Exploring unique ways to honour and memorialise your loved ones

May 18, 2023
Memorialisation options offer us a way to celebrate and cherish the lives of our departed loved ones. Source: Getty Images.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one while trying to find meaningful ways to honour and remember them can be a challenging process.

While traditional methods of memorialisation such as burial or cremation have long been the norm, modern options for commemorating loved ones have expanded significantly. From eco-friendly options such as planting trees to technologically advanced options like digital memorials, there is a wide range of choices available to ensure that each tribute is as unique as the individual being remembered.

For those looking to memorialise their deceased loved ones in a way that goes beyond a funeral or cremation, Starts at 60 explores the various memorialisation options that allow you to honour the lives of your loved ones in ways that are deeply personal, meaningful, and enduring.

Source: Getty Images.

Exploring meaningful memorialisation options

Following the loss of a loved one, finding meaningful ways to honour and remember them can bring solace and comfort. The process of memorialisation offers an opportunity to create lasting tributes that celebrate their lives, preserve their memory, and provide a space for reflection and healing.

From traditional practices to contemporary approaches, Starts at 60 spoke with civil funeral celebrant Rachel Michael from Hunter Valley Celebrations to delve into the diverse ways in which we can pay homage to those who have touched our lives profoundly.

Michael suggested the following “simple but special memorial options”:

  • A candle can be lit during the service, which can then be used on special occasions in the future.

One poignant and symbolic way to memorialise a deceased loved one is through the act of lighting a candle. Lighting a candle holds deep symbolic significance across cultures and religions and can serve as a visual representation of the presence and memory of the departed.

The concept of a memorial candle extends beyond the traditional funeral or memorial service. Families and friends may choose to have a designated memorial candle that can be lit during significant moments or on special occasions, creating a meaningful connection to their departed loved one throughout the year. This candle becomes a cherished symbol of remembrance, offering a way to honour their memory and keep their spirit alive for years to come.

  • Planting a tree in a special place of remembrance

Planting a tree as a tribute to a deceased loved one can be a powerful and enduring way to honour a loved one’s memory. It symbolises life, growth, and the continuation of a legacy beyond the individual’s physical presence. The act of planting a tree not only offers solace and remembrance but also provides a lasting, living memorial that can be enjoyed by future generations.

  • A memorial ceremony after or instead of a funeral

A memorial ceremony following a funeral serves as a poignant and meaningful way to continue honouring the life and memory of a deceased loved one. It provides an opportunity for family, friends, and community members to gather together after the funeral service, offering additional support, sharing stories, and finding solace in shared remembrance. The memorial ceremony serves as a continuation of the mourning process, allowing attendees to reflect on the life lived and celebrate the legacy of the departed.

  • Scattering of ashes in a special place

Scattering ashes is a unique and deeply personal way to honour a loved one after their cremation. It offers a connection to nature and a sense of freedom and release. The act of scattering ashes holds different meanings for individuals and can be done in various locations, each with its own significance.

There are different methods of scattering ashes, depending on personal preference and the location chosen. Here are a few common techniques:

  • Casting: This involves gently tossing the ashes into the air or casting them by hand, allowing them to disperse naturally.
  • Raking: This method involves scattering the ashes over the ground and then using a rake or other tool to lightly distribute them. It creates a visual pattern and allows for a more controlled scattering, particularly in gardens or designated areas.
  • Water Scattering: For those who have a connection to bodies of water, scattering ashes into the sea, a lake, or a river can be a meaningful choice. Biodegradable urns or scattering tubes designed for water dispersal can be used to ensure the ashes are released properly.

Opting for cremation also presents a more cost-effective alternative, with expenses averaging around $950 compared to the substantial costs of traditional burials, which typically range from $4,000 to $15,000 in Australia.

  • Capturing memories in the digital age

As technology continues to advance, the concept of digital legacies has emerged as a powerful means of honouring and preserving the cherished memories of our departed loved ones.

Personalised memorial websites provide a virtual space where friends and family can share stories, photos, and videos, creating a lasting tribute. Social media platforms also offer a means to commemorate the deceased, with dedicated memorial pages that allow for ongoing connections and remembrance.

Online memorial communities can also provide a supportive environment for individuals to share their grief, seek solace, and find comfort in the company of others who have experienced loss.

Source: Getty Images.

What to consider when choosing a memorialisation option 

When choosing a memorial option for a deceased loved one, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, it’s essential to honour the wishes of the departed, if known, regarding their preferred memorialisation.

Additionally, consider the cultural and religious traditions that may play a role in the decision-making process. Practical considerations such as budget, location, and legal requirements should also be taken into account.

It’s also important to reflect on the unique personality, interests, and passions of the deceased, as this can help guide the choice of a memorial option that reflects their life and legacy.

Lastly, think about the long-term significance and emotional impact of the chosen memorial option on family members and future generations, as it will serve as a lasting tribute and place of remembrance for years to come.

Memorialisation options offer us a way to celebrate and cherish the lives of our departed loved ones. Whether through traditional funerals, unique ceremonies, heartfelt tributes, or innovative digital legacies, each choice represents an opportunity to create a lasting legacy that reflects the essence of those we hold dear.  By honouring their memory in a way that reflects their life and values, we can ensure that they continue to inspire, comfort, and guide us as we navigate the grieving process.



IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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