While nothing can ease the pain of losing someone you love, celebrating their lives is more than just a beautiful way to remember them, it helps us move through the grief cycle and find some peace. If you need some inspiration on how to memorialize a lost loved one, read on for some of the things that have helped me and my family after suffering a great loss.
Coping with grief after losing someone that you love is probably the hardest part of being human. It doesn’t matter if the person you’ve lost was young or old; if they died unexpectedly or after a long battle with illness. It doesn’t even matter if they had two legs or four! Grief hurts just the same.
I’ve never been good with death. I know that no one is exactly “good” with it, but I seem to be stuck in a constant grief cycle loop. Just when I think I’ve reached acceptance, something throws me right back into denial. I lost my grandparents nearly a decade ago, and my aunt just over 1.5 years ago. Some days, I’m fine. Others, I have to pretend that they’re just on vacation out of the country to make it through the day.
While these ways to remember a lost loved one won’t completely take away your pain, they will help you celebrate their life in a positive and meaningful way.
Beautiful Ways to Remember a Lost Loved One
*Thank you to Canvas on the Cheap for providing me with a complimentary canvas photo. Affiliate links included below. If you make a purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
1. Create a gorgeous canvas photo of a special moment
When Canvas on the Cheap asked me if I wanted to create my own 16″ x 20″ canvas print, I had a hard time deciding what to put on it. At first, I was going to do a collage of my son. Then I considered doing one with all my pets. The thing is, I have a plethora of prints, blankets, pillows, and featuring both my son and my menagerie of animals. After some more thought, I realized that while I have photos of my grandparents all over the house, I don’t really have any of my aunt.
I was going to do a photo collage of some of my favorite pictures of her, but in the end I decided that I wanted something just for me. Something that celebrated MY special moments with her. In 2010, my mom used some of the money that she got from my grandparents’ estate to send Jake and I on a cruise with my aunt Donna and her family.
Memories of that vacation have helped me through some of the worst moments of grief. Even though I am super self-conscious about my looks, I decided that since it was just for me, I’d go ahead and choose a photo that captured out time on that cruise together!
Creating a photo canvas takes under a minute once you’ve chosen your picture, and as the name implies, the prices are incredibly reasonable! As you can see, they have 4 different sizes that cost under $20. The 16″ x 20″ is a great size if you want something that looks stunning on your mantle. While the prices are low, the quality of the finished product is high. It looks absolutely perfect!
Visit Canvas on the Cheap to check out all of their sizes and order your special memorial print now.
2. Support a cause that was near and dear to their heart
One of the easiest yet most meaningful ways to remember a lost loved one is to support a cause that they were passionate about in life. Although I’m not religious myself, my grandparents were very devout Catholics who believed that actions spoke louder than words. They spent several of their vacations in India, aiding Mother Theresa in her mission to help homeless children.
While I have miles to go before I do even half the amount of good that my grandparents did, I’ve become passionate about helping causes that are working towards ending child hunger throughout the world. I feel like supporting a cause that they were passionate about helps keep me connected to them.
3. Throw a remembrance party on their birthday
I haven’t done this one yet, but I think it would be such a great way to remember a lost loved one. When someone passes away, we have some sort of memorial service to allow everyone to share their memories and say goodbye. While these are cathartic in their own way, we’re usually so overwhelmed with the freshness of the grief to really celebrate their life rather than just mourn their passing.
My aunt Donna, who lost her battle to brain cancer right before Christmas in 2016, was so full of life right up until the end. During her funeral, we shared stories of her wild and wacky adventures, but they were tinged with a deep ring of sadness. I think she would want her family and friends to get together and really celebrate the amazing woman that she was.
Gather your friends and family, make your loved one’s favorite party food, and spend an evening sharing your favorite everyday moments and memories. You can even take it a step further and combine this with the first ida by asking friends and family to make a donation to your loved one’s favorite made in their memory.
4. Create a memory book to pass down
My grandparents had such amazing stories, and I’m grateful that I got to spend so much time with them & hear all of their tales. My cousins didn’t really have that opportunity. Some of them lived far away, as my aunt was a Navy wife who lived all over the country, and my youngest cousin was only about 9 when my grandparents passed away. None of the great-grandchildren were old enough at the time to even really remember them. Jacob was 2 when my Gran died, and 3 when Pop followed.
I want to sit and write down all of their stories so I can pass them on to the next generation. Don’t worry if you can only remember tidbits of certain stories. Write it all down anyway! Ask other family members to share their favorite memories and stories, too. Then, put it all together and print it out into a nice book.
5. Name a star after them!
I just found out that one of my aunts did this for my Aunt Donna. It’s truly perfect, considering Donna always told me that she was secretly from outer space! It took me years to figure out that she was kidding…or was she? There are a few sites online that let you name a star after someone.
After a little research, I discovered that the International Astronomical Union doesn’t actually acknowledge these star names in their official registry. Still, you’ll get a map and directions on how to find “your” star in the night sky. To you, it will be your loved one’s star! Of course, you can also just pick a star, map it out, and name it yourself if you want to save the money. The point is to choose a special spot in the universe that “belongs” to your loved one, even if it’s not legally or officially theirs.
Did you do something special to remember a lost loved one?
I love all of these ideas for remembering loved ones. My mom passed two years ago and some days it still hits me like a ton of bricks and I can’t believe she’s gone.
These are wonderful tips and I have done a few of them in Memory od my daughter but none for my mom. Although for Christmas I think I will ask for a Star of both of there names.
I am really loving the idea of a memory book being passed down. How fun it would be to write their story, with pictures and maybe some comments from family members. Love it.
All of these are wonderful ideas. My brother lost a new born and they planted a tree in his memory. That was over 30 years ago. The tree had grown and is beautiful and a great reminder.
I lost my mom last year and while a canvas is a great idea for some, I couldn’t handle seeing it every day. I love the star idea, though and might just do that.
I have not done a lot to remember my parents but these ideas have me wanting to. I loved those large canvas prints and have a lot I could use.
You have some wonderful ideas here! My friend lost his father about three weeks ago and I know that the morning process is hard and stuff like this might help ease some of that pain.
It’s so hard to lose someone close to you. I’ve already decided when the time comes I will have a locket made to wear.
I love all of these ideas for remembering a lost loved one. It’s wonderful to keep those great memories alive in some way or another.
This is a wonderful way to memorialize a loved one. I love their prices at Canvas on the Cheap. I got one from them recently. I have a lot more pictures I want to canvas lately.
These are all such great ways to keep the memory alive of those who have passed on. I really like the last one!
Missing loved ones can be very emotional. These are some amazing ways to remember those we have lost.
These are all great ways to remember a lost loved one. I love the idea of a memory book to honor them.
To name a star after a love is a very special idea. I would love to do that for my Dad.
I love all of these tips especially a couple of them. I’d like to start having a remembrance party for a few of our loved ones and make some of those memory books to hand out. A big cozy blanket would be a great idea as well. I could add all of their photos to one.
A dear one who is departed never leaves and their memories linger for long. It is always good to remember them and how you connected with them. These are some lovely ways to do so.