7 Unique Ways to Preserve the Memory of a Loved One

When you lose a loved one there are many things you can do to keep their memory alive. Here are a few unique alternatives...
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When you lose a loved one there are many things you can do to keep their memory alive. Here are a few unique alternatives for celebrating your loved one’s memory.

  1. Create a Home Memorial

Professional cremation services enable family members to plan a non-traditional funeral and make arrangements for cremation. Keeping an urn of your loved one’s ashes can be a fitting memorial. Some people opt to set up a small display, with a framed photo and the urn. There are also options for turning some of your loved one’s ashes into jewelry and other keepsake items which you can keep with you. Whether you choose cremation or burial, you can set up a memorial at home, with treasured mementos and photos of your loved one.

  1. Establish a Scholarship

If you have some cash saved up, it’s possible to create a scholarship in your loved one’s name. You can opt to connect the scholarship to a specific school your loved one attended or a field of study they were interested in. Every year you’ll know that your loved one’s contribution has helped someone pay for their studies. This is a great way of contributing to something your loved one cared about and keeping their memory alive.

  1. Start a Book Drive or Invest in Fictional Immortality

Establish an annual book drive in honor of your loved one. This is perfect for librarians, authors, and those who are passionate about books. Many places benefit from donations of books, including hospitals, daycare centers, senior centers and organizations that provide books to children. You can celebrate your loved one’s memory by sharing something they were passionate about with others. Another option? Purchase the naming rights to a character in a popular book series. You can support charity and let your loved one live on in fiction at the same time.

  1. Make a Community Donation

Choose a place that you are loved valued and make a donation in their name—donate a memorial bench to a park, contribute to the expansion of a local hospital or another facility, establish an annual activity for the community in your loved one’s name, or sponsor new features at a local dog park. These options often include a memorial plaque with your loved one’s name on it. Each time you visit, you’ll be reminded of your loved one and know that they’re sharing their appreciation for that location, facility or activity with others through the donation.

  1. Visit Heirlooms

Keep some of your loved one’s most treasured items in self- storage units. You can set up furniture the way it was in your loved one’s living room or den. Take time to read one of their favorite books there or tell them about a sports game they would have wanted to watch. Visiting the unit is a great way to remind yourself of your loved one and can provide a space where you can talk to your loved one. Seeing their belongings is also a powerful way to bring back cherished memories. 

  1. Make a Scrapbook and Memory Chest

Select some favorite photos of your loved one and put them together in a scrapbook. You can include other items, such as ticket stubs for events you attended together or cards you exchanged. The scrapbook can be kept in a memory chest along with other cherished items that remind you of your loved one. Pick some items they collected or mementos they kept from significant events in their life. Visiting the memory chest can be a great way to keep their memory alive. You can also share the mementos and their history with future generations.

  1. Complete Their Bucket List

A bucket list is a wishlist of things a person wants to do before they die. They may vary from traveling to another country to skydiving to attending a sporting event or concert. Your loved one may not have had the chance to complete all the items on their bucket list before they passed away. A great way to honor their memory is to finish their bucket list. You can pick an annual date and complete an item each year. You can carry a photo of your loved one or memento with you in their memory.

Tom Parsons is a contributing writer for Urban Tulsa. He graduated from NYU with a journalism degree, and he currently resides in Tulsa.