Ways to remember

When someone dies, it’s natural to worry about losing the memories you have of them. While we know you won’t ever forget them, it’s helpful to find concrete ways to honour their memory.

Ways to remember someone who has died

  • Create a photo collage

Making a photo collage is a great way to keep someone’s memory alive. If you don’t feel up to making the collage yourself, you can use an online collage creator to arrange the photos more easily.

  • Make a memory box

A memory box is a simple way to remember someone who has died. All you have to do is find a box and fill it with the things that remind you of that person.

  • 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 create a physical location you can visit to remember the person.

  • Make something out of their old clothing

Repurposing their clothes or possessions in a new and creative way can be hugely fulfilling. Among other things, you might choose to make a teddy bear, quilt or cushions using a loved one’s clothing.

  • 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 their favourite food as well as their pictures.

Choosing a day like this to dedicate to the person each year, perhaps their birthday, is a great way to commit to their memory.

  • Make a video montage

If you have a lot of video footage of the person who has died, try putting it together into a video montage. Try adding some of their favourite songs to play in the background to create a moving video you can go back to again and again.

  • Learn to play their favourite song

Music can be extremely evocative of a time and a place. And 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.

  • 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 through our Fundraising and Giving page.

  • Write them a letter

Letter 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 and memories and feel a sense of connection to the person who has died.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Have something of theirs repaired

It’s wonderful to keep reminders of those who have died, but sometimes those things can physically deteriorate over time. If you’ve ever watched the BBC programme ‘The Repair Shop,’ you’ll see how fixing a loved one’s possessions can be fulfilling. 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.

  • Speak to people who knew them

Getting together 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.