While burials are less popular than they once were, many people still choose to be buried and one of the key reasons for this is that it offers their mourners a permanent place to go and be reminded of their life through their plot and gravestone.
However, cremations have steadily grown in popularity in recent years and with this many mourners are now looking for a way to memorialise their loved ones which goes beyond the standard urn and ashes combination. Here are four suggestions.
Repurposing old possessions
One of the most difficult tasks to perform when you lose a loved one can be the clearing out of their home and the sorting of their possessions. While you may be able to easily throw away old newspapers, food and furniture it might be that something as simple as a cushion could bring back memories of your childhood, or a certain piece of jewellery might remind you of their glamorous character and fashion sense.
One solution to this, particularly if you don’t have the space or use for certain items, can be to repurpose it into something else. For example, an old wellington boot might become a flowerpot or old ties could be sewn together to form a cushion.
Planting a tree
A particularly popular way to remember someone is to plant a tree. Trees can be particularly symbolic especially as they change through the year, their leaves beginning to blossom, bloom and then fall.
Some hospices have designated areas where you can plant trees and The Woodland Trust has its own tree dedication scheme which allows people to donate and dedicate trees in specific areas of woodland throughout the UK.
One way that you can remind yourself of the good times is to frame happy memories with your loved one on the wall of your home. This might be a birthday, a wedding, or even just a smiling photograph from a happy day that you spent together.
Similarly you could frame certain possessions or documents such as marriage certificates, war medals, letters and other mementos that mean something to you.
If you don’t wish to display photographs then you could think instead about creating a scrap book full of memories.
Create a memorial video
With the invention of smart phones and digital cameras, many of our memories of our loved ones are digital. You might wish to create a memorial video which features photographs and videos of your loved one at special moments in their life.
Many people who do this choose to add music to the video, perhaps a song that your loved one enjoyed or simply a song that you connect with and will provide you with comfort as you watch the video.
Memorial videos can be particularly helpful if the person you have lost had friends or family who live far away and might otherwise not be able to share in those special memories.