a family looks out over a Better Place Forests memorial forest while planning their memory board for a funeral. New traditions like this can help when experiencing the first holiday without a loved one

10 ways to honor a parent who has passed away

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Honoring a deceased parent is a near universal desire. When a parent passes away, the loss we feel is profound. Whether you were distant or close with your mother or father, the loss of a parent is hard to process. Many people look for unique ways to remember their parents as a way to overcome their grief, such as creating an annual tradition or writing them a goodbye letter. There are many ways to honor parents who have passed away. Below are 10 ways to ensure the memory of your mother or father is kept alive.

10 unique ways to remember your parent

1. Create a memorial website

Memorial websites are a beautiful way to bring people together to share photos and stories of your mother or father. There are many different companies that will host the page and provide an easy way for you to create and share it. Many memorial websites also let you send invitations to their memorial service, post an obituary, and even set up a way for people to donate to your parent’s favorite charity.

2. Write them a letter

Writing a goodbye letter can be a healthy way to process your feelings and honor parents who have passed away. You can share your emotions, look back at your favorite memories, and process the influence they had on your life. Keep the letter, or place it at their final resting place as a way to say your last goodbyes.

3. Create cremation jewelry

Turning your loved one’s ashes into jewelry or other art means you can carry them with you wherever you go. To honor a mother who has passed, consider having cremation jewelry made in the shape of her favorite flower or her favorite color to share with family members. If you’re remembering a father, you can have glass art or paperweights made. Cremation ashes can even be turned into real diamonds.

4. Make a memory quilt

Making a memory quilt is a beautiful and personal way to remember parents. Memory quilts can be made from your loved one’s clothing, pillowcases, or blankets. Honor a deceased parent by choosing items that were meaningful to them, like sports jerseys, their favorite flannel shirt, or the dress they always wore. You’ll always feel close to them when you’re wrapped in the quilt.

5. Dedicate an event to them

There are many ways to use events to honor parents who have passed away. Hold a fundraiser for a cause they cared about. Plan a celebration of life or an annual celebration on their death anniversary. If your mother or father loved the theatre, ballet, or symphony, gather loved ones to attend in their memory. This will allow others a chance to honor them as well.

6. Make a donation

Honor a deceased parent by helping others. If your parents were involved with a charity, make a donation in their name or ask others to do so in lieu of sending flowers. An annual donation on your parent’s birthday or death anniversary is also an excellent way to honor their legacy. If they weren’t involved with a specific charity, donate to one that serves something they cared about, like animals, children, or the environment.

7. Plant a tree or garden

A tree, garden, or Memorial Forest gives you a place to visit and remember your parents. Choose a tree that will bloom in their favorite season or place it in a spot they loved to visit. Plant a garden in your own yard or get permission to create one in a public place, like a park.

Honor a deceased parent with a tree in a  Memorial Forest. Couple walks in the Memorial Forest.

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8. Honor a deceased parent by saving them a seat

Leaving a seat open for your mother or father during family gatherings like the holidays can help remind you that they are still with you in spirit. This is a simple and powerful way to honor parents who have passed away.

9. Start a tradition

Many of us have fond memories of family traditions passed down through our parents. Honor a deceased parent by keeping those traditions alive, as well as creating new ones to honor them. Make one of their favorite recipes on their birthday, get together with family to share memories on a special date, or listen to their favorite holiday album as you decorate each year.

10. Live life to the fullest

The greatest reward for a parent is a child who is happy and fulfilled in life. While you can’t rush grief, they’d want you to find happiness again. Often the best way we can honor deceased parents is by living life to the fullest, in a way that would make them proud.

Honoring a deceased parent can be an important part of the grieving process, helping you process your emotions and overcome your grief. The way you remember your parents is a deeply personal choice that can be as simple as talking about them or as elaborate as hosting a fundraiser.

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