When someone dies, it’s natural to worry about losing the memories you have of when they were alive. For this reason, it can be very helpful to find concrete ways to pay them tribute. Here are some of our top suggestions for remembering someone who has died.
Remembering Someone Who's Died
1. Make a memory box
Making a memory box is a simple and cost-effective way to remember someone who has died. All you have to do is find a large, durable box and fill it with the things that remind you of that person.
2. Plant a tree or dedicate a bench in their name
Planting a tree or dedicating a bench to someone who has died is a great way to tailor a memorial to that person’s interests. It’s also a great way to create a physical location you can visit to remember the person.
3. Make something out of their old clothing
Repurposing the clothes or possessions of the person who has died in a new and creative way can be hugely fulfilling. Among other things, you might choose to make a teddy bear, quilt or even cushions using a loved one’s old shirts or dresses.
4. Create a photo collage
Even if you aren’t particularly artistic, a collage made using special photographs is a great way to keep someone’s memory alive in your home. If you don’t feel up to making the collage yourself, you can use an online collage creator to arrange the photos more easily.
5. Choose a day to celebrate them & organise an event in their honour
In Mexico, the annual Day of the Dead festival provides an amazing opportunity for people to gather and remember their relatives who have died. During this festival, relatives create and decorate an altar with the deceased’s favourite food as well as their pictures.
Choosing a day like this to dedicate to the person each year, perhaps on their birthday, is a great way to commit to their memory. Like Day of the Dead, you could play their favourite music and make their favourite food to give them a proper celebration. If there are currently social distancing regulations in force where you are, you could choose to recreate this event online.
6. Make a video montage
If you have a lot of video footage of the person who has died, another way to pay tribute to their memory is to compile the footage in a video montage. Accompany this with their favourite music to create a wonderful digital artefact you can go back to time and time again.
7. Learn to play their favourite song
Music can be extremely evocative of a time and a place and, at Cruse, many people tell us they will often listen to music to remember someone close. Learning how to play one of their favourite songs on a musical instrument is a mindful way to spend time thinking about the person who has died.
8. Donate to a charity that was important to them
We all have causes that are important to us, and choosing to donate to a charity in someone’s name is a great way to honour their memory. You can even go one step further and choose to run a fundraising event in their name. If Cruse is a charity they supported, you can find out more about ways to donate time and money on their behalf on our Fundraising and Giving page.
9. Write them a letter
Grief counsellors agree that writing is an effective tool for coping with the mix of emotions we feel after a death. Writing someone a letter can also help us to organise our thoughts, keep track of memories and feel a sense of connection to the person who has died.
10. Visit a place that was special to them
If the person who has died had a favourite park, walk or even restaurant, regularly visiting their favourite place can often be a cathartic experience. If social distancing laws prevent you from visiting, you can always write a list of places you’ll go in their memory when lockdown is eased.
11. Make their favourite food
A simple thing you can do any day of the week is honour the person who has died through cooking. Dedicating some time to follow one of their favourite recipes, or learning how to make one of their favourite foods, can be a real comfort when you’re missing them the most.
12. Watch their favourite film
While watching films about grief can help us feel in touch with our emotions after a death, watching the favourite film of the person who has died can help us feel connected to them and remember their likes and interests.
13. Have something of theirs repaired
It’s wonderful to keep reminders of those who have died, but sometimes those things can deteriorate over time due to wear and tear. If you’ve ever watched the BBC programme ‘The Repair Shop,’ you’ll see how fixing a loved one's possessions can be a truly fulfilling way to respect their legacy. If you have an old teddy bear, ring or piece of clothing belonging to someone who has died, find out whether it’s possible to get it repaired and restore it to its former glory.
14. Speak to people who knew them
Getting together, albeit over Zoom, to share stories and favourite memories with other people is a wonderful way to keep someone’s memory alive. You can learn things about the person you never expected and also create an open space to talk about how you’re feeling.
15. Leave a tribute on our Yellow Hearts page
This year, we’ve teamed up with the creators of the Yellow Hearts to Remember campaign to give you the chance to leave a memory of a loved one in a sea of yellow hearts. Simply add their name, picture and personalised message to our tribute board to create an online memorial. Leave a Yellow Heart now.