When we lose someone we love the overwhelming loss can mean trying to find a way to sufficiently remember and honor the person. There are many ways to do this at the memorial service and funeral but beyond that there are further ideas to memorialize loved ones.
Some of these stand in tribute physically while others give to others. Choosing one that fits the views and lives of those lost can mean many options. Here are some ideas to start finding a way to honor your loved one.
CancerCare has a fund established in individual names that supports the work of cancer research. It’s hard to find a life not touched somehow by cancer – it destroys families and takes friends far too soon.
Commemorative gifts to a university or college either a particular school for an alumni or one which was supported in other ways.
A living tree is another way to plant a memorial that can last for years. If you don’t have room or stability to plant something there are farms that have sponsorships to allow productive, “green” tributes. A tree or garden gives to others as well as remaining a visible memorial.
Organizations that the loved one was involved in is another way to give – be it a particular interest such as a breed of cattle or hobby or more general in helping people.
Organ donations are the ultimate way to give to others and continue a life but this isn’t always something that can be done. Tributes can be however.
A sitting area in the back yard, butterfly garden or bird feeding areas are other ways to keep the memory alive. Donations to a zoo, wildlife center, organization or many other recipients are also possibilities.
Still others make their own way, such as Troy Nealey said “just in case” before he went to Iraq – he was clear what he wanted. When he was killed a sportsmanship scholarship was set up for beef, sheep and swine showman at the county fair, rewarding not just winning. College scholarships and a wide range of other ideas are possibilities.
There are dozens of ways to remember our friends, family members and others in ways that also remember their lives, not just that they’re gone. These are just a few ways to begin looking at ideas. Some, such as a small butterfly garden, can be done in a back yard while others take no space at all. Increasing in popularity are online memorials. Whatever your choices for honoring loved ones, memorials carry their name on. Giving to others is perhaps the best gift of all.