Last Updated on April 28, 2022
A loved one’s death will leave many things behind – photos, letters, trinkets, clothing, and much more. More than just the tangible stuff which surrounds us, a departed loved one will leave behind a lifetime of memories and a vast empty hole in the lives of those around them.
One way to deal with the intangible effects of a family member’s death is to make use of the tangible things to create a memorial space in your home.
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The Memorial Space
First you must select the memorial space. The amount of keepsake material and decorations are limited by the space available.
Some people prefer to use a separate area, sometimes an entire room, such as an old sewing room, and make it look nice in such a way that reminds them of their loved one. Others prefer a smaller area, such as a simple shelf on the wall, a bookshelf, or fireplace mantle, which is unobtrusive yet visible during normal daily activities.
Memorial space ideas:
- Shelf (or shelves) on a bookshelf
- Shelf on desk
- Top of endtable or coffee table
- Top of bedside table
- Dedicated bookshelf
- Corner shelf
- Wall mounted shelving
- Use an entire wall a in bedroom, living room, etc
- Convert an unused room:
- Old sewing or hobby room
- Grown child’s old room
- Unused guest room
- Old office area
If your loved one was cremated and you have chosen to keep the remains in your home, it is natural to want to create a special memorial space for your loved one centered around the urn containing the cremated remains. A good way to keep the focus of the space on the urn is by engraving a photo onto the urn. Having an engraved photo urns combines two of the most common and eye-catching elements in a memorial space (the urn and a photo).
Cremation urn ideas:
- A simple box with an engraved inscription
- An urn with a photo engraved onto the front surface
- An urn with a photo frame
- A unique ceramic urn
- A wood urn with thematic engravings or appliques
A clear photograph in a beautiful frame is a great starting place for creating your memorial area. A good photo will help keep the central focus of the memorial space on the memory of the individual, rather than on their stuff.
- Restore an old photograph
- Buy a new frame
- Find a vintage or antique frame
- Get a wood frame engraved with name and dates
- Get a collage or double frame for multiple photos
Awards and Memorabilia
Major accomplishments are a major part of a person’s life, and so it is appropriate to honor a loved one’s life accomplishments in your memorial space. Military service, university degrees or doctoral certificates, awards such as plaques and trophies, and more should be included. Religious beliefs, church activity, volunteer service, club memberships, favorite books and many other hobbies and activities also represent the composite parts of the whole individual, and should be remembered as well.
- Military service paraphernalia
- Club membership symbols
- Religious keepsakes
- Personal Bible
- Favorite books
- Sports memorabilia
- Wedding ring
- Keepsake box
- Favorite trinkets
- Children’s crafts and drawings
A memorial space for a loved one should be beautiful. The things in which your loved one found beauty is what will make the memorial area beautiful. Reflect his or her personality and character, and decorate using their favorite style.
- Pictures of family
- Pictures of favorite places
- Pictures of hobbies
- Favorite artwork
- Favorite quotes
- Favorite Scripture verses
- Ethnic decorations
- Create a collage
- Create a timeline describing their lifetime
- Artwork created for or by your loved one
- Flowers (real or simulated)
- Velvet on shelves
- Tulle fabric on walls or edges
- Vintage or other special clothing items
- Aroma therapy
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