Losing a loved one can be an extremely emotional time. In addition to all of the grief and emotions being experienced, for spouses or other close family members there is typically a lot to do. This includes determining whether the body will be cremated or buried, deciding on an urn or casket, organizing a funeral or celebration of life, getting their affairs in order, and letting others know about the passing. Some people naturally feel overwhelmed during this time and prefer to wait to make additional decisions, including a memorial for their loved one. After some time has passed, their death anniversary can be a great time to reflect and honor your loved one with a beautiful memorial.
On the anniversary of a loved one’s death people typically have less stress and more clarity than in the hours or days after a loved one passes. They can better reflect on their loved one and their life, as well as ways to remember and honor them. On this date, many people look to do something meaningful and commemorate their loved one in a special way.
There are a number of options now available that provide families with amazing memorials and events to honor a loved one on the anniversary of their death (or, anytime they prefer). In this blog we touch on 8 unique ways people are honoring a loved one on their death anniversary.
1) Plant a Tree Memorial
Over the past few years growing a tree memorial for a loved one who has been cremated has become more and more popular. Many people love the idea of having a beautiful living memorial of a loved one that they can visit and enjoy. If it’s not something that’s done right away, families can choose to include either a portion or all of their loved one’s ashes with The Living Urn on the anniversary of their death or anytime they choose. Many will hold ceremonies with family and friends present to participate in the planting and remember and honor their lost loved one.
The Living Urn offers families over 50 beautiful tree options. These are narrowed down by zip code to the ones that grow best in each area of the U.S. The patented BioUrn® system along with the tree that is chosen are both sent directly to the home (or address of your choosing). The system includes step-by-step instructions, making it easy to plant and grow the tree memorial. This special memorial option starts at $129 and makes for a great way for families to memorialize a loved one on the anniversary of their passing.
2) Plant an Indoor Living Memorial
If you like the idea of a tree memorial, but don’t have a special place to plant outdoors, another option is to have an indoor plant or bonsai tree memorial. This can be done with The Living Urn Indoors/Patio, a beautiful high-quality porcelain urn that comes in three colors – blue, beige, and white. This indoor planter cremation urn holds your loved one’s ashes along with a houseplant, bonsai tree, or succulent of choice. Alternatively, The Living Urn Indoors/Patio can come with a vase that fits in the center of the urn where you can place cut flowers – this provides an array of color year-round!
3) Scatter Ashes at a Special Place
Scattering ashes of a loved one can be done anytime and over the past few years has become more and more common. You can scatter all or some of the ashes on the anniversary of their death or anytime you choose. The location where you scatter can include a special place you used to visit together, a favorite vacation destination, at the family home, or any other place you wish.
A growing trend of people who scatter ashes is to use a scattering urn specifically designed for this purpose. This includes Eco Scattering - urns that are designed in a way to help you scatter with control and ease and also scatter ashes away from your body (which helps prevent having the ashes from blowing back on the person scattering). This patented biodegradable urn is made from bamboo, a sustainable resource and is a leading choice of funeral homes nationwide.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to scatter ashes of a loved one in the water, the Eco Water Urn is a popular option. This patent pending biodegradable water urn floats like a buoy and gracefully releases the ashes out of the bottom of the urn and into the water. A great way to commemorate a loved one on the anniversary of their death, especially if your loved one enjoyed spending time at in the ocean or at a lake!
4) Hold a Celebration of Life
There are no set rules when a celebration of life or funeral can be done – it can be anytime. If you weren’t up to it right after a loved one passed, many people choose to hold a celebration or funeral on the anniversary of their death. You can make this as formal or informal as you wish. Many will include family and friends for a barbeque, at a restaurant or golf course, a picnic in a nearby park, or attend an event together. Some families will even decide to make this an annual event – a good way to enjoy each other’s company while at the same time remembering a loved one.
5) Take a Vacation
What a better way to honor your loved one than to get away and take a vacation with family or friends! Go to a tropical beach, the mountains, take a European tour, a cruise, etc. The destinations are endless and it’s a great way to get away from the daily grind life brings, relax, and reflect and remember your loved one.
6) Take a Long Walk
Heading outdoors and exercising is a great way to clear your mind and reflect on a loved one who passed. Take a walk in a favorite park, to a neighbor or relative’s house, to a school your loved one attended, or elsewhere.
Many non-profits and other groups welcome any help they can get. By volunteering on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, it can be a great way to honor them and also give back! The opportunities to do this are virtually endless – you can provide food at a homeless shelter, collect toys for a holiday gift drive, pick up trash on city streets or parks, among many other opportunities.
8) Donate to a Charity
Was your loved one passionate about a certain cause? The anniversary of their death can be a great time to honor them and gather family and friends to donate time, fundraise, or make a monetary donation to a charity involved with a cause they cared about. This can be a charity that works to fund research for a certain disease, provides support to our veterans, is devoted to helping the environment, provides help for people suffering from addiction, supports programs for the homeless, or dedicates resources for pets, among many others.