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Days Gone By: How to Honor Your Deceased Relatives

Unfortunately, someone you love will pass away at some point. The death could be unexpected or could occur after a lengthy illness. After your relative dies, there are a few ways that you can honor that person so their memory lives on for years to come.


Cherish the memories that you have of your relatives by putting pictures of them in frames. You may want to hang these pictures on a wall or set them up on a table that is dedicated to that person. Another way to use pictures of your deceased relatives is to make a scrapbook of that person with other members of the family. You can bring this scrapbook to the funeral home to help celebrate their life rather than focusing on their death.


Talk with your family about relatives who have passed. By sharing stories and anecdotes with your children, spouse, or siblings, you help keep your deceased loved one’s memory alive. You can teach children who never met that loved one about them, and you might learn details and stories you never knew yourself.

Some people also talk with their deceased relatives as a way to remember and draw comfort from the relationship they had together.

An Empty Chair

When you gather together with your family for special events, such as holiday dinners or birthday celebrations, leave an empty chair for relatives who are deceased. You can put a picture of each person on each chair or tie a white balloon on the empty chairs to show that you’re remembering them even at special events. Try to position each chair where the person would normally sit at the event.


Explore a community project that your relatives would have enjoyed. It could be a food drive, sponsoring someone for holiday gifts, or completing a project that the person had already started. You’ll sometimes learn a few new details about your loved one that you might not have known, especially if the person lived alone and didn’t venture out as often as other members of the family.

Visiting a Special Place

If your relatives had a special vacation spot they liked to visit or if they enjoyed visiting a certain attraction, consider taking a trip as a way to honor your relatives. A vacation spot could be somewhere along the coast or a favorite mountain where the person liked to go hiking. You could go to a favorite restaurant to celebrate the person’s birthday.

When a relative dies, you might think that the memory of that person goes away as well. You can honor the person who has passed away in multiple ways that make you comfortable, such as talking to that person or even writing notes. As long as you continue to remember those who have passed on, their memories won’t die.

When a relative dies, you might expect the memory of that person to go as well. However, there are many ways you can honor your loved one and keep your memories of them strong.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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