The anniversary of the death of a loved one


Family and friends mark the anniversary of a death of a loved one in many ways. Some visit the cemetery, some gather for a meal and share memories, some reflect quietly at a favourite place that the deceased loved, for example.

Some don’t live nearby and are unable to visit the cemetery or be with family.

There is no right or wrong way to mark an anniversary but what is important, is to let the family know that you are thinking of them, especially on the anniversary.

When generations of families gather to remember and reflect about their loved one, why not create some new memories or traditions?

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • plant a tree in memory of the person – remember to take photos so you can record the growth of the tree on each anniversary
  • create a living memory in other ways such as building a garden path and placing a bench where you can sit, read, reflect and take comfort – whatever is meaningful to you
  • ask each person to write a poem or short story about their favourite memory and combine these in a book with some favourite photos for everyone to share. Print multiple copies as a loving keepsake
  • have a music afternoon – play favourite songs and remember wonderful moments
  • make a quilt from some of their favourite clothes – keepsake quilts are a warm and comforting way to keep you wrapped in love
  • if your loved one had a favourite event or local group, create an annual award in their honour
  • support a cause that was important to your loved one such as Cancer Council, the Heart Foundation etc
  • go for a favourite walk that you shared or visit a favourite place.

The ideas are endless so create or do something that is meaningful to you.

Be a good friend
Being a good friend is about letting those closest, know that you are thinking of them. Yes, it may bring tears, but it will also bring comfort and caring.  We can’t change the fact that a precious loved one has died but we can change the way we remember, support and share memories.

Article contributed by Joy Allen, an Independent Sydney based Funeral Celebrant, August 2019

11 comments on “The anniversary of the death of a loved one

  • I have found great comfort in being able to go to my partners memorial online to leave a message send a note or just say how things are going. It helps my get through. Plus it can reach family and friends all over the world
    Thanks to all the team behind this that put it together and made it happen you have truly helped

  • Jessica Maher says:

    This was a really great email to recieve so close to my late partners anniversary date. I was lost for an idea but this has gave me multiple and with such a tough time its hard to even choose an option. But you have made it much easier to to be able to choose something to do in a simple way

  • Jackeline Buttress says:

    The Anniversary of a loved one
    Remember all the good times and all the things we did as a happy couple. I have planted a small tree just in side the gate in our front yard.

  • Leonie Mollenhauer says:

    To celebrate what would have been my mother’s 100th birthday, we as a family gathered together for a special lunch serving dishes we prepared using her favourite recipes. She loved cooking up a storm and also was a talented cake decorator, producing a masterpiece for all family birthdays, so my daughter and niece baked and decorated special 100th birthday cakes. The reason we chose to celebrate in this way was because she had always told my daughter she was going to live to be 100. We also visited her grave with a lovely bunch of roses and each recalled a special story about Nana and Mum. A fitting tribute to a well loved lady.

  • Sharon Lau says:

    Every anniversary we go to the seaway to toss flowers near where my father’s ashes were put and then have a fish & chips lunch. My dad was a keen fisherman & he loved fish & chips.

  • Sharon Simonet says:

    Mum it’s been seven years since we said good by not a day goes go by that never stop think of you love with all my heart. And since you have been gone you have two beautiful grandbabies a boy called Cooper that’s Rachelle little boy he will be 3 and Paul had a little girl called Khloe who is 10mths old you would of loved them so much and now Marc is having a baby and Rachelle is having her second she always take Cooper too the cemetery and he puts his flowers and say love grandma so will never be forgotten love you for ever your daughter Sharon 💗💗💗💗

  • I met the boy I married at 15 and he was 16 he waited for me to turn 21 to get married he was the only love of my life we had 60 wonderful yeas of marriage but sadly i lost him just on 6 years ago ,before i met him he had put his age up and had joined the air force and he was sent to japan 7 months after the bomb was dropped when he returned from japan he joined the merchant navy and he was sailing on a small ship that went to England where it was sold and he was returned on the Strathaird ,my Mother came from Scotland when she was 18 and had married and had children she returned to see her family in 1948 taking her children with her ,and we sailed on the Strathaird and came back to Australia also on the same ship he loved our Flag so i have put up a flag pole to remember him the Australian flags flies in his memory ,every time i walk down my street which is a little private lane his flag looks so beautiful flying so high and proud in the wind under neath the flag is a Kangaroo with a white head stone with his name telling the world he was the Love and joy of all his family

  • Juliana Cvetkovic says:

    I miss all my love one up in heaven and it’s so hard some days and then when a song come on the radio and well bring tears running down my cheeks, but also Memories well keep me warm in my heart safe ♡


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