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Ideas For Honoring Your Loved One

Published: June 7, 2019
by Dr. Rev. Mary Bivens

Over the years, I have lost both parents, a baby, my spouse and siblings as well as close friends and colleagues.  Part of the grieving process involves creating means of honoring the loved ones in your life. It is also natural to want to keep their memories alive. This month, I have included some suggestions for honoring our loved ones who have died.

Ideas for Honoring a Loved One

  • Did your loved one volunteer in the community? Give a donation in their name to a charity they either supported or would have endorsed.
  • Were they gardeners?  Plant a tree, flowers or even a garden. The sweet fragrance of flowers or the produce will be a constant reminder of this special person.
  • Did you know the US Postal Service will create a custom stamp using an image you upload? This image may be anything such as a drawing or a favorite photo. You may then purchase a roll of stamps that serve as legal tender for mailing letters and packages.
  • Use clothing, ties, or scarves for various projects.  Clothes can be used for quilt blocks. Still other uses include stuffed animals. Neckties can be crafted into Christmas tree skirts. Even a single blouse or shirt may be shaped into a simple, square love pillow for family members. A future grandbaby will have a stuffed bear from Grandpa’s wool coat, and each of my children have a quilt made from my husband’s shirts.
  • Build something in the name of your loved one.  This may be something as simple as a birdhouse or as complex as a climbing toy at your neighborhood park.
  • Did your loved one enjoy books? Construct a simple free street library where people can donate or take a book. These are very popular and are springing up all over town in residential areas. When completed, place a small plaque on it in honor of your loved one.
  • Was your loved one a teacher or did he encourage education? Create a scholarship in their honor.  A scholarship can be a large endowment or a one-time award for any sum of money. The recipient will be grateful someone else saw promise in them and invested in their future.
  • Were they great cooks? Gather their recipes and create a collection of the favorite recipes. Include little anecdotes if known. Every time someone uses a recipe from the cookbook, they will be reminded of this special cook.
  • If the person knitted, carved wood or did another craft, complete an unfinished project. Whenever one sees or uses it, there will be a special memory that BOTH of you created it.
  • Frame a poem or letter the person had written. Or, frame a card they had given you.
  • Remember them at a special celebration. For example, my husband died before our son’s wedding. We set up a table with his picture and some information about him at the wedding reception. Including the individual keeps memories alive.
  • When a close colleague, a fellow teacher, died, I asked students to write a note containing any special memory or story about the deceased. In two weeks, I had almost 100 notes that I bound in a scrapbook and gave to his wife. Twenty years later, it is still one of her prized possessions.
  • My brother was a veteran ad very proud of his service to his country. When he passed, his children and I organized a coat drive so that they could be donated to homeless vets who were in need of them.

I have given you some suggestions. Pick and choose what may seem right for you. Please feel free to incorporate any of these into your personal means of honoring your loved one. Remember the grief process takes time, so be gentle with yourself.  Use your own emotions as a gauge for your choices. It may take awhile to complete a chosen way to honor your loved one. That is perfectly normal.  During this time, remember to honor yourself and your feelings at this time. And, remember Meacham Funeral Service is always here for you.

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