When someone passes away, friends and family will often look for ways to remember the person and hold their memory close. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a memorial.
A memorial is the act of preserving a person’s memory and can come in many forms. In this blog we will explore some of the different ways you can create a memorial for a loved one.
1. Memorial plaque or headstone
The traditional way to memorialise a person is by installing a headstone or plaque. This creates a dedicated place for family and friends to visit and remember a loved one who has died. If a person has been buried or if you have buried their cremated remains, a headstone can be used to mark their gravesite. Where a burial hasn’t taken place, you could install a remembrance plaque in their memory, which can be placed in a memorial garden or cemetery.
At Dillamore we work with Quince Memorials in Biggleswade. They have more than 40 years experience in designing, making and renovating memorials.
2. Choose an urn
If your loved one is being cremated, you will need to choose an urn to house their remains. Whilst some people choose to scatter the ashes, others will permanently store their loved one in an urn and either bury it or keep it in the family home.
For ashes that are kept at home, there are a wide variety of options available. As well as the more traditional urn-shaped containers, you can choose different shapes and materials to create something more unique. Marble, decorative glass, wood, metal and sculpted designs are just some of the options available, as well as the ability to personalise an urn with a photo, quote or message.
3. Plant a remembrance tree
Instead of a traditional headstone, many people are now choosing to plant a tree in remembrance of their loved one. This is the most environmentally-friendly option and is particularly suited to anyone who loved spending time in nature. Alternatively, planting a rose can be a symbolic way to remember a loved one.
This living tribute can provide a soothing environment for you to mourn, whilst seeing the tree evolve and grow over time can help to bring a sense of peace. In green burials, the only memorial allowed will be the planting of a tree at the gravesite.
Some people choose to purchase a tree sapling and plant the tree themselves, whilst others instruct a company to do it on their behalf. Be aware that unless you plant a tree on your own land, you will need the landowner’s permission and there may be a fee attached.
4. Choose a special location
You don’t need to have a headstone or tree in order to have somewhere to visit. Another memorial idea is to choose a special location that meant something to the deceased to remember them by.
Whilst some people choose to scatter a person’s ashes in a memorable location, others will feel soothed simply by spending time in that place. As with planting a tree, if you choose to scatter a person’s ashes you will need permission from the landowner or council and there may be a fee attached.
5. Create an online memorial
An online memorial is a website that is set up in remembrance of a person and provides a central online location for friends and family to grieve for their loved one.
As well as displaying photos or videos of the deceased, an online memorial may also include a timeline of a person’s life, highlighting some of their achievements and big life events. Visitors to the website are usually able to leave messages and there is often a link for people to donate to charity.
As part of the service we offer, Dillamore can set up an online memorial page on behalf of your loved one. Links to each memorial page are included in the Notices & Donations section of our website, providing a central place for friends and family to visit.
6. Charity donations
Nowadays it is very popular for families to ask for charity donations in lieu of funeral flowers. Sometimes the charity will have been specified in person’s will or prepaid funeral plan prior to their death, otherwise the family will choose a charity that feels personal to the deceased.
Being able to donate to charity in the name of a loved one, and knowing that through a person’s death they have been able to contribute to a good cause, can feel helpful to those in grief.
7. Write down your memories
Writing down memories of a loved one ensures that your treasured moments with a person aren’t forgotten over time. As well as this, many people find that writing down memories can help them come to terms with a loss.
You could create a scrapbook or journal of your loved one, including written memories and photos that can be added to over time. Friends and family could also contribute their own memories to the book to create a truly unique memorial of a person’s life.
Alternatively, you could create a memory jar, filling up the jar with your favourite memories and stories throughout the year. When the jar is full, or one a special date, you could then empty the jar and read all the memories that have been collected.
8. A park bench
Memorial ideas that form a gift to society can be a special way to honour a person’s memory. Some people purchase and dedicate a bench to a loved one and place it in a favourite spot. A memorial bench will likely have a plaque or engraving detailing the deceased’s name.
If placing a bench in a public place you will need to get in touch with the council to ask for permission. Different councils have different ways of managing these types of requests, and our team of funeral arrangers will be able to advise you on this.
You don’t necessarily need to place a bench in a public place, however, and many people choose to install a memorial bench in their own garden.
9. Memorial jewellery
A more unusual memorial idea is to create a piece of jewellery out of a person’s cremated ashes. There are many companies who can do this, and the most popular method is to use a layering process that combines a loved one’s ashes with a coloured resin of your choice. The result is a beautiful gemstone effect that can then be made in to an attractive piece of jewellery.
Memorial jewellery doesn’t have to be made of a person’s ashes, however. If someone left you a piece of jewellery in their will, wearing it can feel like a personal symbol of remembrance.
10. Create a ritual
Memorials don’t always have to be physical. Creating a ritual in remembrance of a person could become a powerful way to keep their memory alive. This could be as simple as lighting a candle for them, saying a prayer or reciting a quote. Other ideas include singing or playing a loved one’s favourite song, toasting them or cooking their favourite meal. Getting friends and family involved can also be a nice way to share in your grief and collectively remember a person who has died.
If you have recently lost someone and would like to discuss memorials further, reach out to our team on 01525 372210 or use our contact form, and we will be happy to assist you.