Memorial Service & Bereavement Information Center

Enduring Ways to Memorialize a Loved One


As you work through the grieving process, it’s natural to feel like the whole world is shifting under your feet. In such times, it’s healing to keep a reminder of your loved one nearby. Traditionally, that reminder came in the form of a gravestone.

Previous American generations regularly visited gravestone memorial tributes to visit with the dead. Today, however, many Americans are opting for cremation, given the incredible environmental impacts and costs of a traditional burial. Furthermore, American families are often so spread out across the country that they can’t easily visit the graves of loved ones. In such circumstances, it’s wonderful to have a memorial of your loved one nearby. Memorial tributes can help you remember and honor the deceased.

Some remembrance gifts don’t last very long – it’s hard to keep a memorial wreath looking good for more than a couple of weeks, for example. The following list of memorial tributes will endure far into the future, helping you with remembering a lost loved one for decades.

1. LifeGem Diamonds

If you want your memorial to last forever, incorporate your loved one’s remains into the most endurable stone on earth, the diamond. LifeGem diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in almost every respect – the one exception being that they contain your loved one’s ashes or hair. LifeGem’s patented process transforms your loved one’s carbon (hair or ashes) into a diamond with the identical molecular structure of a natural diamond. This lasting memorial one can be worn around your neck every day to keep your loved one close. LifeGem diamonds make excellent memorial gifts, as well.

2. Online Memorials

An online memorial is a beautiful, lasting way of remembering a lost loved one. You can include pictures, songs and stories about your family member or friend, and you can share the memorial page with others. Most memorial sites offer a free online memorial option, making this one of the most affordable, long-lasting memorial tributes available today.

3. Living Memorial Tributes: Trees, Bulbs, and Shrubs

Are you remembering a lost loved one who had a special affinity with the earth? Or was your lost family member a lifelong green thumb? If so, consider planting living memorial tributes that will grow for years to come. Choose a tree, perennial bulb or shrub that reminds you of your loved one. Plant it in a special place where you will be able to enjoy it with every season. Finally, place your loved one’s ashes in the soil beneath the plant. Scattering ashes encourages plant growth – assuming you don’t drown the plants in ashes, they should do well as the years tick by.

4. Memorial Jewelry

In addition to LifeGem diamonds, you have many other choices when it comes to memorial jewelry. Your loved one’s ashes may be incorporated into artful glass earrings, necklaces or bracelets. Oftentimes, the unique swirling pattern of the ashes in the glass makes these memorial gifts even more beautiful. Memorial jewelry can be as ornate or as simple as you like. Some memorial necklaces are simple, small silver containers in which you can carry your loved one’s ashes.

5. Handmade Art.

Your memorial tributes can do more than help you in remembering a lost loved one—they can also support American artists. For example, Shine On Brightly offers handmade memorial gifts such as vases, urns, textile art and paintings. This unique company is based in Asheville, North Carolina, home to some of the South’s leading artisans and craftspeople. Artists can often incorporate your loved one’s ashes into memorial tributes. For instance, Shine On Brightly offers memorial glass pieces with ashes swirled into the design.

Whichever one of these memorial tributes you choose, you’ll find that the process of creating memorial tributes can help heal your grief.

[ photo by: Chris. P ]

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