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30 Ideas on How to Remember & Honor Your Person

30 Ideas on How to Honor & Remember Your Person

We believe an important part of our journey with grief is how we choose to redefine our relationship with our person/people who have died. As we move through different seasons in our lives, this relationship changes, just as we do. It can get easy to get “stuck” in old traditions and habits that may not be serving us like they used to, so we’d like to give you some ideas that have been very popular with the HealGrief community.

Quick message: We know how popular balloon releases are, but we ask you to be thoughtful that these releases are harmful to the environment and wildlife. We will be sharing 30 more eco-friendly alternatives to remember and honor those gone before us.

  1. Looking for an eco-friendly idea to remember those who have died? Try using plants to help honor that person. Plant a garden, throw a “seed bomb” or give people seed paper to plant in their memory.
  2. Did you know it’s ok to carry on bonds with your person who has died? Studies show this is called Continuing Bonds Theory and it can be helpful to help you grow through your grief journey. Try talking to, writing to, or finding other healthy outlets to create a new kind of bond with your person who has died.
  3. Jewelry or other little trinkets can be a great way to remember someone who has died. Wear, restore, or display these items in your own special way. It might feel as though they are with us – what a wonderful way to honor them.
  4. Coming up on another one of life’s milestones? Find a way that feels right to you to remember and honor that person who is no longer able to physically be there for us. Acknowledging their physical absence can be difficult, but even taking a moment to think of them, carry a picture in your pocket, or buy a flower to symbolize their presence, can help to feel as if they are there with you.
  5. Photography can be a very strong tool to help us remember people, places, and animals. Try your hand at The Loss Project at HealGrief.org.
  6. Here’s another great eco-friendly option. Plant a tree in honor of someone who has died. You can go visit the tree, decorate it for special days, and watch it grow.
  7. Create a gathering of family and friends on a day that is special in helping you remember your person. Take that time to honor them by sharing memories, food, and space that brings up good memories.
  8. Build a virtual memorial for your person. Share it with your friends and family – no matter the distance, we can all find ways to celebrate a life together. You can do so at HealGrief.org
  9. Do you have a lot of things that your person left you? Sometimes that can be overwhelming. If you are looking to do a bit of spring cleaning, grab another person who knew them and go through these memories to help figure out what feels very special that you would like to keep and what feels ok to give away.
  10. Read a book your person enjoyed. Sometimes this can bring up memories or just help us to feel closer to them.
  11. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to look through old photos. This can be done alone as a form of reflection or with others to talk about old memories – take these beautiful moments to smile, cry, or honor whatever your grief journey needs during those moments.
  12. Re-create a favorite food that your person used to love. So many people associate love with food, so this is a great heartwarming way to remember someone who died.
  13. Participate in a run/walk in honor of the person who died. Help wonderful organizations raise awareness and help make a difference! This can also be wonderful motivation to step out of a “grief slump” and do something healthy for yourself!
  14. Complete acts of kindness inspired by your person’s life. Think of what they loved to do, supported wholeheartedly, or did for other people. Honor them by taking time to carry on their kindness in the world.
  15. Say your person’s name. We may not realize how much we miss hearing their name until we start using it freely. Afraid it will make others uncomfortable? We know that great can be a “taboo” topic in our society, but little by little we can change that way of thinking. Talking about your grief and your people is important, and it’s a healthy expression of grief.
  16. Light a virtual candle in memory of someone who has died. There are times when it’s nice to know that no matter what, there is a candle honoring that person that will always be shining. HealGrief.org allows you to light virtual candles that you can share with others too.
  17. Create something in honor of the person who died. A memorial garden, a blanket, a bench, a memorial scholarship, and a shadowbox are just a few ideas! Actively creating something can help our brains and bodies process some of our grief.
  18. Write a letter to your person on dissolving paper, then find a quiet moment to watch your message dissolve into water, releasing your message into the air.
  19. Have an extra shirt or article of clothing from the person who died? Creating a pillow cover with that piece can create a wonderful and cuddly way to remember them.
  20. Create a cozy night to watch your person’s favorite movie. Grab the popcorn, movie theater-like snacks, and a warm blanket. This can help us to feel connected to them and might help us find a good cry or even a good belly laugh.
  21. Take time to acknowledge your grief. Life goes at such a busy pace these days that it can be hard to take time for our grief – Find small moments to remember and honor your person who died, as well as your own grief journey.
  22. Join a support group. Sometimes we feel like those around us may not want to talk about grief. It can be so comforting to find others who want to openly remember and honor people in their lives and hear about those in your life.
  23. Set a new goal for yourself that would make both you and your person proud. It can feel so fulfilling to know they are “with us” as we achieve new goals. This can also be a great way to move forward if you are feeling a bit stuck.
  24. Was there something fun/exciting/good your person always wanted to do? Think about finding a way to carry that “thing” out in honor of that person! It can be a great time to take pictures and continue making great memories.
  25. HealGrief knows that Pets Count Too! Visit HealGrief.org to learn how you can remember and honor your furry/feathery friends too.
  26. Teach younger generations that it’s ok to talk about death, dying, and grief. Let’s shine the love of our people who died on this taboo topic and make it acceptable and healthy!
  27. Special days that remind you of the person who died can be hard. Try creating a healthy and uplifting tradition to help you look forward to these, sometimes difficult days.
  28. Send a card or even a text to someone who also knew your person who died. Write a funny memory or share a fun picture to help remember and talk about that person.
  29. Volunteer your time at an organization/event that is close to your heart. Giving back during emotionally trying times can help us to feel empowered and even like we have a bit of control over things again.
  30. Talk to someone. This may be a friend, family member, or therapist. During a grief journey, people might report feeling more anxious, feeling depressed, less ability to concentrate, a tendency to be more forgetful, etc. Some call this “grief brain” and it’s not uncommon. Talking to someone can help to alleviate some of these barriers to functioning as your best self.

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