There are few things as heartbreaking and transformational as the death of a loved one. Funerals and cremation ceremonies are a common way to say goodbye in just about every culture, but the grieving process can linger for years. Although grief ebbs and flows as time passes, memorializing a loved one is an integral part of the process. Memorials could include everything from celebrations to keepsakes that preserve memories and honor those who have passed. Closure isn't always possible with death, but memorials create an outlet to focus your grief and give it new context.
How to Memorialize Loved Ones
Just like every person who passes away is unique, so is the grieving and memorial process. There's no right way to grieve, and the focus should be on processing your feelings, asking for support as needed, and finding moments of peace. If you're not sure where to get started, here's a round-up of different memorial ideas for the loved ones in your life who have passed on.
Handmade Glass Urns
Traditional urns are typically functional and somber that don't do much to honor the personality or celebrate someone’s life. They can also be an uncomfortable momento of someone's resting place. A handmade glass urn brings meaning to an otherwise painful passing. Just like a loved one, every handmade urn is unique.
Our glass urns are masterfully created by 3rd generation glassblowers made from raw glass and meticulously crafted. Instead of serving a purely functional purpose, they celebrate a life full of memories.
Host a Celebration of Life Gathering
Unlike a funeral, a celebration of life service honors the life of the deceased and is usually a lighter affair. The event is often held after a burial or cremation, and sometimes ashes are spread during the event in a meaningful place, like the beach or favorite mountainside. The host may ask attendees to bring along stories or photos of the loved one, play favorite music, and honor the person who passed through food, drink, and activities they enjoyed.
The important thing is not to let a celebration of life become stressful. The idea is to plan something meaningful that everyone can find meaning in and enjoy. If you don't feel up for taking care of the details, recruit a friend who can help plan and look into logistics from transportation to potential hotels.
Create Sacred Space
When you're grieving, it feels essential to create a sacred space. Whether it's a meditative place in your mind, a moment of peace in your daily routine, or a keepsake, you want to bring reverence and honor to those you've lost. Taking time to meditate or make space on a walk or hike are also ways to center yourself while processing grief.
You can also create sacred spaces at home with a memory shelf for keepsakes and photos. If you're placing a glass urn or cremation keepsake on it, an LED Light Base for glass art memorials makes it feel more experiential and special. Instead of gazing upon a metal urn, your memories come to life with an illuminated glass keepsake that both honors and holds your loved one near.
Create a Digital Scrapbook
Memorial trees or jars are commonly seen at funerals and other memorial services. Guests write down a quote, message, or special story about someone who has passed, roll it up, and tie it onto a small branch. Although the gesture brings shared meaning and connects you to others grieving the loss, the tree or jar isn’t easy to pass around and share.
Borrow from the spirit of a memory tree with a digital scrapbook memorial. Invite others to contribute their stories, photos, and videos to share broadly with everyone you hold dear. Whether you use a digital scrapbooking service or create a private Facebook Page, your online memorial is always at your fingertips.
Spread Ashes at Sea
Instead of keeping an urn, spread ashes at sea as a final resting place option. The moment is often an emotional release for those mourning and conjures up feelings of freedom and happiness for the loved one they're honoring.
However, there are some logistics to consider before heading to the beach or into the water. It's always wise to check local jurisdictions of the place you wish to spread ashes. Some beach towns also require you to secure a permit or travel a specific distance into the water before spreading ashes. Some companies offer chartered boat services to take your group out to sea, followed by a celebration of life party.
If you're releasing an urn into the water, they must be suitable for decomposition, like an option made of natural materials, flowers, or wreaths. Some people also use empty shells to place their ashes before releasing them into the water. Even if a local permit is not required, the EPA requires you to report the spreading of ashes to their agency within 30-days.
Honor Lost Loved Ones with Cremation Keepsakes
There are more ways to memorialize your loved ones and hold them close than keeping an urn on a memorial shelf. Depending on the item, a cremation keepsake contains a small portion of cremains, usually up to 35-cubic inches. The keepsake also doesn't need to resemble an urn. It can serve as cremation jewelry, table display items, and more. Here are a few cremation keepsakes to consider:
Hand-blown glass paperweights are classy works of art that capture the memories of your loved ones. Our glass cremation paperweights are created with premium imported glass for an aura of colors. Place it in an area where you can reflect on the life of someone who has passed for a sacred space in your home.
Cremation Holiday Keepsakes
The holidays are a challenging time to grieve, especially if you recently lost a loved one. Make them part of the season with cremation glass memorial ornaments that fold premium dichroic glass with the cremation ashes of a loved one. Choose colors that remind you of those you lost, like our honeysuckle option. Hang it on your tree or in a special place to keep your loved ones near.
If you don’t celebrate religious holidays, consider a cremation keepsake like a glass globe. Gift it to those grieving a loss or keep it nearby during your favorite events and gatherings.
Light a candle and commemorate your loved ones with hand-blown cremation glass votive holders. The act is a long-standing tradition in many cultures to acknowledge their life and personal connection to those you've lost.
Glass Cremation Stones
When we lose a loved one, we need touchstones to get us through those difficult moments where the pain feels soul-crushing. Sometimes those touchstones are memories, reaching out to a loved one for help, or holding onto something tangible. Keeping a special keepsake of your departed can help, or you can turn to hand-blown glass cremation stones.
Our selection of touchstones serve as a tangible object to hold and watch the hand-blown glass dazzle with color. Place them near your bed or a spot where you need relief during difficult moments. They're also discreet enough to take to work, on vacation, or anywhere you need a symbol of support.
How to Memorialize a Fallen Hero
Grieving a fallen hero is often complicated by their calling to serve. Whether they were a military hero, police officer, firefighter, or other first responder, you may have already grieved their line of work that brought so much uncertainty and risk. The gravity of not knowing when they would come home was already insurmountable, but the reality of their passing leaves unanswered questions about their last moments. Hero memorials aren't just to honor the fallen; they also help us find a tangible way to say goodbye.
Create a Display of Accomplishments
A medal or keepsake display brings meaning to the service our first responders and military personnel performed. Show your pride by displaying medals, certificates, and photos that focus on the essential work they performed.
Donate a Bench to a Favorite Spot
When memories flood your mind of those who passed away, where do they take you? Whether it was a park, boardwalk, city corner, or the symphony, look into options to donate a bench in their honor. It can bring comfort to know there is a permanent memorial that serves a purpose and brings comfort to others.
Treasure Cremation Keepsakes for Heros
Our line of hero cremation keepsakes was designed with your military personnel and first responders in mind. Hold onto the memories with a valor heart or honor globe with ashes inside. The hand-blown glass cremation memorials are infused with pride with patriotic designs and other inspiring colors.
Contribute to Charity
Fallen military heroes and first responders were devoted to their work and serving others. Honor their memory and integrity by contributing to a favorite cause. Some charities are established to help fallen hero's families, which could provide an opportunity to give back and process your grief with someone who understands.
How to Memorialize a Pet with Integrity
People who have never cared for an animal don't always empathize with the loss of a pet. It's indisputable to a pet lover that they were a member of the family and a constant companion who never judged or strayed. Studies show that acute grief over the loss of a pet can last for up to two months, while the lingering symptoms of distress persist for up to a full year.
It's part of the grieving process to want to memorialize your pet, and you can do it with integrity.
Plant New Life in Their Final Resting Place
Whether your spirit animal was a dog, cat, bird, bunny, or any beloved creature, they probably connected with nature. Honor their passing by planting new life in their final resting place or a favorite area to play. Durable plants like daffodils, perennials, geranium, marigolds, and zinnias are a few options. Wildflowers or flowering thyme are also colorful options to create a memorial area for your pet.
Donate to a Dog Park or Favorite Animal Cause
Memorialize your pet by donating to something that you shared together or bringing more meaning to their life. Consider donating to a favorite dog park to improve the grounds and secure fences or a favorite animal cause that helps abandoned pets in need.
Keep Hand Blown Glass Pet Memorial Hearts Nearby
Cremation keepsakes aren't just for people; they can also honor your pets. Our hand-blown pet memorials fit in the palm of your hand and contain some ashes to keep it close to your heart. Their elegant memorials finished off with stunning iridescence that captures the spirit of your furry and feathered friends. Choose from glass-blown hearts, paperweight orbs, and more.
Choosing Memorial Gifts for Someone Grieving
Watching loved ones grieve is a complex process that often leaves us feeling helpless. When someone dies, sending plants and flowers is the norm but are temporary gestures that quickly fade away. Give someone grieving in your life a memorial gift that brings comfort and reminds them of your support over the coming months and years.
Custom Memorial Lanterns
Custom memorial lanterns illuminate lonely evenings for someone grieving. Custom the lantern to include a quote, someone's name, or an image that brings comfort during difficult times.
Memorial Wind Chimes
When someone is grieving, staying in the moment and remembering the sun is shining and the day is still bright is challenging. Send someone in need a set of memorial wind chimes that honor their loved ones. Include an engraved expression or a name to honor those who have passed away. When a breeze rolls through, the sound of the chimes reminds someone grieving that they're not alone.
Whether you've lost someone special or want to comfort a loved one, memorials can help along the grieving process with tangible and meaningful reminders. Memorials don't take away the pain of grief, but they can help those left behind come to terms with their new reality and move forward while honoring those they've lost.