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100+ Best Celebration of Life Ideas!

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We have compiled a list of 101 of the best celebration of life ideas.  Our hope is that you are inspired to commemorate and remember the wonderful, amazing, and special person that your loved one was, both at the funeral or memorial service, and in the years to come.

  • 1. Easily create a beautiful social media obituary—a Meme-orial—for a loved one who has passed away on their birthday, a special holiday, the anniversary of their death, or when you are simply missing them.

Instantly share your personalized, one-of-a-kind post with family and friends on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter with the click of a button.

Below is a graphic that shows how your creation—your Meme-orial—looks on Facebook once you have posted it, and how it sparks the sharing of special memories about your loved one:

Meme-orial Example

Photo Map Explanation of a Meme-orial

Make a unique tribute NOW!  And enjoy reading the memories and comments your special post will generate.

celebration-of-life-ideas-name-a-star

  • 3.Plant a tree in your loved one’s name.  Select a sapling of her favourite type of tree, and plant it in a place that she loved.  (The planting of a tree could be incorporated into a celebration of life service if you wish.)

Celebration of Life Idea: Memorial Tree or Memorial Bench

  • 4.Donate some of your loved one’s clothing or belongings to charity.

Celebration of Life Idea: Donate Clothing

  • 5. If your loved one enjoyed the ocean or nature in general, contribute your loved one’s ashes to help with the creation of an eco-reef that provides a home for sea life.

Celebration of Life Idea: Eco-Reef

  • 6. Wear your loved one’s favourite piece of jewelry.

Celebration of Life Idea: Jewelry

  • 7. Have a bracelet engraved with your loved one’s signature or how they hand wrote “I love you”.  You can find the script to use from an old note or card that you’ve kept.

Celebration of Life Idea: Engraved Bracelet

  • 8. Get a tattoo of something that reminds you of your loved one.  This might be your loved ones initials, favourite flower, favourite quote, or the dates of his birth and death.

celebration-of-life-ideas-tattoo

Celebration of Life Idea: Memorial Quilt

  • 10. Write a note to your loved one and place it in a sealed bottle and drop it in the ocean.  If you include your email address, you might get a surprising email one day telling you how far your message has travelled.
  • 11. Create a recipe book with your loved one’s famous creations.  You could include photographs of family gatherings around the dinner table.

Celebration of Life Idea: Recipe Book

  • 12. Light a sky lantern with your loved one’s name on it and a message and release it at night.  This could be done for a celebration of life service, or on another special occasion.  If you have lost several family members, you could release a number of lanterns at once.  (Be sure, however, to check if you need a permit to release a sky lantern, and do not release the lantern where it is a potential fire hazard.)

Celebration of Life Idea: Sky Lantern

  • 13.Create a quote board by choosing a quote that is special to your family and reminds you of your loved one and put it on a chalkboard, paint it on a wood board of fabric. It can be from their favourite book, movie, poem or something that they used to always say. Add your own personal touches to it that remind you of your loved one and display it at the service.
  • 14. Create a music playlist that reminds you of your loved one and puts a big smile on your face.

Celebration of Life Idea: Playlist

  • 15. Donate your loved one’s favourite books to a school library with a beautiful certificate affixed on the inside cover that says: “This book was donated in loving memory of [your loved one’s name].

Celebration of Life Idea: Donate Books

  • 16.Create a memorial stone jar where each of your guests write a special memory or something that they loved about your loved one on a rock when they enter the service and place it in the jar. You can then take them home and read them with your family, scatter them in places that were meaningful to the deceased, or display them in your flower garden.
  • 17. Make a donation to your loved one’s favourite charity in his name.
  • 18. Make a teddy bear for a child out of your loved one’s favourite shirt.

Celebration of Life Idea: Make a Teddy

  • 19. Start a scholarship at a school in your loved one’s name.Celebration of Life Idea: Scholarship
  • 20. If a loved one who passed away was an animal lover, adopt a dog or cat from your local animal shelter in his memory.  You might even name your new pet a name that reminds you of him.

Celebration of Life Idea: Adopt Pet

  • 21. Buy gifts for your loved one for his birthday and Christmas and donate them to a local hospital or nursing home.Celebration of Life Idea: Donate Gift
  • 22. Buy a bouquet of your loved one’s favourite flowers on the anniversary of her death and display them in your home.

Celebration of Life Idea: Favourite Flowers

  • 23. Have a new rose cultivar named after your loved one. You can view a gallery of roses that are available for naming.  You can also purchase cuttings for planting.  The name of the rose is then registered with the International Cultivar Registrations Authority.

Celebration of Life Idea: Name a Rose

  • 24. Create a “memory capsule” by placing things that remind you of your loved one in an air-tight container.  Include items like treasured photographs, cards, books and other mementoes.  Bury the memory capsule in the ground with a plan to dig it up in the future.  You could also have a burial ceremony with family and friends, as well as a ceremony when the memory capsule is dug up.  The burial of the memory capsule can also be included in a celebration of life service.

Celebration of Life Idea: Create a Memory Capsule

  • 25. Frame your loved one’s favourite quote or poem and hang it in your home.
  • 26. Host a celebration with family and friends on your loved one’s birthday or on the anniversary of his death to celebrate the wonderful life he or she lived.

Celebration of Life Idea: Host a Celebration

  • 27. Finish a project that your love one was working on before her passing (for example: knitting a sweater, finishing a painting or a poem).

Celebration of Life Idea: Finish a Project

  • 28. If your loved one had an old watch that no longer works, replace the watch face with your favourite portrait photograph of your loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Watch

  • 29. Decorate a tree in your backyard to create a memorial tree.  You can fill mason jars halfway with water and float your loved one’s favourite flower or a floating candle in them.  Then attach a wire handle to the top of the mason jar and hang them in the tree. You can even add a plaque with her name on it.  Or if the bark of the tree is smooth, you could paint her name on the tree in water-based paint.
  • 30. Read your loved one’s favourite book.  If he or she liked to underline passages or make notes in the margin, take time to contemplate ideas that inspired him or her.

Celebration of Life Idea: Read Their Book

  • 31. Host a movie marathon where you watch your loved one’s favourite movies with family and friends.
  • 32. Enter a walk or a race for a charitable organization in your loved one’s honour.  For example, if you lost a loved one to cancer, you might participate in the Relay for Life.

Celebration of Life Idea: Enter a Race

  • 33. On a cold and dreary day, cuddle up in your loved one’s cozy sweater and read a book, with a cup of hot cocoa.  Spritz your loved one’s favourite perfume or cologne on the sweater to stimulate memories associated with his or her smell.
  • 34. Wear your loved one’s favourite tie on special occasions (for example, a wedding, christening, or a celebration of life service).

Celebration of Life Idea: Wear Clothing

  • 35. Create a memory book with photographs and stories about your loved one.  Ask family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues to contribute.

Celebration of Life Idea: Memory Book

  • 36. Take a pottery class and create a personalized pot dedicated to your loved one.  You can either keep your loved one’s ashes in the pot, or plant your loved one’s favourite flowers in it.

Celebration of Life Idea: Pottery Class

  • 37. If your loved one was a sports lover, deposit ashes on your loved one’s favourite baseball field or golf course.
  • 38. Buy the perfume or cologne your loved used to wear, and whenever you feel sad, spray the scent and think of them.
  • 39. If your loved one was an adventurer, consider having your loved one’s ashes in space.  A company named ‘Celestis’ will take a small portion of your loved one’s cremated remains and scatter them in the Earth’s orbit.

Celebration of Life Idea: Launch Ashes to Space

  • 40. On special family occasions, like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, set a place at the table for your loved one with a place card and leave the spot empty.

Celebration of Life Idea: Set Place at Table

  • 41. Create a tribute video on your computer that incorporates your favourite photos of your loved one set to his or her favourite music.  You can ask family members and friends to contribute their favourite photos as well. You can also give a copy of the video to your guests.

Celebration of Life Idea: Memorial Video

  • 42. If you have lost a child, you could donate a toy to a Christmas toy charity in his or her name.
  • 43. If your loved one enjoyed Halloween, carve his or her name into a pumpkin.
  • 44. Dedicate a small area in your backyard for a memory garden.  Plant your loved one’s favourite flowers, or transplant plants from his or her garden.  If your loved one was cremated, you could mix a small amount of the ashes into the soil.  Make a small pathway of stepping stones.  On the stepping stones, inscribe special dates, or quotes, that remind you of your loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Plant Flowers

  • 45. Wear a locket with your loved one’s photograph inside.Celebration of Life Idea: Wear Locket
  • 46. Commission a memorial plaque to be displayed on a park bench at her favourite park.

Celebration of Life Idea: Memorial Plaque

  • 47. If your loved one was a sports lover, organize family and friends to play his favourite game.  You can write your loved one’s name on a ball, puck, racket, or jersey, in his honour.

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  • 48. Hang a stocking at Christmas and fill it with cards from family members with their loving memories inscribed in them.  Read the cards out aloud at Christmas dinner.
  • 49. On special occasions, use the china and silverware that you inherited from your loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Use Special China

  • 50. Create a simple bracelet or necklace out of your loved one’s wedding band.

Celebration of Life Idea: Wedding Bands

  • 51. Visit your loved one’s favourite European city and put a lock on a lock bridge.  The lock could have his initials engraved on it, along with the date of birth and the date of death.

Celebration of Life Idea: Lock on Bridge

  • 52. On a seaside vacation, write your loved one’s name in the sand at sunset, and photograph it before it washes away.
  • 53. Make an ornament with your loved one’s photo on it for the Christmas tree.

Celebration of Life Idea: Christmas Ornament

Celebration of Life Idea: Funeral Flower Bead Bracelet

  • 55. Create a Christmas memory wreath using photographs of your loved one.
  • 56. On special family occasions, toast your loved one with his favourite drink.

Celebration of Life Idea: Toast

  • 57. Prepare a keepsake box of things filled with special mementos that remind you of your loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Create a Memory Capsule

  • 58. When you get married, attach a small charm with framed photograph of your loved one to a ribbon in your bouquet.
  • 59. Cut a piece of fabric of your loved one’s favourite tie or dress in the shape of a heart and sew it into your wedding dress.
  • 60. Give guests to a special occasion, like a celebration of life service, wedding or birthday party, a small bag of “Forget Me Not” seeds to plant in honour of your loved one.
  • 61. Stitch your loved one’s name into the tag or seem of your wedding dress.
  • 62. Write a letter or poem to your loved one.  Express what he or she meant to you, the difference he or she made to your life, and how much you miss him or her.  Write on the envelope a date for opening and reading the letter or poem, and keep the letter in a safe place in the meantime.

Celebration of Life Idea: Write Letter

  • 63. Visit your loved one’s favourite place and leave a rose or favourite flower there, along with a note:  “[Deaceased’s name] loved this place and was happiest here.  May [he/she] rest in peace.”
  • 64. Get an angel’s wings pendent with your loved one’s name engraved on it.
  • 65. Make wind chimes in honour of your loved one so that when you hear them in a breeze, you think of him or her.  You can hang ceramic photographs in your wind chime to personalize it.

Celebration of Life Idea: Make Wind Chimes

  • 66. Create a bookmark with your loved one’s name, photograph or favourite quote on it.  This would make a lovely gift for guests to a celebration of life service.

Celebration of Life Idea: Make a Bookmark

  • 67. Knit gloves and hats for a local homeless shelter, with a personalized tag of “[Deceased person’s name] wishes you love and joy”.
  • 68. Create a photo charm that can be attached to clothing or a favourite blanket.
  • 69. Make a memory candle for your loved one.  You can make this for yourself or for guests to a celebration of life service.

Celebration of Life Idea: Make a Memory Candle

  • 70. Find a tree in the woods and tie a ribbon around it in your loved one’s favourite colour.  Write a quote on the ribbon that reminds you of your loved one, along with her name.
  • 71. If your loved one was cremated, have a small amount of the ashes compressed into a gemstone.
  • 72. Have a picnic on your loved one’s birthday at his or her favourite place.  Pack her favourite dishes, and her favourite wine.  This can be done for a celebration of life service, or whenever you wish.

Celebration of Life Idea: Picnic

  • 73. At a special occasion, like a celebration of life service, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, create a memory chain by writing your favourite memories, loving moments, and your feelings of loss, on long, narrow strips of construction paper.  Then form inter-linking loops out of the strips to make a chain you can use to frame a doorway or hang over a fireplace.

Celebration of Life Idea: Memory Chain

  • 74. Create a collage to commemorate your loved one.  Use photographs of him or her, as well as places and objects that were significant.   Overlay the photographs with quotes that remind you of him or her.
  • 75. Paint or take a photograph of your loved one’s favourite place and hang it in your home.
  • 76. Keep a journal where you continue to write about your memories and feelings about your loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Keep a Journal

  • 77. Visit a place that your loved one always wanted to travel to, but never got the chance.  If he or she was cremated, scatter some ashes there.  Or set a small memorial with a tea-light and a small laminated photograph.  You could also write a small summary about your loved one for other travellers to read, should they come across your little memorial site.

Celebration of Life Idea: Travel

  • 78. Honour a loved one’s special collection or hobby by participating in that interest or activity (e.g. coin collecting, reading, golfing).
  • 79. Turn your loved one’s ashes into fireworks and then set them off on his birthday, a special occasion or holiday.

Celebration of Life Idea: Fireworks

  • 80. Take flowers to your loved one’s resting place.
  • 81. Turn dried funeral flowers into beads, and assemble the beads into a beautiful rosary. Celebration of Life Idea: Rosary Made From Funeral Flowers
  • 82. Tell the little ones in your family lots of stories about your loved one.  Keep special stories alive in the family by creating a storybook.  Have the children in the family create illustrations for the storybook.  Once the stories have been written, and the illustrations drawn, bind the book together.  Have a copy made for each child in the family.
  • 83. Go on vacation to a favourite place you used to travel to with your loved one.  While there, take the time to remember your loved one and feel his or her presence.

Celebration of Life Idea: Visit Their Favourite Place

  • 84. Have the little ones in your family create boats to honour a loved one who has passed away.  After they have created their boats, they can decorate them and write the loved one’s name.  After the craft project is finished, the family can gather at a river where the children place the boats in the water and watch them float away.  This is a good time to share a prayer or memories of your loved one. The boats could also be released during a celebration of life service.Celebration of Life Idea: Memory Boat
  • 85. Learn to make the recipes that your loved one was famous for.
  • 86. If your loved one was a music lover, donate musical instruments to the music program of a local school.  Each instrument could be engraved with: “In memory of [deceased’s name], who loved music.”
  • 87. Create a plant marker to commemorate your loved one.  The plant marker can be display in either a potted plant or in your garden.  It also makes the perfect gift to give to guests that attend a celebration of life service, particularly if the loved one who passed away was an avid gardener.

Celebration of Life Idea: Potted Plant Marker

  • 88. If your loved one was a prolific traveller, frame a large map of the world.  Put in pins for each city or town he or she visited.  Attach a small label to the pin with the date of the visit.  You could also have photographs from his or her travels as a boarder for the map.  Each photograph could be numbered, and correspond to a numbered pin.

Celebration of Life Idea: Map

  • 89. Have children in the family make a kite.  The tail of the kite is made up of ribbons, on which each child writes a message to the loved one who has passed away. When the kite has been completed, the children can fly the kite at a place that was special to the person who passed away.Celebration of Life Idea: Fly a Kite
  • 90. Practice mindful meditation.  Sit in a quiet place and contemplate how lucky you were to have known your loved one.  Focus on your breathing.Celebration of Life Idea: Meditate
  • 91. Send family and friends a card made from seed paper on your loved one’s birthday.  The card could contain a quote, or other special message about your loved one.  Family and friends plant the card in the ground, and the seeds will bloom.  You could also give the card to guests at a celebration of life service.
  • 92. If your loved one was a parent or grandparent, collect all the artwork that the children in the family gave him or her over the years.  Have the drawings and paintings turned into a book.  Give a copy of the book to family members and friends as a special gift.

Celebration of Life Idea: Children's Artwork

  • 93. If a loved one liked to make jams and preserves, make a batch of their special recipe.  Decorate the jars with a special label commemorating him or her.

Celebration of Life Idea: Make Their Jam Recipe

  • 94. Create a pendent from polymer clay with a love heart intertwined with an infinity symbol.  You can etch your loved one’s name into the pendent.  Once you have baked the pendent, hang it on your favourite chain.  This simple craft project can be used to make gifts for guests at a celebration of life service.

Celebration of Life Idea: Commemorative Heart Necklace

  • 95. Take a road trip and visit all the places that were significant to your loved one and your family.  Take photographs in exactly the same spot where your loved one was previously photographed.
  • 96. If your loved one was an avid fisherman, create a special lure and name it: “The [First Name of Your Loved One]” (e.g. “The Tom”).  Make one for everyone who knew him and loves to go fishing.
  • 97. Host a slide show and home movie night for family and friends.  Everybody will enjoy the trip down memory lane.  This could also be incorporated into a celebration of life service.
  • 98. If your loved one owned a cat or dog, have a special collar made for the pet which says:  “[Deceased’s first name] always loves you.”

Celebration of Life Idea: Commemorative Pet Collar

  • 99. Donate your loved one’s reading glasses to a charity that sends them to underprivileged people.

Celebration of Life Idea: Donate Reading Glasses

  • 100. If your loved one was a sports lover, sponsor a little league team.  Have team jerseys made.  The tag on the jersey could say: “Made in Memory of “[Deceased’s name]”.  Attend the little league games with your family and friends.
  • 101. At Easter or on another special occasion, have a treasure hunt for the little ones in the family.  Hide little mementos that were owned by a loved one who has passed away.  You can also hide scrolls tied with a pretty ribbon.  When a child unrolls the scroll, they can read a quote or message from the loved one.

Celebration of Life Idea: Easter Egg Hunt

If you tried any of these ideas, or have any further ideas to add to our list, please let us know.  We would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow out our Pinterest board for even more inspiring celebration of life ideas.