16 unique celebration of life ideas

Memorials: 16 Amazing Celebration Of Life Ideas

Have you ever taken a moment to celebrate death?


Why would I even ask you that?

Well let’s rephrase it…

Have you ever taken the time to celebrate the life of the person who you’re mourning?

If you haven’t then now is the time.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned through each loss that I’ve experienced.

It’s ok to remember the good times & smile about them. Just because you’ve lost a loved one doesn’t mean you have to lose the joy that they brought you.

Related: Uplifting Grief Quotes

It took me a long time & a lot of journaling to see that.

Now here’s the other question. How can you celebrate their life?

Welp, I’ve got you covered there too.

But before we jump into it let me first say that there is no specific time to do this.

If it’s Memorial Day & you want to celebrate your loved one’s life then go ahead.

A random Tuesday night? That’s ok too.

Don’t get caught up in the myth that you can only do a memorial or celebration of life at particular times.

This is meant to uplift you & give you another coping outlet

Memorial Releases

The concept of a release is truly beautiful to watch. I once watched a dove release for my grandmother & the bird trainer had the best explanation for it.

The caged bird symbolizes your loved one hear on earth. As they’re released they symbolize their spirit flying free all around you.

You can release a variety of birds & butterflies. Although doves are the more traditional route to go.

I have also seen lantern releases in both the air & the water. But at the end of those releases, the lanterns need to be picked up as to not harm the environment.

16 unique ways to honor a deceased loved one

Start A Drive

Think about a passion or charity that your loved one was really into.

Or maybe the cause that leads to their death.

Now is there a way to center a drive around that.

It could be as simple as a stuffed animal drive for a local children’s hospital or orphanage.

A drive for books for the elderly.

Or even a blanket drive to help chemo patients keep warm during treatment.

Don’t overthink it. The drive could be held for 1 day at a local church or rec center. But it’s an excellent way to remember your loved one, get the community involved, & help others.

Have A Party

Yes, I said have a party.

What a better way to celebrate the life of a loved one than to have a gathering of those that loved them.

Make the party theme surrounding a movie or theme that your loved one enjoyed.

Then have their favorite food, drinks, & music.

Take the take to share funny stories & just reminisce.

Get Creative With Ashes

If your loved one has been cremated then you have other options than keeping their ashes in an urn or releasing them somewhere.

Here are several ideas, but there are many more.

  • Tree urns.
  • Cremation art
  • Stuffed animal
  • Cremation ring
  • Cremation locket
  • Cremation diamond
  • Added to coral reef


Have old t-shirts or memorabilia from your loved one lying around collecting dust?

It’s time to re-purpose those old memories into something new.

Turn old tees into blankets. Or repaint an old dresser to make it your own.

Find a way to give it new life.

Memory Tree

A memory tree is simply a tree that you plant in memory of a loved one.

Start it from a sapling & watch it grow through the years.

16 loving ways to honor the deceased

Memory Garden

Similar to a memory tree, a memory garden is filled with a variety of flowers. Each one representing a different loved one who has passed away.

You can start one in your own yard, or make it a community garden.

My high school in my hometown has a memory garden beside the football field. It serves in memory of both teachers & students who have passed away.

Name A Flower

Did you know that you can name a new species of a flower after someone?

Each year there are new breeds of flowers that come about. it is possible (it can get expensive) to name that new species.

And the best part of that is they will send you a pack of seeds of that flower that you can plant in a memory garden or your backyard.

Side Note: Talking about naming a flower brings up the question of can you name a star too. Technically, yes. There are several different companies out there that say that you can name a star & they’ll even send you coordinates.

BUT, according to NASA those companies aren’t legit. Only scientists can truly name a register a star.


Sometimes we just need a reminder that just because they’re gone in body that doesn’t mean that they’re gone in memory.

And wearing a piece of jewelry can do just that.

  • Using an old photo in a locket
  • Having an engraved bracelet or watch
  • Wearing a piece of their old jewelry

All of these & more are a great way to reconnect with your memories.

Memorial Tattoos

Tattoos are taboo to some & healing to others. The choice is completely yours.

Either way, they are a great way to pay tribute & remember your loved ones.

If you need help deciding on how to pick a tattoo, here are some great tips to get you started.


Volunteering a great way to help others. And you’ll celebrate your loved one’s life especially if you volunteer to do something that they also enjoyed.


Usually, when you hear the word donate you think only of money.

And yes, you can donate money in your loved one’s name to scholarships & charities. But you can also donate clothes, books, toys, & more.

Some of the items that you donate could be old belongings of your loved one. Or even some of yours that you donate on their name.


If you have any photos of your loved one laying around then it’s time to put them to use.

  • Put them in a locket
  • Create a shadow box frame
  • Build a scrapbook
  • Enlarge a picture & hang it on a wall

16 fun ways to celebrate the life of a loved one

Finish A Dream

Before they died did your loved have a dream that they always wanted to do? Or maybe a project that they always wanted to complete?

Like is there a beat up Chevy still sitting in the garage?

Or is that backpack still sitting there waiting to go to Yellowstone Park?

Complete that step for them. You’re doing it for them & coping at the same time by trying something new.

Movie Marathon

Have a favorite movie series or actor/actress that you both enjoyed?

Then kick back & enjoy a marathon of it.

For me, my Nana loves Scooby Doo so I tend to watch marathons of him when I want to feel closer to her. I’ve even gotten my daughter into it. So it’s become a new tradition.

Enter A Walk Or Race

There are 100’s Of walks & races that happen on almost a daily basis around the world.

Enter one in memory of your loved one. You can either gather a group together to participate with you.

Remember you’re not limited to these ideas. We all grieve in our own ways. If you feel inspired to do a different celebration of life or have your own tradition I’d love to hear about it!

Looking for more ways to cope with grief? Grab the Artist Within E-book filled with over 100 art therapy activities that you can do at home or check out the new Grief By Design course!

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16 great ways to celebrate the life of a loved one.