Summer is a time of year when family and friends get together for reunions, vacations, and other fun activities. But these get-togethers and activities don’t feel complete when you’re coping with the loss of a loved one. The first summer without them is especially difficult without their presence.
However, there are meaningful ways you can honor and remember your loved ones this summer. We’ve brainstormed some memento ideas, traditions, and ways to include them in your gatherings.
Travel to One of Their Bucket List Destinations
If your loved one made a bucket list, your family can travel to one of the destinations that they didn’t get the chance to. Or even if they didn’t write down a bucket list, you can travel somewhere that you know they always wanted to go. While there, you can honor their memory in many ways, such as:
- Dedicating a memorial to them, such as a bench or plaque.
- Scattering some of their ashes, if applicable.
- Having an environmentally-friendly releasing ceremony.
Have a Picnic by Their Gravesite or Ash Scattering Location
You can gather your family and friends to have a memorial picnic at their gravesite, memorial, or ash scattering location. While there, everyone can share stories and memories of your loved one. You also can pack some of their favorite snacks in your picnic basket.
Visit Their Favorite Places
Summertime is the perfect time for family vacations. You can take a road trip to visit their favorite places. Or if they’re from the area, stop by their favorite local restaurants, shops, trails, and other favorite places.
Volunteer in Their Honor at a Community Event
During the summertime, there are a lot of events happening in your community. You can volunteer at one of these events in your loved one’s honor. For example, many communities have annual walk/run fundraisers for various causes. You can volunteer to help organize the event, work during it, participate in it, or donate to the event in your loved one’s honor.
Organize a Cookout to Honor Their Memory
Cookouts are another popular summertime activity. You can host a cookout with your family and friends to honor your loved one. Everyone can even make one of your loved one’s favorite dishes to pass around or one of your loved one’s famous recipes.
Make a Memorial Sand Bottle
A summer-themed memento idea is a memorial bottle filled with sand and memorial stones. On the stones, you can write your loved one’s name, birth and death dates, short quotes, phrases and words about them, short memories, and other meaningful sentiments. You can make one of your own or have the entire family contribute memorial stones for the memorial sand bottle.
Decorate a Photo Lantern
Another memento idea is to decorate a lantern with photos of your loved one. Then, you can proudly display it in your home or at your family’s cookout or bonfire. And you only need a few items to make this craft:
- Black and white vertical photos
- Vellum paper
- Real or fake candle
- Double-sides tape
Fill a Shadow Box
A shadowbox memento allows you to keep adding to it as desired. You can include photos, belongings, flowers, and other tributes. You can change it out for the season to give it a seasonal theme. This way, the memento doubles as a tradition and a meaningful way to honor your loved one.
Create a Memory Bear or Shirt Pillow
Create a memory bear or shirt pillow with one of their old summer outfits for a memento you can cuddle up with when you’re missing them a little extra. Check out these memory bear instructions or this shirt pillow instructional video to start your memento.
Engrave a Memory Wind Chime
If you’d rather have a pre-made memento, you can get a wind chime engraved with your loved one’s name and birth and death dates. Every time you hear the chimes, you’ll be reminded of your loved one. You can display it in your yard, by their gravesite depending on the cemetery décor rules, or inside your home.
What are your favorite ways to honor and remember your loved ones during the summer? Share your suggestions in the comments!