10 ways to honor someone who has died

This post focuses in particular on the loss of a child, whom I will call Samuel.  Hopefully the ideas inspire you, no matter what age your loved one was when they passed away.

Express memories of and wishes for Samuel.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
  1. Hold a vigil or service for Samuel. 
  2. Write a letter to Samuel, telling him what you miss, what you wonder about, what you want to learn about him someday. 
  3. Create something to help you remember Samuel. 
    • Sew a memory quilt or stuffed animal from his blankets or clothing. 
    • Make a scrapbook of photos, letters, memories, or unfulfilled desires. 
    • If you have a keepsake such as a lock of hair or flowers from Samuel’s funeral, have a piece of memorial jewelry made. 
    • Get a tattoo of Samuel’s name or of something that reminds you of Samuel. 
  4. Similarly, create something for other loved ones to remember Samuel.
  5. Train for and run a race in honor of Samuel. You might find it a useful way to release your emotions. You might even use this opportunity to raise money for a charitable cause. 
Photo by una xu on Unsplash

Create beauty in honor of Samuel.

  1. Make your community or world a better place, just as Samuel’s presence did. 
    • Plant a rosebush in your front yard, window box, or community garden. 
    • Build a community playground. 
    • Donate to or volunteer for a charitable organization in Samuel’s honor. 
    • Raise and release butterflies. 
    • Make a Spotify or Youtube playlist for processing grief and share it with others. 
  2. Learn a useful skill and use it to help others in Samuel’s name.
    • Learn how to do a construction task well and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. 
    • Take music lessons and volunteer to play for NICU or assisted living facility residents. 
    • Learn to knit or crochet and make hats for preemies, lap blankets for the elderly, or gloves for the homeless. 

Care for yourself and for your relationship with Samuel. 

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash
  1. Talk to someone about Samuel – perhaps a bereavement doula, perhaps a therapist, or perhaps an online or local support group. Share your stories, memories, regrets, and wishes. 
  2. Visit Samuel’s grave. 
    • Bring a book to read to Samuel, or a prayer to say. 
    • Bring flowers to leave at the grave. 
  3. Make Samuel’s memory part of your spirituality or religiosity. 
    • Write a prayer or a song for Samuel, on his behalf and/or asking his intercession. 
    • Purchase a special candle or a new rosary to remind you of Samuel.
    • Create a nighttime prayer or meditation routine incorporating Samuel’s memory and strengthening your spiritual connection. 


Do you have more ideas? Please leave a comment detailing how you have honored someone who has died. 

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