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Remembering a Loved One: 6 Ways to Step Up Your Memorial of a Loved One

Losing a loved one is never easy. After you say your final goodbyes, the lack of their presence in your life often leaves a gaping void, a sense that you have lost something special. However, just because your loved one has passed away does not mean they will disappear from your life forever. There are many ways of remembering a loved one, and keeping their memory alive for a lifetime to come.

The memorial of a loved one can take many shapes. You can choose to honor them privately, or host a gathering of family and friends for a more public event. How you honor someone’s memory is up to you—just remember that their story does not have to end when their life does.

What truly makes memorializing a loved one so special is that it affords you a chance to celebrate the uniqueness of that person. There are so many ways to commemorate the memory of a loved one, but here is a list of some of our favorite ideas:

Give Back in Their Name: Making donations in your loved one’s name is an option, but there are so many more creative ways to go about giving back in someone else’s honor. Establishing a grant or charity that helps others in the name of your loved one is a major way to make a difference. Find something that your loved one was passionate about, and create a charitable organization or event!

Plant a tree: A tree planted in someone’s memory is a living tribute that benefits present and future generations, and is a fitting gift for all. There are several organizations that will plant trees in one of the nation’s forests, or you can plant one yourself. Visiting the tree will undoubtedly become a special experience for you, and an opportunity to reflect on some of your most cherished memories.

Write a letter: It might feel a bit strange to write a letter to someone who will never read it, but it could help you manage your grief. At first, it might be difficult to figure out where to start, so try spending a few minutes thinking about what you would like to talk to them about. It could be silly or serious. It could be a single letter, or something you do regularly.

Start a tradition on their birthday: Find something that helps you feel close to them, and do it each year on their birthday. It can be anything: doing an activity your loved one liked to do; taking a trip somewhere that meant something to you both; having a family dinner and raising a toast. The list goes on…

Cook their favorite food: Cooking your loved one’s favorite meal can help you remember that person, and remind you of the good times you had together. Whether you learn to recreate their favorite holiday recipe, or simply enjoy their favorite indulgence once in a while, eating the same food that your loved one enjoyed is a powerful form of connection.

Create a keepsake: We are often left with not only memories when a loved one passes, but material items— like clothing. It can be difficult to part with these things, as they are a tangible connection to that person. Consider taking their favorite articles of clothing and turning them into a patchwork quilt, shawl or even a stuffed animal!

Memories can be painful, especially right after a loved one dies. Memories, however, are a way to continue to love something or someone, even after they are gone. Taking the time to create a tradition that honors your loved one can help you move through your grief.

Another source of support—especially for those whole have roles in the administration of their loved one’s estates—can be hiring a probate attorney, who can take care of the legal checklist that comes with death so you can focus on grieving. If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, please contact us. We can help streamline the estate administration process so you can focus on processing your feelings.

Monique Hineline

Smith & Smith are very professional, informative, and relatable with examples and stories to ease the estate planning process. I had the best time at their lunch and learn. Even if you already have your estate planning in place I highly recommend attending a lunch and learn. Thanks Smith & Smith!