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Five Suggestions When Making a Memorial for a Close Friend or Relative

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If you are working through the loss of someone special, especially someone who has had a positive impact in your life, making a memorial may help. Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this.

Cultivate a Vegetable or Fragrant Garden or Plant a Tree or Ornamental Shrub
Finding the spot is mainly your personal preference. Picking a place which is of particular interest to you or the recently departed are both possible options. Gardens require a minimum amount of daily work—based on what you plant—so make sure you know yourself enough to determine if you will be loyal and trim, prune, and weed. A butterfly garden could possibly be less work and keep an aesthetic appeal. While planting and tending or tilling the flower or vegetable garden, take time to reflect on the good memories and lessons learned during time spent with your loved one. Place a bench or chair nearby to sit and rest while you reflect or read or even meditate. Buy an engraved plaque dedicating the planting on behalf of the person and choose a nice location and affix it nearby to remind passerby of the special life which lives on in your heart and soul.

Have a Balloon Release
Give a memorial where balloons are released on an annual calendar. In spite of popular belief, latex balloons are biodegradable and degrade over a short time. The total time for latex to deteriorate is the same as an oak leaf—six months. What many people sometimes fail to know is that latex is an all natural material and is subject to breakdown not like synthetic plastics. If you have lost a teen or child, balloon releases honor the free spirits of carefree youngsters and remember those who passed on too soon. If you live near those who are concerned with water creatures or wildlife that could be harmed by balloons, a butterfly release is another suggestion.

Make an Online Memorial
You may be surprised to find that many funeral homes offer online website space to families of the deceased with handy tools, which helps to create a unique page dedicated to their loved one. This can be beneficial to the people going through the process of loss and grief. Besides these, you can find online virtual memorial sites, which also accomplish the same thing. Some sites are free and others charge a repeating or onetime fee. An affordable option would be to use the free social networking or blogging sites. With today’s technology, photos can easily be uploaded and combined with stories, poems, and haikus. Links can be placed on the page to the deceased’s selected charity (providing an opportunity for people that may want to give money). In addition, movie clips or other things like websites, photos, or hobbies meaningful to the deceased can also be added onto the site or even linked to from it.

Make a Motion Video or Slideshow Online
The video sites, such as YouTube, can be another convenient, therapeutic way to honor someone who has passed on. Slideshows are easy to put together using any of the free software tools available you may find on the Internet. The links to YouTube can be placed into a blog itself so your visitors to the memorial site will not have to visit YouTube to see it. Thankfully, with the tools available to us these days, creating a slideshow or video can be easier than ever.

Have an Annual Fundraiser on the Birth Date of Your Loved One
If your loved one suffered from a difficult disorder that led to their death, it could be a special honor to hold a fundraiser on their birthday. The goal would be raising funds to find a cure or helping those who cannot afford health care. Whether you rent a hall and give a spaghetti dinner or find a band and throw a dance or black tie event, it’s entirely up to you. The end result is a special event to honor someone and help others at the same time.

I hope you’ve been able to glean a few useful ideas to help you in your search to make a memorial for that someone special.

I am currently attending college full time and (when time permits) prefer writing and learning. Thanks go to Bill Nicholas for his inspiration to me on this topic, for being a steadfast friend and mentor, and instilling in me the desire to write this.


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