OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

How to Remember the Dead

A website dedicated to giving ideas to help remember and incorporate the dead in significant milestones and celebrations.

Photo of RS86
4 3

Written by

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

My idea is designed for everyone, as everyone has or will lose a loved one. One of the worst parts about death is its finality. The thought that someone who played such an important role in your life will never be physically present again. The celebration of a significant milestone is particularly painful as you are more conscious that the special person is missing. My idea will help keep those who have passed apart of and present for the celebration of major milestones.

I lost my father suddenly, it was something my family never expected or saw coming. The suddenness and the way he died only serves to make our experience more traumatic. We are just shy of the one year anniversary of his death. I still struggle with it on a daily basis and spend a significant amount of energy wishing it away. The part that pains me the most, is feeling that he may be forgotten. If we spend all our time trying to "move on" then how can we remember them for all that they were? There has been many significant milestones in my family since he died, the birth of his granddaughter, my 30th birthday and Christmas just to name a few. I wanted to include him in some way, make his presence known and felt but just wasn't sure how to do it. It made me think that it would be helpful if there was a forum/website where people could contribute and exchange ideas on how best to honor and include the memories of their loved ones when celebrating significant milestones.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of Rob Sheffield

RS86, check out my idea in this same category: "I remember when...". See if you find some similar thinking. I do.

And I'm sorry about your father. It's bloody hard on everyone. And most of us aren't very good at dealing with these things. Why would we be, when the world seems to want to carry on as it was...?

Photo of Josh Benjamin

This is definitely a redesign of death, as it is commonly treated in America, at least. I'm inspired by the possibility of remembering the dead carrying a joyful tone, not only a somber or painful one.

Photo of Ken Rosenfeld

Thank you so much for sharing your story.  Honoring those who've played such an important role in our lives is both a daunting and inspiring task!  There have been a number of posts devoted to honoring those we love who've died -- constructing playlists that will outlive us (or, in memory of someone), performing a memorial ceremony in a Remembering Garden, and grade school curricula that incorporate "remembering" celebrations the way we currently celebrate birthdays.  Would love to hear more about what your father might want his own remembering ceremony to look like?

Photo of Shane Zhao

Thanks so much for sharing this idea with us RS86. Ken's idea, the The Remembering Garden: finding community and renewal while sharing grief touches on how we can remember loved ones through celebration and community. You'll be curious to check it out:) Here's also another idea that touches on remembrance: I Know Something About This