Losing a loved one is never easy. While our grief can cause periods of sadness, anger, stress or anxiety, there are ways to ease that pain—one way is to give back.
Giving back in honor of a loved one after they pass can comfort family members and friends as they cope with the loss. Giving back to others is also a meaningful way to celebrate and honor them, while positively impacting the lives of others.
Below, we offer 11 ideas for how you can give back in honor of your loved one.
Charitable Ideas to Honor Your Loved One
- Contribute to your loved one’s favorite charity. Was he or she passionate about a certain cause? A unique way to honor their memory is to continue giving towards a cause or charity they felt strongly about.
Donate to a cause that affected them. If an ailment or event contributed to their passing, you may find comfort in supporting an organization committed to research or prevention.
- Create a living reminder. Your loved one may be gone, but planting a tree or other greenery is a great way to honor their memory, help the environment and be a part of something new.
- Develop a memorial scholarship. Creating a memorial scholarship on behalf of a loved one keeps their memory alive. It’s a gift that gives back to the community in a positive way for years to come.
- Donate old belongings. While there’s no doubt you’ll want to save and cherish many of your loved one’s belongings, consider donating gently used items to charity. This can include old clothes, furniture, tools and electronics. Find a local nonprofit that needs the items you can offer.
- Give to your loved one’s church or other place of worship. Making a donation to you and your loved one’s place of worship is a thoughtful way to celebrate, honor and memorialize their life, while supporting the religious cause they gave so much of their time to.
- Volunteer at their favorite charity or event. Perhaps your loved one was a regular volunteer at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter. Honor their memory and spend time volunteering on your loved one’s behalf. Invite family and friends to make it a meaningful experience for all involved.
- Host a dinner in your loved one’s honor. Host a memorial dinner and enjoy your loved one’s favorite dish. Get those who knew them best together and make new memories while reminiscing about the past.
- Offer a Mass for a loved one. Dedicate a Mass in your loved one’s name. While it doesn’t always cost anything to offer a Mass, donations are accepted. Talk to your parish to learn how you can offer a Mass for your loved one.
Reconnect with people in your loved one’s life you've lost touch with. Our loved one's family and friends often become our own. But after one’s passing, those relationships with their friends and relatives may diminish. Honor your loved one’s memory and reconnect on their behalf. Consider sharing stories of them or do an activity you all used to enjoy together.
- Volunteer at a community event in your loved one’s honor. Many communities have annual walks or runs to fundraise for various causes. Volunteer to help organize, donate, participate or even work the event in your loved one’s honor.
Interested in More Remembrance Ideas?
When we lose a loved one, we have the opportunity to keep their memory alive for ourselves and those around us. Subscribe to our blog for more ideas to thoughtfully honor your loved one.