10 Creative Ways to Keep a Loved One's Memory Alive

Sometimes, the only way you can feel as though your loved one is still with you and part of your life is by actively keeping their memory alive and surrounding yourself with reminders of them and the happy times you shared together.

Many people find it extremely difficult to let go of the memory of someone who has passed away, especially if that person was very close to them. Sometimes, the only way you can feel as though your loved one is still with you and part of your life is by actively keeping their memory alive and surrounding yourself with reminders of them and the happy times you shared together. These 10 creative ways to keep a loved one's memory alive will help you do just that and create new happy memories with family members who are still living and remember those who are gone with fondness.

1) Write them letters

Even if your relationship was over before your loved one passed away, writing them letters after their death is something you can do for yourself. It can also be cathartic. Spend time writing these letters; think about what you would say in person if they were still here. Don’t hold back—if there’s anything that you needed to tell them while they were alive, take advantage of your ability now that they’re gone and tell them how you feel.

2) Talk about their passions

If they were particularly into something, talk about it. Not only will you be honoring their memories and bringing joy to those around you, but it'll also be some serious therapy for you. The more we reminisce about those we love, especially if we incorporate their passions into our lives in some way, means that no matter what happens we’ll always have them with us.

3) Celebrate their birthday

You’ve lost someone you love and your life feels empty and incomplete. As time passes, it’s important that you continue to remember them, honor their memory, and live your life in a way that reminds you of all that was good about them. Every year on their birthday, make it a point to share happy memories with friends and family as well as reflect on what they meant to you. This will help you feel connected not only to them but also your community.

4) Share photos of your time together

Whether they’re framed in your home or printed and tucked into your wallet, sharing photos of your life with those you love is a powerful way to keep their memory alive. Whether it’s by showing off yourself and your family or capturing special moments with friends, sharing photos is an incredible way to celebrate those we care about.

5) Go to their favorite places

Go to your mom’s favorite restaurant and see where she liked sitting. Go to your partner’s favorite bar and see if it is still up-to-date with their tastes. Rekindle memories by visiting all of their old haunts. If you don’t know what they were, go on Google or ask friends for suggestions. You might find that you have more in common than you thought!

6) Honor their legacy

Whether it be creating an endowment in their name, volunteering your time at an organization they dedicated themselves to, or something else, there are endless ways to give back and carry on your loved one’s legacy. For example, you could create an endowment at their alma mater in his or her name; buy an instrument and donate it to a school band program; or start an annual charity event in their name. Of course, these are just a few ideas; what they mean is up to you! Most importantly, make sure you choose something that feels right for you—not only will it provide comfort and peace of mind, but it will also honor their legacy. 

7) Create something in honor of them

Create something in honor of your loved one. A tribute, poem, painting, song—the possibilities are endless. Do something that they were particularly good at and let your creativity flow. Letting go is never easy, but thinking about them will always bring a smile to your face. After all, you carry their essence with you every day!

8) Research their life story and write it down

Before your friend’s passing, take time to learn about their life. Who were their role models? What did they love doing in their spare time? What songs do they have on repeat? Who are some of their favorite artists? By documenting all you can about your friend or family member, you can continue to learn about them through storytelling for years and years after they’ve passed. This will help keep that person close in your heart—even when days seem tough.

9) Do something in the name of your loved one

This is something any bereaved person can do, but it’s a special way of keeping your lost loved one close. Do their favorite activity, wear their favorite outfit or cook them their favorite meal. If you’re not sure what that might be, ask friends and family what they remember your loved one enjoying and try to do something in their honor every year on that date.

10) Take care of yourself

The death of a loved one can be emotionally debilitating, even for people who are strong. It’s not uncommon for you to feel hopeless in times like these, but taking care of yourself is more important than ever. If you don’t put yourself first, your situation might get worse. Take it from someone who’s been there. Treat yourself how you know your loved one would have treated you – with love and respect.

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