Alternative Ways to Honor Loved Ones

Written By Matthew Thompson
Last updated November 11, 2021

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November 10, 2021

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It’s not something you want to think about, but saying goodbye to a loved one can cost a lot of money. Families and friends can expect to spend between $7,000 and $12,000 on a basic funeral. Cremation lowers the cost somewhat, but it still requires at least $6,000 in most states. However, you may not feel that you have said goodbye adequately once the funeral service or celebration of life ends. This means you probably want to find how to honor someone who passed away without investing much more money.

The following list should help you decide how you can honor your family member, friend, or close colleague in a way that won’t drain your bank account. After all, no one who loves you wants you to lose your savings while honoring their memory.

Donating to a scholarship can also honor your loved one while helping a student’s life. About 70% of college students rely on loans to pay tuition. The debt they accumulate while going to school can make it nearly impossible for them to reach financial goals.

You might find it challenging to decide which scholarship and tuition assistance programs to help fund. An organization like Charity Navigator can help you find a reliable program that helps students in need.

Cemeteries usually provide basic groundskeeping services such as mowing grass and clearing roads. They rarely take care of an individual’s resting place, though.

Take some time to visit your loved one’s resting place and keep it in good condition. That might entail:

  • Replacing old flowers with fresh ones
  • Cleaning the headstone
  • Reporting any damage or graffiti to the cemetery managers
Many people like to visit graves, urns, mausoleums, and other resting places on special days. Taking time to visit on a birthday, anniversary, or holiday can play an important role in your healing. That way, your emotions also benefit from finding how to honor someone who passed away.
Most trees can live for 300 to 400 years when planted in the right conditions. Of course, some types of trees can live for thousands of years.The longevity of trees makes them an excellent way to honor loved ones who have passed. You have a few options when planting memorial trees. First, you could place the tree on private property, such as your lawn or backyard. If your loved one had a specific place where they enjoyed relaxing and enjoying nature, you could ask the landowner for permission to plant a memorial tree there.

Memorial Forests

Finally, you can have a memorial forest, honoring the deceased by  creating a long lasting memorial that has a significant impact on the environment. The deceased ashes are mixed with the soil, making the tree even more meaningful than a symbolic gesture.  In addition to honoring your loved one, you help forests recover from fires, storms, logging, and other types of destruction. These protected forests are a place to for friends and family to visit years to come.

Better Place Forests

This option is about half the cost of a traditional funeral, you can learn more about Better Place Forests here.
Think of an activity or place that played a central role in your loved one’s life. Stepping into that world could help you develop a deeper understanding of a family member or friend who has passed.
The best way for how to someone who passed away might seem obvious. For example, if the person was a musician, you can try learning an instrument or listening to their favorite album.
The right activity or place isn’t always so apparent, though. Consider options like:
  • Attending a service at their house of worship
  • Taking a vacation to a place your loved one spoke of fondly
  • Learning how to prepare a favorite meal
Finding joy or peace by following in your loved one’s footsteps could make the activity a central part of your life, too. That way, they remain a positive influence on your life even after they have passed. You might even pass on a low-cost hobby to other people so you can enhance their lives.
Funerals can feel like painful events as you struggle to say goodbye to a cherished person. It’s normal to feel grief at this time, but it might not honor your loved one in a way they would prefer.
A celebration of life reframes someone’s passing so the people in their lives can reflect on the good times they shared. The parties often feature food, drinks, music, dancing, and fun or inspiring stories about your loved one. Throwing a party might sound expensive, but you can always work within your budget to keep the event affordable. For example, you could host an informal gathering at your home, ask people to contribute food or drinks, and use a playlist of music instead of hiring a DJ or band. If you want a larger party, talk to other family members or a circle of friends about sharing the financial burden. Something that costs too much for one person might seem more affordable when you divide the costs among three or four people.

The above recommendations for how to honor someone who passed away can help you think of a unique way to celebrate someone’s life. Feel free to adapt ideas and make them personal. In the end, this should be a special activity between you and the memory of someone you care about deeply.

About the Author

Matthew Thompson

With more than two decades of writing and optimization experience, I know how to keep readers engaged, mimic brand voices, and get first-page rankings on search engine results. I have written for companies in diverse industries, including emerging technologies, wellness, consumer apps, enterprise software, UI/UX, outsourcing, and education.

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