30 Ideas on How to Honor & Remember Your Person
We believe an essential 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. Unfortunately, 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.
Looking for an eco-friendly idea to remember those who have died? Try using plants to help honor that person. For example, plant a garden, throw a “seed bomb,” or give people seed paper to grow a plant in their memory.
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.
Jewelry or other little trinkets can be a great way to remember someone who has died. Wear, restore, or display these items in your special way. It might feel like they are with us – and be an excellent way to honor them.
Coming up on another one of life’s milestones? Find a way to remember and honor that person that feels right to you. Acknowledging their physical absence can be difficult, but even taking a moment to think of them, carrying a picture in your pocket, or buying a flower to symbolize their presence, can help to feel like they are there with you.
Photography can be a powerful tool to help us remember people, places, and animals. Try your hand at The Loss Project.
Here’s another great eco-friendly option. Plant a tree in honor of someone who has died. Then, you can visit the tree, decorate it for special days, and watch it grow.
Gather family and friends on a day that is special to you. Ask them to help you remember your person. Then, take that time to honor them by sharing memories, food, and space that brings up good memories.
Build a virtual memorial for your person. Then, share it with your friends and family – no matter the distance, we can all find ways to celebrate life together.
Do you have a lot of things that your person left you? Sometimes that can be overwhelming. So 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.
Read a book your person enjoyed. Sometimes this can bring up memories or help us feel closer to them.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to look through old photos. You can be 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.
Re-create a favorite food that your person used to love. So many people associate love with food, so this is a beautiful, heartwarming way to remember someone who died.
Participate in a run/walk in honor of the person who died. Help wonderful organizations raise awareness and help make a difference! Doing so can also motivate you to step out of a “grief slump” and do something healthy for yourself!
Complete acts of kindness inspired by your person’s life. Think of what they loved to do, supported wholeheartedly, or did for other people. Then, honor them by taking the time to carry their kindness in the world.
Say your person’s name. We may not realize how much we miss hearing their name until we say it freely. Afraid it will make others uncomfortable? Talking about your grief and your people is essential and a healthy expression of grief.
Light a virtual candle in memory of someone who has died. Sometimes 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.
Create something in honor of the person who died. A few ideas include a memorial garden, a blanket, a bench, a memorial scholarship, and a shadowbox! Creating something can help our brains and bodies process some of our grief.
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.
Have an extra shirt or article of clothing from the person who died? A pillow cover with that piece can create an excellent and cuddly way to remember them.
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 feel connected to them and might help us find a good cry or even a good belly laugh.
Take time to acknowledge your grief. Life moves 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 and take time to acknowledge your grief journey.
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.
Set a new goal for yourself to make you and your person proud. Knowing they are “with us” as we achieve new goals can feel so fulfilling. This can also be a great way to move forward if you feel a bit stuck.
Was there something fun/exciting/good your person always wanted to do? Then, 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.
HealGrief knows that Pets Count Too! Visit HealGrief.org to learn how you can remember and honor your furry/feathery friends too.
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!
Special days that remind you of the person who died can be challenging. Try creating a healthy and uplifting tradition to help you look forward to these, sometimes difficult, days.
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.
Volunteer your time at an organization/event 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.
Talk to someone. This may be a friend, family member, grief coach, or therapist. During a grief journey, people might report feeling more anxious, depressed, less able to concentrate, tend to be more forgetful, etc. Some call this “grief brain,” and it’s not uncommon. Talking to someone can help alleviate some of these barriers to functioning as your best self.