Losing a loved one touches you in ways words cannot describe. People say that “Time heals all wounds,” but grief lurks around the corner, and healing is hardly linear.
Even after many years, grief will still sneak up on you. You can be in the middle of a cup of latte, and bam, you’re hit with a wave of emotions.
There is no easy way out, but memorializing a loved one can help ease the pain.
These activities can help preserve their legacies, show others a different side to your deceased loved one, keep their memory alive, or experience things from their perspective.
Grief is unique to each person. As such, we have handpicked a broad range of activities to meet different needs.
In this article, we share 27 heartfelt ways to memorialize a loved one forever.
1. Personalized portrait of your loved one made into paint by number canvas
A personalized portrait of your loved one made into paint by number canvas is a creative way to memorialize them. Portraits are the most common ways people memorialize their loved ones.
The process is simple: You pick your favorite picture of the deceased and forward the same to a photographer to enlarge.
However, converting the picture to a custom paint by numbers kit gets you more involved in turning the photograph into a piece of art.
Paint by numbers custom photo kits are easy to follow and complete as they come with acrylic paints, brushes, and a high-quality artist canvas.
There are so many benefits to ordering paint by numbers with a custom photo.
According to the International Arts + Minds lab, “arts can also help the bereaved sustain their bonds with the deceased and make meaning of the loss.”
You can paint the portrait with family members and friends during the remembrance or wakekeeping and share stories as each person adds a stroke to make the painting a masterpiece.
You can equally turn it into a tradition to do with your children or siblings. Alternatively, you can order more than one piece and send the same to your friends and family if you cannot gather in the same location.
Our Custom Paint by Numbers Kit is affordable and comes with free shipping worldwide.
2. Compile a playlist of their favorite songs
Do you know that humans have a part of the brain dedicated to processing music?
This emphasizes how important music is to our existence. Countless studies have shown how listening to music together helps release chemicals in the brain that play a role in closeness and connection.
Why not personalize the experience by listening to a playlist of their favorite songs with friends and family? You can curate a playlist on music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
One of the great things about this activity is that you can write personal stories and anecdotes about each song and what it meant to the deceased, further sharing a different side of your loved one’s life with others who may not have experienced that side.
3. Organize a fundraising event in their honor
Giving on behalf of your loved one is another incredible way to immortalize and memorialize them. There are bonus points for making it a recurring event.
You’ll, however, maximize impact by soliciting the help of friends and family members through a fundraising event. To make it personal to your loved one, ensure you choose their favorite charity or a cause close to their heart.
Do they volunteer at a local animal shelter? If so, then you can raise funds for that shelter. You can pick ideas from what they loved doing or their social media pages if the cause is not clear.
Ensure you spend considerable time planning the event for the highest chance of success. Here’s a quick checklist to help:
- Give ample time for people to make financial and time commitment to the event.
- Send invites with reasons why the cause is dear to your loved one’s heart.
- Send regular reminders
- Choose a seamless donation partner with multiple payment options.
- Don’t forget to send a “Thank You” note after the event.
4. Memorial jewelry with their photo or unique identifier
A piece of memorial jewelry is a great way to keep your loved one close to your heart. There are multiple options to fit your personality and needs.
Memorial jewelry comes in all shapes, sizes, and kinds. It can be a bracelet, a neck chain, or a ring. Some provide space to carry your loved one’s ashes with you anywhere, while others include things like their photograph.
You can also customize some jewelry to include your loved one’s name, initials, or signature. Memorial jewelry is also a nice gift when visiting someone who lost a loved one.
5. Frame their correspondence with you
Another awesome way to remember your loved one is framing a correspondence they shared with you. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical or digital. With the latter, you’ll have to print it before you can frame it, though.
You can print a WhatsApp message. You can frame a birthday card or note they shared with you. The list is endless. As long as they penned it, it will work.
Another twist is to frame any of their creative work if they have one. It could be a poem, a recipe they loved cooking, or their byline if they were a writer.
6. Finish one of their projects or plans
Another way to pay tribute to your deceased loved one is to help them cement their legacy. You can do this by seeing a plan they had come to fruition, perhaps a vision for their children or family home.
It could also be continuing to make regular donations they made.
You may also fill a role they were occupying, like being on the seat of a nonprofit board.
The caveat is to ensure you’re not living their life but doing the best you can to ensure their effort does not go to waste where you can help it.
7. Create a memorial scrapbook
You can see a memorial scrapbook the same way you see a photo album. They are both similar. However, the major difference between the two is that scrapbooks have more layers and contain other things apart from photographs.
When creating a memorial scrapbook, it's best to envision what it'll look like before starting. It'll help you know what to find and make the process seamless.
You can make each page reference a particular year or make the scrapbook based on different stages of their life.
Don't also be afraid to ask other close friends and family members for photographs and items.
8. Compose a memorial song
You can compose a memorial song if you’re musically inclined. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. Just ensure it honors your loved one’s memory.
It can be to the tune of one of their favorite songs. If you’re doing the latter, you’ll need to be wary of copyright laws and know that you cannot profit from the song.
9. Name a company or product after them
There is this story about someone who makes dresses for girls. She later lost a close sister and decided to name a new design after the deceased. Her sister’s name was Charlotte, and she simply called the new design “The Charlotte dress.”
You can do something similar to honor your loved one. You can name a company or product after them. Ensure that the name is not trademark-protected.
10. Curate a memorial website
This activity is similar to creating a scrapbook. However, putting it online gives you a lot more advantages. For starters, a memorial website offers more space and room for creativity.
Additionally, it allows you to upload all sorts of content, including audio, images, and videos that can tell your loved one’s story in a truly unique way.
Lastly, you can design the website to allow people to upload content and leave personal stories, leading to a richer experience.
11. Get a tattoo
This option may not be the most popular, but if tattoos rock your boat, then by all means, use them to memorialize your loved one. You can get a tattoo of anything, from their picture to initials to a pictorial representation of an inside joke. It doesn’t have to be visible to others.
We recommend using a tattoo parlor regulated by local authorities to guarantee your safety.
12. Adopt a park or landmark
Another reasonable way to keep a loved one's memory alive is to sponsor a park's maintenance or a local landmark. You may also install a memorial bench at a park or open space in your loved one's local community.
You can equally apply to name a section of a highway after them. Remember to add a signpost showing everyone who passes through the park or landmark that it's in memory of your beloved.
13. Plant a memorial garden or tree
Another great way to honor someone’s memory is by planting a garden or tree. The key is to personalize it. For example, you can plant flowers they like or those that showcase their personality or favorite colors.
You can plant a memorial tree in national forests in your beloved’s honor through services like A Living Tribute and The Trees Remember. You’ll get photos and a certificate to this effect.
14. Publish a memorial tribute in a local newspaper
Tributes and obituaries are used interchangeably. However, a memorial tribute is absolutely different from an obituary.
The former is more detailed with personal anecdotes and stories and is more heartfelt. The latter is more concise and more of a notice on their funeral or memorial service.
You can publish the tribute in a local newspaper, popular blog, or magazine within the deceased community. You can frame the article or tribute when it has been published or add a printout to your memorial scrapbook.
15. Take a long trip to their favorite places
Taking a trip to their favorite places can help you see the world from their perspective. Such experiences can help deepen your connection with the deceased and offer more comfort during your grief.
You can visit a place on their bucket list, their childhood home, your favorite hangout spots, and so on.
The best part is that you can take pictures of different views and frame them.
For example, you can take photos from the top of a trail they enjoy hiking on. It'll be like seeing the world through their eyes.
16. Create a new tradition in their honor
You can create a new tradition to honor the departed. The tradition can happen on their birthday or death anniversary. The list of activities you can engage in varies from the mundane, like flying a kite and releasing butterflies, to serious stuff like an annual fundraising.
You can do it alone if you wish, or you can equally encourage friends and other family members to join you. The biggest tip we can offer is to choose an activity you can connect to the departed soul.
17. Create a special corner in the house
You can create a small corner in your home to memorialize a loved one forever. Obviously, this idea is ideal for spousal relationships. Think of the corner like a scrapbook. In this case, however, you need a centerpiece or a reference point.
The centerpiece can be a picture, a uniform (if they were in the military or fire service), or a unique memento or memorabilia.
For those of Indian or Asian descent, this idea of having a dedicated corner won’t be new.
18. Create a quote board, book, or jar
A quote board is an interesting idea. It’s a simple yet effective way to memorialize a close family member. This idea works best if you can gather friends and family in one location.
You can have them write something on the quote memorial board or paper rather than fill up a funeral guest book with just their names.
They can share their favorite quotes from the deceased, describe them in their own words, or tell a funny story.
19. Have a picnic in their honor
This is not a regular picnic. Rather than taking along your everyday picnic food like sandwiches and biscuits, you can take the departed’s favorite meal and snacks. You can get these from your loved one’s most-liked food spots.
It also makes a lot of sense to visit the cemetery before heading for the picnic. You and your guests can share memories about your loved one and make a toast to their life.
Alternatively, you can replicate this idea in a restaurant. However, a picnic is a much more affordable option and is easier to organize.
20. Adopt your loved one’s hobby
One additional way to memorialize a departed loved one is to start doing one of their hobbies. The catch is you don't have to adopt the hobby fully. You could simply do something closely related to the hobby.
For example, you can volunteer at an animal shelter if they loved pets. You can easily adopt a hobby like painting by getting a DIY paint by numbers set.
What's more, you can customize the set using your loved one's photograph.
21. Make a photo calendar
One of the things we like about memorializing a loved one with a photo calendar is that it can also double as a reminder. You can use a different photo for each month of the year. As you’re checking the date, you’re reminded of the joy you shared.
You can design the calendar to include details like their birthday, death anniversary, and other important dates to them.
The calendar can also include details such as their spouse and children’s birth dates.
22. Add a recipe of theirs to a cutting board
This is one of those ideas that’ll also work well as a gift to someone grieving. Whether they’re a chef or not, the departed will likely have one meal they love to cook or think they’re the best at.
Etch that recipe on a cutting board for a timeless reminder of the warmth their life brought to you. Helps if you cook a lot too.
23. Make a documentary
Making a documentary will get your creative juices flowing, a development that has been shown to help during a period of grief. You don’t even need to be an editor to create one. Countless platforms like Animoto have ready-made templates you can adopt to cut and join videos and pictures.
Their life doesn’t have to have been spectacular for the documentary to be a hit. It just has to resonate with you and people related to the departed.
We recommend seeking out videos and interviews from people they worked and lived with for more engaging angles about your loved one.
24. Name a star after them
Was your loved one an ardent stargazer? Even if they were a part-time hobbyist, naming a star after them is a cool way to immortalize them. A note of caution here: naming a star in the actual sense is the sole right of the International Astronomical Union.
That said, services like the International Star Registry, Name a Star, and Star Name Registry can help you name a star unofficially.
You may choose a star from any constellation. We recommend picking a star from a constellation related to your loved one’s birthday.
25. Always pray for them
Praying is also another comforting and heartfelt way to memorialize someone, that’s if you’re the religious type. Praying for them entails praying for everyone and the things they left behind.
You can pray with family and friends or members of your religious circle.
26. Write them regular letters
Writing a letter to the departed can be a pressure valve when grief hits you hard. This idea is similar to journaling, but the difference is that you’re addressing your loved one directly, almost like what you’d say to them if they were standing in front of you.
If you can’t write letters, you can create a memory jar. You’ll write and drop the things you remember about them in a jar.
When you’re feeling blue, you can randomly pick a memory and reminisce about them.
27. Organize a movie night
Gather friends and family to watch one of your loved one’s favorite movies. Other activities you can add to this itinerary include lighting candles, fireworks, and much more.
Remember to make the mood more in tune with a celebration of life.
Takeaway: Utilize the best heartfelt ways to memorialize a loved one forever
Memorializing a loved one forever has many advantages. On one hand, it helps you process your loss and grief better. On the other hand, it deepens the connection between you and the departed.
Engaging in one or more of the activities highlighted above ensures the loss of a loved one doesn’t lead to total erasure. The activities will help you remember and celebrate the love and life you shared.
A paint-by-number custom picture ranks high among the ways you can memorialize them. Order a Paint By Number Custom Kit today and create a memorable portrait of them.