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Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate a Life

When loved ones pass away we are always looking for creative and kind ways to remember them. Check out this list of thoughtful ways to celebrate a life.

A rock that says,
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Ways to Show Your Love for Those Who Have Passed Away and Those Left Behind

Unfortunately in my neck of the woods we have lost too many neighbors and friends this past year. So we have spent a lot of time thinking of ways to celebrate life.

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You can never go wrong with giving flowers or taking over a meal. Yet, if you are looking for more thoughtful ways to celebrate life and let someone know you are thinking of them then check out these other ideas.

Plant Something

A Tree

An amazing and thoughtful way to celebrate a life that has ended is to add new life with something that grows. It can be as simple as a new house plant or as extreme as a memorial garden.

Planting a tree is a great way to remember and celebrate someone. It creates a place that people can go to visit and think about the one who has passed.

You could plant the tree at their home or place of work. You could even plant it at a favorite park or place they loved to visit.

When holidays roll around the tree can be lit up with lights to celebrate their life.


If there isn’t space for a tree what about planting some flowers? It could be as simple as a new perennial in front of the house. Or if the time of year is right plant some annual flowers to be enjoyed for the season.

Our neighbor recently passed away and LOVED the color red. So we planted 100 red tulip bulbs in their yard. In 6 months when spring rolls around it will be a beautiful way to celebrate his life.

Heart Attack

A heart attack is when you cut out paper hearts on colored paper of all different sizes. On some of the hearts you write kind words and messages. Some you can leave blank.

Then you take all the hearts and stick them on the front door of the person they are for. They get a loving and thoughtful surprise when they see all the kind messages.

Door with paper hearts taped to it.

The hearts can contain uplifting words for those left behind or they could include memories of the life being celebrated. For another way to use a heart attack check out this post.

Tie Ribbons on Trees

A fabulous way to show someone that everyone is thinking of them and their loved one and to celebrate the life is to tie ribbons on trees.

It’s an obvious outward manifestation of love and support. It’s also super simple to do. Start by picking a color. You could choose a color that the person loved whose life you are celebrating or the color of their favorite sports team. Be creative.

You can use actual ribbon to tie on the trees or you can get plastic table cloths (or that type of material) and cut it into strips.

Then gather your friends and neighbors and start tying. You can tie bows on trees, the posts of fences, flag poles, pillars even basketball hoops.

The idea is to get so many ribbons out there that passerby’s know something (or someone) special is being celebrated.


Lunch sack luminaries in a row.
Photo by Ozzie Kirkby on Unsplash

Luminaries are these amazing little lanterns you can make yourself and then line the street and neighborhood with. It makes for a spectacular sight.

Start with paper bags (white or brown lunch sack size). Then add some small gravel or sand to the bottom so the bag will hold it’s shape and not fall over. About 1/4 full.

Next, put a tiny tea light inside in the middle of the bag. You could use the battery operated ones if you want your lanterns to glow for longer and not have to worry about lighting wicks.

Or, a cheaper option is to get the tea candles with actual wicks and light those. They usually burn for around 4 hours. So plan your setting out of the luminaries accordingly so that you take advantage of the 4 burning hours after the sun has set.

We did this a few week ago for a neighbor who passed from COVID. We lined the whole neighborhood the night he passed. It brought everyone outside to walk around and see the luminaries and gave us all a chance to grieve together and support one another.

Freezer Meals

It’s so nice during a hard time to not have to think about what’s for dinner. While fresh meals are always appreciated sometimes people end up with more than they can eat.

So why not try giving them a freezer meal instead. Something that will still ease the burden of deciding what’s for dinner but that they can use when its convenient for them.

You can prepare the freezer meal yourself or order from a company like Hello Chef, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. If you want to go the extra mile you could even get them a subscription to one of those companies and have a meal delivered on a regular basis.

Christmas Ornament

I love thoughtful Christmas ornaments that bring back memories every year as you hang them on the tree.

Every Christmas people will want to celebrate the life of their loved ones who have passed. So giving a Christmas ornament as a thoughtful way to celebrate a life is perfect.

The ornament could be personalized with a picture like the one below. Or personalized with a quote or saying that was said by the loved one who has passed.

Christmas ornament with a saying and a picture of a person.
Etsy SweetCarolina

Or it can have a meaningful saying or quote to help bring peace and comfort.

Christmas ornament with a quote.

Saying goodbye to loved ones is never easy. Yet, there are so many ways to celebrate their life and support those who are left behind. Whether it’s giving life by planting something that grows or showing support with a grand gesture like luminaries or ribbons. Your efforts are sure to be appreciated and it truly is the thought that counts.

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