20 Memorial Gift Ideas That Honor Their Life

When a loved one is grieving, a gift that offers condolences and keeps someone’s memory alive can provide healing to those left behind. But, choosing what to give can sometimes be difficult. To let them know you’re thinking of them in their time of sorrow, your memorial gift should be thoughtfully given in remembrance of the person loved and lost.

Whether you’re looking for an expression of sympathy that’s unique and personal, a customizable keepsake in memory of the deceased or sympathy gifts that brings comfort during tough times, like a photo book, you’ll find inspiration among these 20 memorial gift ideas that will honor their life.

1. Personalized Photo Frame

Pink chevron photo frame.

Source: Shutterfly

Give a gift that sends your condolences while honoring their loved one’s memory. This photo frame holds a favorite photograph and celebrates precious memories with a personalized sentiment, words of encouragement or meaningful message.

2. Memorial Garden

garden stones with decoration and personalized message

A memory garden can provide peace, comfort and healing to those experiencing the grief of losing a loved one. A living tribute with flowers or herbs that will continue to grow in their memory. This is particularly appropriate when honoring a lost loved one who loved nature. Personalized garden stones with a special message for them are a perfect way to honor your loved one.

3. A Piece Of Their Craft

If your loved one was a creator, carry a piece of them with you at all times. From a woodworker to a quilter, they were bound to leave behind traces of their passion. Gift to other family members to spread the love.

4. In My Heart

Memorial shadow box.

Sometimes, a classic display is all that’s needed to remember a loved one. A shadow box is a simple way to showcase their life. You can also add song lyrics, wedding vows or the words of a favorite poem to add to the memory.

5. Memorial Ornament

memorium christmas ornament

The holidays are often the hardest time of year for someone grieving a loss. An memoriam ornament that honors their memory can hang lovingly on the tree or in a window to catch the light for years to come.

6. T-Shirt Quilt

T-shirt quilt.

Source: Baby Lock

T-shirts are a common way we remember places we’ve been or sports teams and bands we love. Honor the life and personal expressions of a loved one that’s passed by turning their t-shirts into a commemorative quilt.

7. Literature Collection

Reading is one of the best forms of therapy and healing. If your loved one had a favorite author or genre, gift their widow or family members a collection of books. They can read them to feel closer to their lost loved one and remember their passion for reading.

8. Unfinished Work

Many people have a craft or hobby they’re passionate about. Unfortunately, projects can go unfinished if a loved one passes away unexpectedly. See to it that their passion project is completed—from sewing a quilt to planning a trip.

9. Memory Lane

Did you travel somewhere special together or have a memorable trip? Make a pilgrimage back there. While you’ll miss having them there with you, it’s a great way to honor them and keep their memory alive. If they were cremated and wanted their ashes scattered, this is a great place to start.

10. Blowing In The Wind


Source: Shutterfly

Many people believe that our loved ones never leave us. If you’ve experienced a loss of a loved one or pet, memorialize them with a set of wind chimes that you can hang in the garden—you’ll think of them every time you hear the sound.

11. Memory Bear

A sentimental memorial gift they can cuddle and hold close will help a grieving loved one get through the toughest times while keeping their memory alive. This handcrafted bear is made using a variety of fabrics from a lost love’s wardrobe.

12. Photo Frame Wreath

Preserve special memories and honor a loved one’s life with this simply stunning memory wreath. Gather a collection of favorite wallet-sized photo prints and fill an assortment of silver mini frames. Use wire to attach frames to a grapevine wreath and top with a burlap bow. Special enough to display at a memorial service or hung at home in tribute.

13. DIY Photo Vases

If you prefer to give one-of-a-kind and truly unique gifts, these DIY photo vases made from PVC pipe and decoupaged photographs are a creative way to commemorate a life well-lived. They’re sure to bring a smile to their recipient’s face as they’re used over and over again.

14. Furry Friend

Losing a parent is difficult for anyone, and it’s important to consider your other parent’s loss of a partner. A trained therapy animal can help bring comfort and assistance where they need it most. It will give your grieving parent a partner and a purpose.

15. Tree Planting

A classic form of remembrance, planting a tree is a great way to remember a lost loved one. Give back to the earth and watch their memory grow over the years. It’s a great way to give a grieving loved one something to focus their attention on.

16. Home Videos

Home videos are a great source of remembrance. If a loved one just lost their partner, compile their home videos into digital files so they can view them whenever they’re feeling down.

17. Memorable Jewelry

Metal bracelets.

Source: Shutterfly

A piece of jewelry engraved with an important date, coordinates or location will help you keep their memory alive. Whether you traveled somewhere special together or want to showcase your anniversary, it will be as if you have a piece of them with you every time you wear it.

18. Once Upon A Time

Made from reclaimed wood, twine and clothespins, this do-it-yourself photo frame filled with snapshots of special moments makes a meaningful gift in remembrance of a loved one. Truly personal and sentimental, they’ll love the effort put into this special memorial.

19. Charitable Donation

Did your loved one have a particular cause or organization they loved to be involved with? Donate in their memory to their favorite charity or a group they volunteer with regularly. The organization will surely appreciate the gesture and remember your lost loved one fondly.

20. Volunteer Time

Similarly to the above, if you can’t donate your money, donate your time in their memory. Volunteering for their favorite charity or former organization is a great way to honor them and keep their memory alive.

When choosing what to send when someone dies, consider memorial gift ideas that can be personalized, customized or handmade. Those extra thoughtful touches will provide comfort during a tough time while a meaningful gift that honors a life well-lived will be a treasured keepsake for years to come.