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Ways To Memorialize A Loved One

Losing a loved one is a soul-crushing experience. There is a grieving process we all must go through that is personal to every one of us.

If you're reading this and recently lost a loved one, first of all, I am sorry for your loss and we have additional help for you with a post on ways to begin healing from the loss of a loved one. After the grieving process or perhaps to begin celebrating the life you lost there are several ways to memorialize your loved one.

We memorialized my father-in-law - who we lost far too young a few years ago - with a Harley Davidson garden gnome and a photo book of my wife's best memories with her dad. He loved his motorcycle and seeing that gnome makes me smile each time I see him.

We have put together a list of ways to memorialize your loved one. I hope you find something that resonates with you and that will bring the same smile and good memories that our garden gnome does.

Memorialize Image

Photo by: Brett Sayles on Pexels

Memorial Rings, Cremation Ash Ring, Cremation Diamonds

What are they?

Memorial Rings

A ring can be a powerful symbol. Unfortunately, if you lost a spouse, a ring would become even more symbolic. An engagement or wedding ring itself can be a lovely reminder of the great times you shared by engraving the date and name on the ring. If you’d rather not use a wedding ring and would like to instead get a new ring to memorialize the loved one you lost then Etsy has a large selection to choose from.

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Cremation Ash Ring

If you’re looking for something unique with the symbolism of a ring, a cremation ash ring might be your solution. Cremation ash rings infuse some cremated ashes into the ring. They are an especially unique way to always carry your loved one with you. There are some stunning designs at more reasonable prices than I thought when I first heard of them. Again, Etsy is home to many options for you.

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Cremation Diamonds

These are incredible. A cremation diamond is made by extracting pure carbon from the cremation ashes or human hair and then using presses. Extracted carbon is placed under intense pressure and temperature to grow a diamond. The longer the diamond remains in this process, the larger it gets.

The truly special part of this is that every diamond produced is unique. I think it’s incredible that you can have a completely personalized diamond that can be passed down forever as a way to memorialize your loved one. The size, color, setting, and cut are all personalized to you. Nobody will ever have the same diamond. I think that’s a pretty amazing way to remember the person you’ve lost.

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Where can I buy them?

Etsy is the most popular place to find highly customized jewelry. Some incredibly skilled creators can make what you’re looking for. Just be sure to look into the shop and its reviews before you make your purchase.

For diamond creation, you need to contact a specialty manufacturer. Eterneva is one of these manufacturers where diamonds start at $2,999.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

Unfortunately, most of us don’t own high-temperature furnaces and presses so there aren’t likely to be any DIY solutions for a cheaper or more intimate option in this category.

Memorial Pendants

What are they?

When I think of a pendant, I think of a locket with a little picture inside. That’s an option, but there are so many unique and individualized pendants beyond that. The beautiful thing about modern technology is that they can all be customized.

There are also pendants with a hollow middle so you can keep a piece of something special from your loved one inside and with you at all times. There are also engraved pendants with your loved one’s handwriting engraved into the necklace.

Memorialize Ring

Where Can I Buy One?

Again, Etsy is the go-to option for customized jewelry. Depending on the seller, you can have custom photos, written engravings, and fingerprints on your pendant.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

Any pendant will do if you don’t need or want a personalized pendant. You can make your own or buy a ready-made pendant to honor your loved one. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have something that reminds you of your loved one and lets you remember the great times with that person.

Memorial Tattoos, Soundwave Tattoos

What are they?

They are another brilliant way to memorialize your loved one. Memorial tattoos are incredibly personal for each person. My mother-in-law has a heart with a Union Jack in it for her British mother who passed. She also has a rose for her sister who also, unfortunately, passed a few years ago.

Soundwave tattoos take memorial tattoos to a different level. They are a soundwave, letters, or shapes that when scanned with an app, play back a specific sound. Having the ability to hear back your loved one’s voice on demand is unbelievable to me and an amazing way to keep a memory and voice alive forever.

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Where Can I Buy One?

You’ll need to head to a tattoo artist for a memorial tattoo. If you’re looking for inspiration for your tattoo, Pinterest is a great source of ideas.

For soundwave tattoos, Skin Motion is the provider of the technology. You upload a photo of your tattoo and activate it. There is a subscription cost for this, $39.99 for the first year and $9.99 each year after that.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

Sorry, no do-it-yourself alternative for the tattoo.

What you can do yourself is come up with ideas to hand off to your tattoo artist. You could go with a symbolic image, something that meant a lot to you and your loved one, or a reminder of a special memory you had together. You can bring sketched ideas that your artist can take from there or make the complete design. Being born without an ounce of artistic ability, I would certainly come with inspiration and leave the rest up to my artist. But if you were lucky enough to be born an artistic person, coming up with your design would be an amazing way to memorialize your loved one.

In Loving Memory T-Shirts

What are they?

T-shirts that are customized to be your reminder of your loved one. Loving memory t-shirts would be great for a memorial event as well. You can feature quotes, pictures, dates, and any other significant memory of your loved one on them. They make a nice memorial piece to have in your closet.

Memorialize Shirts

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Where Can I Buy One?

Zazzle makes several options for loving memory t-shirts. Etsy also has several sellers with various designs for shirts.

And lastly, your local print shop should have options for designing a custom t-shirt for you.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

If you’re lucky enough to own a Cricut machine, you could make one with iron-on vinyl.

If you don’t own one and you are wondering what a Cricut is - a Cricut is a cutting machine. They can cut out designs of vinyl, paper, and other materials to make cards, vinyl stickers, and iron-on vinyl designs for fabrics.

You could even frame the t-shirt to make an even longer-lasting memorial.

Memorial Bear

What are they?

An incredible memory piece, memorial bears are made from the clothes of your loved one. These would make fantastic gifts to children who may be going through the loss of a special person to them.

Memorialize Shirts

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Where Can I Buy One?

The Patchwork Bear makes them. And if bears aren’t for you, they have a bunny, birds, an elephant, and - my favorite - a puppy.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

Amazon has a pattern for sewing your memory bear. Besides the fabric, you’ll need some supplies - sewing supplies, glue and cardboard for the template, fabric marker or permanent pen, and stuffing. If you’re crafty and know how to sew, I think making this yourself is an even more special memorial piece.

Memorial Jars

What are they?

Memorial jars are a beautiful way to keep loving memories of your loved one from your family. A memorial jar is placed at the funeral and mourners are asked to write a special memory of the loved one on a piece of paper and place it in the jar. After the funeral, the family can pull out the memories and read about all the wonderful memories their friends and family have of the loved one they lost.

If you’re looking for other ways to collect and share memories, we have put together 4 ways to do that in a post.

Memorialize Jars

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Where Can I Buy One?

Memorial jars are easy to do yourself. Of course, there are some beautiful pre-made options you can buy as well.

Amazon has a beautiful ceramic keepsake jar or lantern for options.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

You can modify any jar that means something to you. It could be something from your loved one’s life or something that had meaning in your relationship. Anything that can hold paper notes will work.

You can customize your container however you would like. There are endless options for customization and personal touches as well.

Memory Shadow Box, Memory Box

What are they?

Memory boxes are wonderful memorial pieces to keep of your loved one. They can be displayed in your home without looking out of place. A memory box can be used as a type of time capsule and a shadow box is a display box with a glass front.

You can place anything inside that brings a fond memory to mind. My wife has a memory box for her dad. Inside are things like his guitar picks, baseball hat, photos, and funeral program. It’s a lovely box to bring out and look through. She has shown it to our oldest when he’s had questions about his grandfather.

With a shadow box, you display the items and arrange them as you’d like. There are some beautiful examples on Pinterest for inspiration.

Memory boxes also make a lovely memorial if you’re dealing with the loss of a pet. Keeping their favorite leash, toy, photos, and tags would make for a lovely memorial or shadow box. We have a post on how to cope with that loss if you are dealing with the loss of a pet.

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Where Can I Buy One?

You can find memory boxes anywhere, as any box will do. Michaels has closed and shadow box options for reasonable prices.

Almost any department store will have keepsake boxes that make for nice wood boxes to keep the items stored safely.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

If you’re handy or have access to tools, making a wooden box could make for an incredible memorial project. Any time you can put a personal touch on a memorial piece, I think it makes it even more special.

For those of us without wood shops in the backyard - decorating fabric or decorative cardboard boxes is a great option too. Again adding a personal touch of memories from your loved one to the keepsake box would make for great memorial storage.

Memorial Stone

What are they?

Memorial stones are decorative stones for your garden that have inscriptions engraved into them. Memorial stones come in several designs. Depending on your preference, you can have quotes, names, dates, and art engraved into the stone.

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Where Can I Buy One?

The Comfort Company has over 60 designs to pick from.

Etsy has many options as well - some you can even add color pictures and art onto.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

It would be difficult to make an engraved memorial stone yourself.

But if you’re keeping your stone out of the weather, you could make a beautifully painted stone yourself. Again, adding your personal touch to your loved one’s memorial makes it even more special.

Plant a Tree

What are they?

Memorial trees are a beautiful everlasting way to keep a reminder of your loved one alive and with you. They are a symbolic option for memorializing your loved one and keeping their memory alive.

Memorialize Tree

Where Can I Buy One?

A Living Tribute will have a tree planted in a US national forest for $9.99 - you can even have up to 500 trees planted for you.

If you’re buying one for your home, head to your local nursery and ask for help with your choice. Depending on where you live, there will be options that grow well. Some trees may also have different meanings to you - and seeing them in person is important.

Ideas for Do-It-Yourself

Most of the process is done by you if you’re planting the tree at home. Watching the tree you planted grow and mature is part of the magic of this memorial.

Create a Lalo Capsule

Lalo’s origin story starts with loss, our Founder started Lalo to preserve the memories of his Dad who he lost to Multiple Sclerosis in 2003. Using Lalo, you can create a Memorial Capsule in a private space with no advertisements. Users can upload slideshows, movies, and audio to share stories and memories. Capsules are not searchable online and not accessible to anyone unless they are invited by the family. The process of continuing a bond with your loved ones, remembrance, and creating a community of supporters is critical to the grieving process.


For anyone reading this article who recently lost a loved one - please accept my deepest condolences. I wish you all the best and sincerely hope you found something in this list that meant something to you and your loved one.


  1. How do I make a memorial box?

    A memorial box is made by adding keepsakes that spark a memory of your loved one. To make a shadow box version, place just a few things spaced out in a glass front box. It can help to secure the items so they don’t move around.

  2. How do I make a memorial jar?

    Get any jar, capsule, lantern, or container that holds paper notes. You can customize the jar to add personal touches as you would like. Provide note paper and pens at the funeral or celebration of life and ask attendees to write their favorite memory and add it to the box.

  3. What is a cremation ash ring?

    A cremation ash ring is a ring with a small amount of cremated ashes embedded into the ring. They come in various styles with the ash incorporated in a variety of ways.

  4. What is a cremation diamond?

    A cremation diamond is a lab-created diamond made from cremated ashes. Carbon is extracted from the diamond and then placed under extreme pressure and heat to simulate diamond production. The longer the carbon is placed in this condition the larger it grows.

  5. What is a soundwave tattoo?

    A soundwave tattoo is a tattoo linked to an app that plays back audio when the tattoo is scanned.

  6. How do I make a memorial bear?

    A memorial bear is typically made from the clothes of a loved one who has passed on. Their clothes are used as fabric to make the bear. Plans can be purchased online to then sew and stuff your bear and various other animals.

  7. What is a memorial stone?

    A memorial stone is an engraved or patined stone - typically for a garden - made to memorialize a loved one. They can be made with quotes, dates, names, and photos to honor the loved one.

    Memorialize Tree

    Photo by: RODNAE on Pexels

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