I was recently scrolling through Facebook when I saw an article title that caught my eye; "18,000 pieces of balloon waste found in Great Lakes: 'When you let go of a balloon, you're littering'".
Thousands of balloons are released each year for various occasions and it made me think of the lantern and balloon releases that are held in memorial of our loved ones.
Every single balloon and lantern that is released falls back to earth and winds up as litter on the shorelines and beaches. It endangers our wildlife and ecosystems and it isn't going to leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling like these other ideas would.
1. A Tattoo
Getting a tattoo of a loved ones name or handwriting isn't anything new, but it is a creative way to express what they meant to you and keep them close.
2. Plant a TreeArbor Day
This is a little more labor intensive but this is a great way to remember them and have a place to go that isn't just a grave in order to be with them. Not to mention that it is helping the earth in the process.
3. Volunteer or Make a Donation
If your loved one was passionate about a certain cause, try donating something in their name or go volunteer for their favorite charity. You get to experience what they loved and give back at the same time.
4. Finish Their Bucket List
If a loved one left behind some unfinished business on their bucket list, finish it for them. It will give you something fun to do and you get to experience things that they weren't able to.
5. Have a Moment of Silence or Remembrance
We miss our loved ones most at those special moments in our lives like weddings, birthdays, and ceremonies so have a moment to reflect on your loved one so you don't feel like they are missing.
6. Buy and Donate Their GiftsToys for Tots Marines bring gifts to Alaskan children
If it is around the holiday season, buy some gifts that they would have enjoyed and donate them to a local cause in their name.
7. Make a Memorial Capsule
Put pictures, souvenirs, trinkets, clothes, and anything else that reminds you of them and keep it together somewhere where you can go back and look through it whenever you are missing them.
8. Finish a Project
If they left a project unfinished, even if you don't know what you are doing, try to learn and finish the project for them.
9. Set a Place at the Table
Just because they are gone doesn't mean that you need to remove them from the table. At special events, set a spot for them with a place card and leave it empty.
10. Get a Memorial Plaque
If your loved one was passionate about a certain place or thing (like a sport or organization), see if they have an opportunity to have plaques made and make one with their name on it.