After losing a loved one, it is normal to feel a void and to know that the emptiness is something that will be carried forever.

One of the hardest concepts to accept about death is that it is permanent. However, keeping a person’s memory and legacy alive can help with finding contentment while grieving. Preserving the memories of someone deceased can take many forms and shapes. Sharing stories and keeping an oral history of a person’s life can be one way to remember them. Another way can be hosting a yearly ceremony on the anniversary of their death. It’s important to remember there are no wrong options or one way when memorializing a loved one.

Whether it be a big gesture or something simpler, here are three meaningful ways to honor someone. 

Establish a Memorial

Creating a memorial for a loved one is one way to ensure that their legacy continues beyond their death. While the deceased is no longer physically present, a memorial serves as a constant reminder that preserves their memories, values and life journey. There are several structures or institutions to select from when making a person’s legacy permanent. 

One option is purchasing a park bench with a plaque engraved with the person’s name. Local memorial bench programs provide resources on costs, locations and additional memorial options. Although prices for memorial benches vary nationwide, participants can expect prices to be in the thousands.

A more affordable option is creating a scholarship in the person’s name. Creating a scholarship fund gives more flexibility with the amount of money to provide. It also is a way to pass on their legacy to other people who need additional financial assistance. The types of scholarships established can be educational, athletic, travel, need-based and more.

Turn Their Ashes Into a Customizable Keepsake

Cremation jewelry has gained popularity, but its concept is not new. Cremation jewelry stems from the ancient times, where people would use the remains of the deceased, such as hair or teeth, for a keepsake. With the rise in cremation, people now turn their loved one’s ashes into jewelry and art.

Wearing cremation jewelry adds a more personal layer to honoring a person’s life. It can be viewed as keeping a loved one in close proximity throughout everyday life, instead of keeping their ashes in a vase. The most common jewelry options include necklaces, rings and bracelets.

Create a Collection of Handwritten Memories

In the same way that pictures can unlock heartwarming memories, handwritten notes can too. Collecting a group of notes or letters from those who were a part of a loved one’s life keeps their memory alive forever. It also allows people to revisit the type of person he or she was and provides a sense of comfort as people come together to recall their past experiences.

After gathering the documents, storing them in a binder or scrapbook keeps those memories in one place to share with others and future generations.