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Touching Tributes – 10 Ways to Honour a Loved One


Mourning a loved one is one of the most difficult things we will ever have to face in our lifetime.

The grief, anger, and despair caused by their passing can feel overwhelming, and we can often struggle to find meaning or purpose in life now that our loved one is no longer with us. We can also feel a haunting sense of powerlessness, because there was nothing we could do to prevent their loss.

While going through the grieving process is never easy, there are a number of things you can do to help you regain a sense of control, and, most importantly, to pay tribute to the special person who passed away. 

There are times where you may ask yourself “what should I bring to a funeral?” Finding ways to honor their life can prove helpful when it comes to processing your grief. These heartfelt rituals can also give you much-needed comfort, as they allow you to focus on the positive aspects of your loved one’s life and character, rather than dwelling on the sadness of their loss.

Read on to discover 10 unique and thoughtful ways to honor your loved one who has passed. While none of them may strike a chord with you, they may still offer a source of inspiration to help you devise your own personal tribute. 

Create A Special Item Of Jewellery

Having a physical reminder of your loved one that you can wear on your person can be a source of comfort. The Victorians, in particular, were known for their fondness for making special mementos using their loved one’s hair, including bracelets and even watches. These items served as a poignant visible reminder of their loved one; something they could see and touch and wear on a daily basis to give them comfort. Perhaps it also gave them a sense that death is not all-consuming, that it leaves things behind - or simply represents a transition from one form to another.

These days, this trend is still very much with us, with so-called ‘cremation jewellery’ having undergone a recent resurgence of popularity. 

These items of jewellery – whether specially designed pendants, charms, or rings – can contain a small amount of ashes, although some may also contain locks of hair, keeping the Victorian tradition alive. 

Play Their Favourite Music

Like fragrances, music can be a profound conduit for memory. Certain songs have the power to instantly transport us back to another time in our lives or remind us of a special person who adored that music.  

If you are looking for a special way to honor your loved one, whether for their funeral, a specially organized tribute, or just in your day-to-day life, one of the easiest ways to do so is to create a playlist that features all of their favorite songs. 

On the other hand, if you have musical talents of your own, you could write and perform a song in their memory, for a truly poignant tribute that comes from the heart. 

Set A Place At The Table

Coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult, but their loss can be even more profoundly felt during special occasions and big family gatherings. 

A particularly touching way to pay tribute to their life is to set a place for them at the table at every get-together. By doing so, you demonstrate what an important role they played in your lives – and still do, through their cherished memory. 

Keep Them Close With Exquisite Personalized Memorial Ornaments

If you would like to create a tribute to your loved one that you can hang around your home – or even use to adorn the Christmas tree every December – Heart To Heart Sympathy Gifts offer a wide array of ornaments for you to choose from. 

Each item comes with a hook or a ribbon, so you can easily hang it on your festive tree or adorn your home. However, you may also wish to invest in a dedicated memorial display cabinet or stand, creating a stunning tribute to your loved one that will always remind you of what a special person they were.

These beautiful and poignant memorial ornaments come in a range of shapes and forms, from engravable keepsakes to beautiful angel figurines, sun catchers, and photo frames. This means you can choose the ornament that most closely reflects your sentiments for your lost loved one. 

Accomplish Something They Started

If your departed family member left something unfinished before they passed away – in particular, a project or a task or a role that meant a great deal to them – you may wish to show your love and respect by completing it in their stead. 

Achieving their goal on their behalf can help to ease your sadness, as you will know that you have helped them accomplish something that was very important to them. Imagining the pride and gratitude they would feel can give you a boost and help you feel closer to them, even if they can’t be there to share your achievement with you.

Document Their Life 

A simple but poignant way to honor your lost loved one is to work on a creative project that documents their life and celebrates the many positive times they experienced. 

This project can be a scrapbook, featuring photos and old school reports and even their hand-written recipes and poems. Alternatively, you may want to devote a whole photo album to images of them in daily life and special occasions, or perhaps even write a biography of their life and accomplishments. 

While this kind of project may not be something you want to embark on in the initial months following their passing, as it may be too painful, it’s certainly something to consider once you have had some time to process your grief. 

Plant A Tree In Their Memory

A wonderful way to memorialize your loved one is to plant a  tree in their honor. Not only will you benefitting the environment, but you will be creating a tribute that will hopefully grow and flourish, that could potentially stand for hundreds of years. 

In folklore, different trees, plants and flowers represent different qualities or emotions, so you may want to take these special meanings into account as you go about choosing the perfect seedling to represent your dearly departed. 

Donate To A Cause They Believed In

If there was a particular charity or cause that your loved one dearly believed in – from animal welfare to fundraising for cancer research – then you can honor their memory by donating to that cause. You may even wish to become a volunteer fundraiser, spreading awareness about a cause that meant a great deal to them. 

Not only will this help you to feel closer to them, but you will also be doing a lot of good, and this sense of accomplishment and positive action can help you as you come to terms with your loss. 

Host A Celebration Of Their Life

While it is traditional to hold a funeral or memorial service shortly after your loved one has passed, these can sometimes be desperately sad and difficult occasions, as the pain of loss is still very raw. 

After a certain amount of time has elapsed – perhaps a few months, perhaps a year or more - you may wish to hold another memorial; this time, a celebration of their life, rather than a recognition of their passing. 

The way you choose to do this will, of course, be unique to you and the loved one you lost. For example, you may wish to hold an intimate candlelit dinner with their closest friends, where you share stories about their life and raise a toast in their honor. 

Alternatively, if they had a particular fondness for a certain place or activity, you may wish to hold their celebration there, or include that activity in the proceedings – whether it was horseback riding, dancing, painting, or swimming. 

This kind of intensely personalized and celebratory tribute is a contrast to the more sombre, reflective atmosphere of a funeral. Consider it a positive and perhaps even joyous occasion, where you dance to their favorite songs, eat their favorite foods, swap funny anecdotes about their life, and generally pay homage to what a kind, funny, flawed, unique and lovable person they were. 

Honor Them With Your Words

Whether you are a songwriter, a poet, or a writer, paying homage to your loved one with words is a heartfelt way to show how much they meant to you.

It can also be a cathartic process for you, and for your family when they read what you have written. You may even wish to frame your words and display them somewhere in your home, for a constant reminder of the love and regard you still feel for the special person you have lost. 

Adopt Something On Their Behalf

Last but certainly not least, you may wish to pay tribute to your loved one by adopting something that would have meant a lot to them. 

Whether it’s a particular park or a scenic section of highway they always loved; a particular bench they always used to sit on; or an animal they adored at a local shelter, embarking on an adoption on their behalf is a meaningful way to honor their memory and keep you connected to their presence.

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