A Simple Memorial Ritual

In these dim times, the cycle of life does not stop. Babies are born, children grow, and people die. It does not matter what goes on in the world, these events always occur. However, with the current pandemic going on, some of these ceremonies are not being practiced either for public safety or because they are too expensive for individuals who are going through hardship. In light of some personal loss, I thought I could best put my thoughts in a context that may help others out. I am no stranger to pain, and using it as a spring board to help others has been what has helped me in the past. I hope this helps someone out there as well.

There will be two versions of this, one for those who own a house and the other for those who are renting or live in an apartment.

If you own a home, you will need:

-Enough large stones to build a small mount.
-Their name, either on paper or carved into something such as wood (A picture or biological material such as hair or cremation ashes can work as well)
-Flowers or sweets, preferably the deceased perference that links to a memory when they were alive and well.
-A drink of their choice, preferably something you enjoyed together.
-A small hand shovel

Pick a spot on your property that you think your loved one would enjoy resting in. Dig a small hole and place some of the stones around it to serve as a base. Hold the name/picture/ashes/hair in your hand and slip into a meditative state. Remember them clearly. Do not focus on the end, but as you knew them. Picture them as clearly as you can until you can feel them before you.

Take the time to say what you feel like you need/want to. You can incorporate a song if you wish as well (I sing “the parting glass” for my dead, as it is a family tradition). Set the object in the center of the hole, saying goodbye and your love for them. Take the sweet/flowers and place it within the hole as well. Begin to fill the hole with stones until you have a small mount.

Take the drink and toast to the life of your loved one. Take a sip, saying “may you live on through the hearts of those who love you, experiencing life with us as we go on. So more it be.”

Pour the rest of the drink over the stones and walk away. You can visit the place whenever you feel the need to connect with your loved one. It is done.

For Apartments

You will need:
A flowering pot
Gardening soil
A type of plant to grow, preferably something that brings fond memories of them
An object that reminds you of them, such as their name, hair or a small amount of their ashes (I would avoid a picture as you will be burying it in growing soil)
A sweet/snack that they enjoyed, preferably with you
A drink, once again something that you both enjoyed if possible
Some water
A lancet

Take the pot and fill it partically with the soil. Take the name, hair, or ashes into your hand and follow the mediation of the previous ritual. Do not hold back on things you feel you need/want to say. Let everything out. When you are ready, laying it into the soil and gently cover with soil. Plant the flower and finish with the soil so the pot is full. Prick a finger and add a drop of blood into the water, visualizing some of your life being added to the water. Gently water the plant (not too much) as you say, “As one life has ended, may they help another thrive. May (name of deceased) live on through the hearts of those who loved them, experiencing life with them as they carry on.”

Say goodbye and put the plant where it will get the sunlight it needs without being disturbed. Put the snack next to the plant and leave as an offering for some time (you can eat it later as a way to share a moment with the departed). Take the drink outside and toast to the life of your loved one. Sip it and then pour out the rest so the dead may drink. It is done.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope it helps someone out there.


This is very beautiful, thank you for sharing it.


Just imagining the private time with a lost one made me emotional haha…
What a beautiful way to remember those you loved and lost. Thank you for this C.Wilson.

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This is very moving and beautiful. Thankyou so much for this. I’ve been having a particularly bad time recently and just reading this and feeling its beauty is in some way soothing.

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