29 Ways To Celebrate the Life of Someone After They’re Gone

After the funeral service is over and years pass by, it may be hard to find ways to celebrate those we’ve lost, even though we still think about them all the time.

Whether it’s a holiday, event, or just a day that makes you think of them, there’s often a desire to do something to remember a loved one, but not a lot of resources on how to honor them.

So we’ve created a list to help you do just that!

Whether you’re a funeral professional sharing this list with your client families, or someone who lost a loved one, we hope this list gives you some inspiration on how to create an easy way to remember and connect with our lost loved ones.

Without further ado, here are 29 ideas to celebrate someone’s life after they’re gone:

#1: Visit their favorite place. Whether it’s close or far, dedicate a road trip or a day trip to it, or simply go for a walk on a trail or at a park that reminds you of them.

#2: Host an annual dinner on their birthday. Why not celebrate the birthday of someone you love when they’ve passed? Everyone can get together and share memories and laughs and tears and everything in between. You can even make a seat for them at the dinner table!

#3: Visit their final resting place. You don’t have to make it complicated, sometimes you just want to connect to that person or pet. So go, pay your respects, leave a flower, or just be there because you care. 

#4: Write a letter to them. I love writing letters to my Uncle who passed away a few years ago because it helps me to relieve myself of any unspoken things I wish I could have said to him. Writing letters is one of the best ways to let go of the weight of grief!

#5: Make a sticker of them, their name, or a memento of them. On Kaua’i, a memorable character in the community passed away a few years back. To remember him, the community came together to create a sticker that said “Eddie Would Go”. He was a lifeguard who saved more than 500 people, so the sticker speaks to his courage and strength, so the sticker represents his courage and strength. Now, when you visit Kaua’i, you’ll find these stickers all over the island!

#6: Purchase flowers in their honor. I love flowers. Don’t you? Purchase their favorite flowers, or flowers that remind you of them. Keep them around by drying them if you’d like. Here’s a guide to flowers if you’re curious.

#7: Prepare one of their favorite meals or their recipes. Cooking is another great way to move through grief when we feel stuck. Cook their favorite meal, or your favorite meal and pull up a chair for them, too. Share the meal with friends or keep it for yourself. You get to choose.

#8: Light a sky lantern in honor of them. Sky lanterns are traditionally used to connect to the spirit world, so try your hand at lighting and releasing one into the sky. Such a beautiful sight! Try and make sure it’s a biodegradable one though!

#9: Read their favorite book or watch their favorite movie. This is a great rainy or winter day activity to connect to your loved one and the life they lived.

#10: Listen to their favorite music. Who says you can’t honor your loved one with a dance party? Or a crying to sad music party? No one.

#11: Re-watch their tribute video or slideshow. Save the tribute video or slideshow the funeral home made for them and watch it every year or whenever you miss them. 

#12: Make a post on social media to honor them.  A simple but sweet memento for them is all it takes sometimes. I see a lot of people do this on social media and it’s inspiring for those of us who aren’t connected to the loved one too.

#13: Say a prayer for them. Whether you’re religious or spiritual, prayers are still on the top of the list for the most direct ways to connect to and bless those who have passed.

#14: Catch a sunrise or sunset in honor of them. They say sunrise and sunset are the best times to meditate and connect spiritually. So dedicate a sunset or sunrise to them and enjoy it for them and with their spirit.

#15: Share your favorite stories about them. Those we love live on through our stories. Keep sharing them. Don’t be shy or think it’s weird to talk about your loved ones who have passed. Those who truly care about you are more than happy to liste.

#16: Put their picture up on your altar in your home. I love keeping photos of those who have passed on my altar. You can also put photos up for a short time, too. 

#17: Remember to live for them. Although they are gone, you’re still here. So don’t forget to live truly and deeply for them, and for yourself, too.

#18: Do a DIY art project with some things of theirs that you still keep around. Art is a great way to process emotions! And creativity gets the mind focused on something other than your grief. So celebrate them with art. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

#19: Frame a poem or piece of art they created. You can frame their obituary, a note they wrote to you, a poem they wrote, a quote they lived by,  a clipping of something they were featured in. Frame it or put it in on your fridge.

#20: Save them a seat at weddings and other big gatherings. If you’re having an important family or community event, save a spot for them and maybe even write a note with their name on it. You can also frame their photo and put it on the seat too. 

#21: Finish a project they started. If Dad was making a bench he never finished, or your sibling started a scrapbook, finish it for them. Finishing projects gives our mental health a boost, and gives you a sense of accomplishment and connection to your loved one.

#22: Tell one of their famous jokes. No matter how cheesy or oldschool, laughing is truly the best medicine. Don’t forget their corny jokes! We always miss them when they’re gone. 

#23: Get involved in things they cared about. Whether they were a hiking enthusiast or a pet lover, find a way to connect to what they connected to in their life. A little fun, sweat or tears is good for you!

#24: Do something off their bucket list. Ever seen the movie The Bucket List? Watch it, and then go do something your loved one loved! 

#25: Get a tattoo. This one is for the dedicated, but a tattoo will also help you to remember your loved one. What a beautiful dedication, one on your very own skin!

#26: Donate to a charity connected to what they were passionate about. Donations to charities keep alive the passions of those you love. And they help you help humanity in a great way. Here’s a list of charities you might consider donating to in honor of your loved one. 

#27: Try one of their hobbies. Trying something you’ve never done before is a soul stretching thing to do. It opens you to life and also connects you with your loved one.

#28: Write a poem or story in honor of them. You don’t have to be a poet to write a poem. Freehand writing about your loved one is a great way to process some of your feelings around their loss. Plus, you can prove to yourself that you are an artist, just like everyone else!

#29: Keep them in your heart and let their legacy become a part of you. The best way to remember someone, is to keep them in your heart. Hold them close. Honor the tender parts of you that miss them, love them, and wish they were here. These tender parts are your most precious parts. 

By keeping them close to your heart, you keep them with you wherever you go. They become a part of you. If you don’t do anything on the list above, do this one. It doesn’t take much to remember the ones we love if they’re always in our hearts.


Help your client families through their grief journey

Thankfully, there are tools out there that can help you to offer next-level grief support to your client families. With f1 Connects eAftercare plug-in, you can offer them a free interactive online grief counselor, 365 days of grief email affirmations, and more.  To learn more about funeralOne’s eAftercare platform, click here or call us at (800) 798-2575.

How else do you connect to those you love after they pass? Tell us in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.

  1. funeralOne Blog » Blog Archive 7 Social Media Engagement Ideas For Your Funeral Home Holiday Season – Funeral News Hubb

    […] There’s nothing harder for someone who just lost a loved one than the holidays. Offer some grief support tips for the holidays for them that gives them hope and inspiration during this hard time. We love this example above, because it’s something that can be shared easily throughout the community. If you need some more ideas, you can borrow from one of our many ideas in this blog “29 Ways To Celebrate the Life of Someone After Their Gone”. […]