatter your loved one’s ashes at their favorite spot. (Be sure to ask permission first, if it is at a public site.)
- Commission a piece of art to be made in their honor (a painting, stained glass, sculpture, etc.)
- Light a candle.
- Have a snow globe made with a photo of your loved one or a few small mementos.
- Have an artist draw a sketch of your loved one from a photograph.
- Have a bumper sticker or window decals custom made to remember your loved one.
- Organize a remembrance walk or run.
- Invite family members and friends to do a random act of kindness in your loved one’s name. BONUS TIP: Print some memorial business-sized cards that can be given to the recipient.
- Instead of balloons, release butterflies or ladybugs in honor of your loved one.
- Give tree saplings out for friends and family members to plant in honor of your loved one.
- Hold a celebration of life event to memorialize your loved one.
- Create a day of remembrance and invite everyone to tell stories, share photos, and more about your loved one.
- Start a LifeReview on Lastly.com so you can start remembering your loved one today!