Even after their death, to you, your parents are always going to be Mom and Dad. They are no longer on this earth physically, but I trust their memory will linger on forever. As you’ve been blessed having them with you all these years, so you’ll be blessed to hang on to them in your heart.
Through the years, I’ve heard about many unique ways families keep their parent’s memories alive, and I would like to explore eight of them with you.
You and your family should devise a way to preserve the loving memory of your Mom and Dad forever, honoring them at all times.
Ways You Can Keep the Memory of Your Parent Alive
- Plant a tree. Just after the funeral, a family I know assembled in front of the center for assisted-living where the parents spent their last years together. One of the sons came with a shovel, and everyone — siblings, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren — took their turn at digging a hole.
Afterwards, a beautiful silver maple (their mother’s best tree) was carried into the hole, and each person took turns moving the dirt back in. When they were finished, a bunch of nurses and residents had assembled and started to clap.
Not only will this tree remind the people in the facility how much they relished knowing that couple, but each time family members also pay a visit to the burial site, they can also drive a bit to the assisted-living center and look at the tree they sowed in memory of their loved one.
- Spread out cuttings. Sally loved her African violets and was very proud to care for them in their brightly colored pots on the ledge of the large bay window in her living room. After she died, one of her daughters removed several dozen cuttings from the plants and placed them in a bowl of water.
Immediately the cuttings took root; the daughter introduced each one in a small clay pot hand-painted with Mom or Grandma at the side and distributed them to all her siblings and their kids.
As much as I can tell, her memory lives on to this day (many years after Sally’s death) in houses, dormitories, and apartments across the country.
- Exchange favorite recipes. Another resourceful daughter searched the recipe box of her mother and selected about a dozen recipes her mom was known for. Using her computer, the daughter created a little recipe book and handed it to everyone in the family.
- Keep the fishing trip alive. Harold was in the habit of taking his two sons on a fishing trip to faraway Ontario every spring. In the spring after his passing away, these sons organized a fishing trip with their own sons and daughters and devoted at least an evening around a campfire, recounting fishing stories about their father. This has now grown into a yearly tradition.
- Make a memory book. An adventurous son chose quite a few dozen pictures of his deceased parents, from their wedding picture to numerous stages and unforgettable events of their lives. He scanned them on his computer and created a beautiful memory book that is shared among his siblings.
In a different family, old home videos were moved to DVDs, and copies were distributed to family members. This is so much more sensible than merely hauling their parents’ boxes up to their attic, where no family member will ever be able to enjoy the photos.
- Give a lasting gift. Many families donate to charity in memory of their parents. Often times, these charities offer a discernible way to show these gifts.
And you don’t need to be very loaded and commission a building named after your parents. A family pays for a scholarship for a less fortunate child to get the chance to go to a YMCA day camp in their city — with the parent’s name linked to the scholarship.
- Create a family DVD. When your parents are still alive, local video companies can record and video them discussing their lives and then have copies made for everyone after they die.
Once a year, take out the DVD and go through it to commit to memory the words and feelings of your parents.
- Recreate the presence of your parents. There are many ways to do this. One daughter recalled that every time she was near her father, she liked his Old Spice aftershave lotion’s smell. So, she saved a bottle of Old Spice that reminded her of her father now and then.
One son remembered how his mom enjoyed listening to big-band trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller. So, he put together many songs to burn CDs for his family members so they could remember what it was like to go to their mother’s house.
With Gratitude and Love