Gifts to Remember a Lost Loved One

It’s important to remember that holidays can be difficult for those who have experienced loss.  Holidays that involve lots of family activities like Christmas and Thanksgiving can be painful reminders of those missing from the festivities.  And holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be especially trying for those who have lost their only child or for those who have lost a parent.   Crash anniversaries near a holiday can add extra challenges with traumatic memories that are impossible to ignore.

Friends and family often want to help, but don’t know how.  Every family and every situation is different, but for some, a gift that shows you acknowledge, remember, and/or celebrate those who are gone can be very appreciated and even healing.

MADD Tennessee has put together a list of a few gift ideas that you may find helpful.  Some can be purchased.  Some are homemade which may add extra significance to your effort.  Click the pictures below for links to each object. (Pinterest is also a good place to search for additional memorial gift ideas.)  In addition, the MADD store is an option for purchasing MADD logo items.


mother of an angel

This sterling silver necklace which can serve as a beautiful representation of a child that has been lost, is available from


Many of your favorite stores and jewelers offer pieces in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be engraved with names and/or dates or even special messages for a truly personal gift.


necklace with loved ones writing

This necklace, found on Etsy from a shop called Surfing Silver, prints jewelry in a loved one’s own handwriting.  Several styles and pieces are available from this vendor as well as others on Etsy.  They include necklaces, rings, and bracelets.  Prices and styles can vary.


locket with handwriting

Also from Surfing Silver, this locket can be personalized with handwriting and hold treasures like a lock of hair or other small momento.  Comes in 3 choices of color.


signature ring

This vendor, CaitlynMinimalist, also on Etsy, turns loved one’s signature’s into rings and other jewelry.  Additionally, they can  turn drawings into jewelry.


Cremation necklace

These unique pieces, Cremation Jewelry Artglass by Tammy, can be ordered through several funeral homes in the area.  The vendor takes a small portion of a loved one’s ashes to incorporate into the glass pendant.  A wide variety of colors, designs, sizes, and prices are available.



Carrie Bears with someone wearing shirt to match bear

Carrie Bears will take a shirt, blanket, or other article of clothing and convert into a 20″ stuffed bear for you.



If you are brave enough, you can make your own stuffed toy from a loved one’s clothing or other special fabric.  Click the photo above for instructions.  You can also add a sweet poem tag that says, “This is a shirt I used to wear and when you hold it know I am there…”

turn anyone into plush

This company, Budsies, takes photos and converts them into 16″ plush dolls.



shirt into pillow

If stuffed animals seem a bit too complex to make, click the photo above for instructions on a simpler homemade project:  a pillow out of shirts or special clothing.  Again, the poem tag can also be added.

pillow shirts by Kathy's Krafts

If you’re not that crafty to make one yourself, this Tennessee crafter will make a pillow out of clothing for you.  Kathy Woodall can be reached at 615-394-3525 or click the photo above for a link to her Facebook page at Kathy’s Krafts.

This gorgeous quilt was made out of t-shirts from a lost loved one.  If you’re not a quilter, local artisan, Kathy Woodall can make one for you.  Contact her at 615-394-3525 or on her Facebook page at Kathy’s Krafts.

memory windchimes

These wind chimes, by Comfort Company, come with a pre-printed verse on the front of the wooden sail which can be engraved on the back with a more personalized message such as a name, date, quote, or phrase.  The company offers additional chime designs, garden stones, and garden benches, as well.



The Gift of a Memory book

This book is available at several major book retailers.  It includes a fill-in-the-blank format to personalize the story and a journal as well.



Dad's note tattoo

Many tattoo artists now can take notes, signatures, or other handwriting samples of loved ones and convert them into tattoos.  This option represents a more non-traditional gift in the sense that it may not be something you can purchase, wrap, and hand to the recipient.  However, victims may want to consider a purchase like this for themselves or friends/family might offer this gift as a suggestion at the giver’s expense.


* MADD is not affiliated with or in partnership with any retailer listed here, nor does inclusion in this list indicate MADD’s endorsement of a product.  MADD’s purpose in providing the above information is in serving our victims with resources that may be useful, helpful, or provide healing.