Are you looking for fun, meaningful DIY memorial ideas? If so, you’ve come to the right place because our 2018 blog calendar is chock-full of wonderful do-it-yourself memorial ideas. Today’s post focuses on creating a memorial shrine in honor of a loved one.
And grief therapists tell us a memorial shrine can be a fine addition to your ‘bereavement toolkit’. In the 2011 post “Creating Shrines and Altars for Healing from Grief” Karla Helbert, MS, LPC, tells readers why this is so: “…shrines are external representations of interior mysteries…and ways of showing in tangible form what might be happening in our hearts and spirits. Creating shrines and altars gives us opportunities to remember, to reflect and to honor, as well as to help heal the pain of loss through the act of creating. The creation of a personal shrine can establish a private place to which you can return to reflect, meditate, grieve, engage in a personal ritual, remember, and honor the one who has died.”
A well-conceived memorial shrine shines the light of love, illuminating the relationship shared during your loved one’s lifetime.
How to Make a Memorial Shrine
There are dozens of websites, including Pinterest, where you can find inspiration for your loved one’s memorial shrine. Begin by finding the right location in your home for your memorial shrine: it needs to be placed in a quiet, comfortable place. If you’ve not got a lot of room, don’t worry – you don’t need a lot.
Once the location is decided upon, gather up the items you’d like to include in your loved one’s memorial shrine. Ms. Helbert, the author of the article mentioned earlier, suggests:
- Make a list of words that come to mind when you think of your loved one.
- Make a list of objects or things that you associate with your loved one.
- Write down any words of wisdom, favorite expressions, funny or loving things your loved might have said. If your loved one never spoke, write down memories that have stuck with you, specific times that you continue to return to, that seem to bring some peace and comfort and to remind you of their love.
- Write down nicknames or pet names you might have used for each other and any associations those words may bring up.
- Write down his or her favorite colors, flowers, foods, hobbies, talents, etc.
- Research and find images that correspond to some of the things you have listed. You may find lots of interesting images on the internet that you can print and cut out for use in creating a memory board or seeing the images may spark other thoughts or ideas that you may wish to incorporate in your memorial shrine.
There are dozens of websites, including our Pinterest account, where you can find inspiration for your loved one’s memorial shrine. There are also a couple of good books on the subject, including the 2004 book, Crafting Personal Shrines: Using Photos, Mementos & Treasures to Create Artful Displays by Carol Owen, and Sacred Spaces: Creating Personal Altars and Shrines for Your Home by Beverley Jollands.
Did you know you can even make a portable pocket memorial shrine? I especially like this DIY memorial shrine idea: find an Altoids tin and place some special items–ones which provoke strong feelings when seen – inside.
(Check out this Pinterest page for more on these tiny tributes.)
On a side note: this idea has much the same purpose as a memorial garden, in that you’re creating a sacred space, dedicated to the memory of a loved one, where you can spend time in quiet reflection. Here in the doldrums of winter, if planting a memorial garden when the spring returns to your part of the world sounds like a fine idea, read our post, DIY Memorial Garden. Take it a “step” further, round up your supplies and get crafty to make your own memorial stepping stone.You might also enjoy reading our 2015 post, “Gift Ideas for Someone Who is Grieving” – a worthy read, even if the “someone grieving” is you!