How to Honor Someone You Lost During Major Milestones

Weddings, graduations, the birth of a child, and major life accomplishments are all huge milestones that are typically considered overwhelmingly happy. After losing someone important to you like a parent, partner, sibling, or child, however, these major milestones automatically become bittersweet. 

While the happiness of these moments is still here, you're always aware of the fact that someone special is missing. It's hard not to imagine what they'd say or what the event would mean to them, and their absence can be piercing. 

There's nothing we can do to get back family who has passed, there are ways we can honor those that we've loved and lost during major milestones event. This can help us to remember them in beautiful, positive ways so that we feel their presence when it's missed most. 

Let's take a look at four of the best ways to honor someone that you lost during major milestones. 

Pin a Picture of Them Close to Your Heart 

It's not uncommon to print a small picture of the person who you're missing most and to pin them close to your heart. Putting the picture inside your graduation robes, for example, or slipping it inside your suit's chest pocket can keep their memory physically close to you. 

If you don't want to pin a picture, consider something like a locket or a charm. Some brides will attach a locket with the picture of the family member they lost to their bouquet, like what's discussed in the Instagram post above. If they lost a father, this can be one way that their father is still able to walk them down the aisle. 

Incorporate Their Favorites 

Did your parents always have red velvet cake for their anniversary because it was your deceased mother's favorite? You can have this at your graduation party, or even your baby's first birthday party. 

Or maybe your grandmother had a favorite gemstone, like a sapphire. Choose a necklace, bracelet, or earrings with a sapphire in it. You'll get a keepsake piece of jewelry that you'll treasure forever, and a beautiful way to honor and remember her. 

Another popular option is a favorite flower. Many people, both men and women, have particular flowers that they're drawn to. Include these in a bouquet, corsage, or boutionniere. Bridal bouquets with these flowers are always a good call, but you can also place them in table centerpieces at a party (including birthday parties and graduation parties!). 

-add a favorite flower to the event, even if it’s in the bouquet you give someone (like your child at their graduation) 

Acknowledge Their Loss 

As a parent, you can tell your child “Mom would be proud,” etc. keep their memory alive. It’s good to miss them- it means they were worth missing. Talking about them can help bring them close. 

Celebrate Your Progress & Happiness 

-this may sound selfish if you’re first grieving, but if you’re able to find happiness in your milestone, celebrate it and don’t feel guilty for doing so. Your loved one would have wanted you happy instead of in despair. Celebrate their memory and how they helped you get here, and be proud of yourself for getting here despite grief. 


No one wants to see life's biggest moments pass by without the people they love most at their side, but this is a devastating reality than many will face. Fortunately, taking the time to make sure that the person you lost is honored and remembered at the milestone will help you keep them with you in a beautiful way.  

Working through grief is a devastating process. For more tips on how to cope with grief (or how to help someone you love through the process), subscribe to our blog.