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5 creative ways to honor and memorialize your loved ones

by Vidya Sury May 11, 2017 6 comments
5 creative ways to honor and memorialize your loved ones

I miss my Mom every day, sometimes all day. Especially so with Mother’s Day around the corner. And of course I wish she were around because I miss our conversations, the hugs, the love. She passed away unexpectedly in 2010 but in spite of that, we were able to carry out some of her “last wishes” which we had really not thought of as “last.”

Then we thought of ways to honor her memory. I started a blog to “chat” with her, because I had no one to talk to . . . no one quite like her. There never will be. Besides donating her body to a medical college, as she had wished, we started trust funds with what we had at various welfare homes. Close friends came up with wonderful suggestions, some of which we could carry out immediately.

The truth is, over 6,300 people die every hour. That equates to 55.3 million deaths every year.

Whether or not you’ve been forewarned and had time to make preparations, a loved one’s passing is always an emotional shock to the system. In my case, it was also an emotional block. Suddenly the person you loved most in the world or counted on to always be there… isn’t. Often, that reality is met with sadness, disbelief, and even anger.  I know it’s OK to let the emotions flow, and eventually, you’ll want to focus on and recall happier memories.

Fortunately, there are some simple and creative ways to memorialize your loved ones, and I wish I had done some of these seven years ago.

Light the Way

A traditional way of memorializing a loved one is to simply light a candle. While that’s not a creative solution on its own, once the internet is involved it can become an incredibly meaningful way to remember anyone who has recently passed on. Using hashtags and other mobile-based symbols of viral communication, people from all over the globe can be involved. The results can even be documented and shared via FaceTime, YouTube, or any number of video apps for a single or annual memorial.

Send Them Out with a Bang

Did you know that according to the NFDA, cremation totals surpassed traditional burials as of 2015, and the call for cremations are expected to leave burials in the dust by 2030? Not only is a cremation cheaper than a traditional burial and better for the planet, it can also lead to some pretty remarkable send-offs.

If your loved one really wants to have their ashes spread somewhere special, by all means, follow their wishes. However, as cremation is tipping the scale as the chosen burial solution, funeral homes nationwide offer firework solutions to literally allow your loved one to light up the sky. The details are handled by the funeral home, and costs range between a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Therefore, an affordable memorial does not have to be lackluster.

Make a Memorial Garden

Flowers have a secret language of their own, and many symbolize various stages of life, death, and rebirth. A memorial garden is a beautiful tactile way to keep the memory of your loved one alive for generations to come. Consider adding a few symbolic flowers, their favorite varieties, and even items from important life events such as weddings or anniversary bouquets. Perennials are especially helpful for providing beauty year after year with minimal expense. Add in fountains, stepping stones or spiral paths, and even seating areas to make your memorial truly magical and Zen.

Transform Ashes into Art

Even if you want to keep an urn on a mantel piece or sprinkle their remains, you can still incorporate some of their ashes into a stunning personal memorial. Many artists provide artwork capturing the literal essence of your loved one. Paintings, glass spheres, crystal objects, and even precious jewelry are just some of the items that can be created so they can be with you forever in more than spirit alone.

Blog your memories

Which, as you know, is what I did, at Coffee With Mi. Memories have a way of rushing in when you least expect them, and it is not always easy to find someone, and share. I found it therapeutic to open up there, recalling little things, ranting a little, talking about good things, not-so-great stuff…and generally feeling alright!

Death is an inevitable part of life’s journey, but your loved ones never need to be forgotten. A little creativity goes a long way to ensuring they’ll remain with you forever.

And regardless of which option(s) you choose to memorialize your dearly departed, this call recorder app can help lift and expand the experience by including a special message, conversation, or simple reminder of happier days.

After all, doesn’t everyone hope their life makes a positive impact on those they leave behind?

Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day.

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and forever dear.

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Anitha Rajagopal May 12, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I love the idea of the garden! Mostly because it is a living thing and gives the feeling of the loved one actually being there, breathing air and growing. I’m really sorry about your mom. Donating one’s body to science is a very brave thing to do. I’m sure she hears all those conversations and is aware of all those blog posts.

Vidya Sury May 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

You are right, Anitha. I thought it was a beautiful idea, too! Thank you for your kind words. I like to think she is with me, too! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Reflections April #AtoZChallenge 2017

JyothiRavi May 13, 2017 at 10:59 pm

These are really beautiful ways to memorialize our loved ones. For that unconditional love they showered on us, they deserve to be remembered with utmost gratitude. Those were the ones who painted our life with beautiful colors of happiness.

Shailaja Vishwanath May 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

I like the idea of the blog the best 🙂 It captures what we want to say and your Coffee With Mi blog is my favourite of all your blogs. Hugs and happy Mother’s Day to you, Vidz.

Birgit May 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm

My friend has a special little garden spot for her doggie whom she loved very much. I think a garden idea is a perfect way to remember a loved one. I light a candle for my dad who has been dead for 29 years which is weird to write. I think blogging is a great idea as well because others get to know the person and these memories that are shared mean she will always be near. I lthink be reding about your mom.

Wendy of The Rock May 18, 2017 at 3:56 am

We had my dad cremated when he died some 30 years ago, but my mum never liked the memorial garden where he was placed. He was surrounded by roses… which he hated. So when we built our home on The Rock five years ago, I made a small garden of plants he likes, went and got the urn from the cemetery, and we had a fun family lunch then buried the urn … along with some golf balls, a football club membership card and a bottle of red wine. My mum was very relieved. And I used to have coffee with him and chat …before we relocated here for the next few years. I know he’s waiting for me, though. He always loved surf beaches and he can hear it constantly now while he waits.


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