Rules and traditions do not bind life and death. While we like to follow some as it gives a sense of order and helps people mourn and grieve their loss, there is no one way to memorialise the ones you have lost.
So, if you see death and what comes after with this perspective, there are endless options to memorialise the one who passed away. Traditionally, when someone passes away, the family and friends arrange for a funeral service straight away to honour and celebrate their life.
However, if you do not want a traditional funeral to bid farewell, you can opt-out. Instead, choose unconventional options to celebrate the uniqueness of your loved one. Here are eight ideas that might inspire you to walk the path less trodden and create a personalised memorial.
8 Non-Traditional Ways To Memorialise Your Loved One
Continue the legacy of your loved one by planting a memorial tree in a protected memorial garden. If the person who has passed away expressed their wish of being planted as a tree after death, then memorial gardens are the best way to honour the last wish.
Memorial gardens are protected areas and lands where treated human ashes are mixed in the soil to help a tree grow and thrive. It is a unique way of not only honouring the individual but also a sustainable and eco-friendly form of funeral.
Memorial trees represent the circle of life and extend a sense of hope that takes away the darkness of death. It has a positive impact on the environment and gives you something tangible to remember the one you lost.
Experience What They Loved:
A memorial can also be as simple as experiencing the favourite activities of the person who has passed away. Watching their favourite movies and TV shows, cooking their favourite dishes, visiting the restaurant or parks they loved to go to, and reading their favourite books are some ways you can memorialise your loved one without a traditional funeral.
Carrying out all these activities and experiences will help you move on but also help you understand what kind of a person they were.
Open House Memorial:
Set out a day for holding an open house at your home. Only this time, you won’t be selling your house but paying respect and bidding farewell to the person who has passed. Rather than a traditional and formal memorial, this is a great way to host it.
People can come in, talk, mingle, share stories, and be comfortable. You can play a video or photos in a loop for the guests to watch and reminisce. You can also set out photo albums for people to flip through.
Saying goodbye to your loved one from the comfort of your home, which is also your safe place, is a great idea, especially in such vulnerable situations.
Making A Donation:
You can donate on behalf of your loved one to a cause they believed in and supported. You can either make a significant one-time donation or set up things in a way that would ensure that the cause receives regular funding in the name of the person who passed away.
You can also volunteer for the cause and give your time rather than money if you are short on funds.
Complete Their Unfinished Work:
Death can sometimes be sudden and unpredictable. So, it might be a chance that the person did not get to finish a project close they were working on. While you might not want to delve into the project immediately, do consider finishing it on your own time.
Completing the unfinished works gives a sense of closure, especially if your loved one passed away suddenly. If you do not have the skills to do the job, hire someone who can. It is also a great way to bond as your dear one started the work and you finished it.
Organise A Birthday Memorial:
Traditionally a memorial service is held soon after the burial or cremation. However, sometimes, you might not be in an emotional state to confront the bitter feelings of loss and pain at that time.
Giving yourself time to mourn and grieve helps the heart heal and look forward to more positive things in life. So, there is no hurry. Rather than holding the memorial service right away, you can wait for some time and host a special memorial on your dear one’s birthday.
This will give you some time to take account of your emotions and help you look forward to a happy occasion. Unlike traditional memorials, this day would be filled with laughter, tears, and sharing happy memories.
A funeral followed by a traditional memorial is not the only goodbye you can say. Apart from the ideas already mentioned in the article, there are several more unconventional ways to memorialise your loved ones. Choose the one you feel comfortable with most and pay tribute to their memory and life.