7 Beautiful Legacy Project Ideas for Loved Ones Who Have Passed to Inspire Your Own
Perhaps the hardest truth to accept about death is how absolutely finite it is. Your loved one was a shining light in your life and now…they’re not. Surely, this can’t be the end of their story, you might think. There must be something more, some way to keep them alive, in some tangible or even ethereal way.
The question is, how do we keep our loved ones alive after they die? The answer lies in the legacy they left behind. You can help your loved one’s story live on by creating a legacy project. But first, let’s get on the same page about what a legacy is.
What is a legacy?
Legacy is one of those words with a layered definition. That’s because its meaning is unique to each individual. For some, leaving a legacy means to entrust a sum of money or property to someone in a will. For others, their family or their business could be their legacy. Speaking plainly, a legacy is something we create that outlives us.
You will be defined by your legacy. It will guide how you will be remembered and celebrated Perhaps even more importantly, however, is that once you set the intention of leaving a legacy, you begin to live with meaning and purpose.
What are legacy projects?
A legacy project is a mission or initiative to honor the life of your loved one and share their story. Here are 7 ideas for legacy projects from Eterneva customers to help inspire your own.
1. Start a nonprofit organization
After losing her beautiful daughter to a drunk driver, Danette is on a mission to share Ally’s story—one painted rock at a time. All over the world, the AllyRocks405 team tucks these little gems in the most unexpected places to spread kindness and awareness about the perils of drunk driving.
“There are enough organizations out there working to change the laws. I just want to keep Ally’s memory alive, and for people to be more socially aware of their decisions.” - Danette G.
2. Publish their work
After Marco’s playwright husband, Jon, passed away, Marco and a handful of Jon’s colleagues and close friends published a collection of his work called Seven Plays. Each piece in the anthology has themes that engage contemporary social issues, gay and ethnic identity, and family dynamics—all of which Jon was a passionate advocate. Jon’s work is still being produced and performed today!
“There are people who go their whole lives and never experience this kind of companionship. I’m so lucky that I got to meet my half and that I got to spend fifteen years with him. I think that sharing his story is a way for me to remember him and keep him alive somehow.” - Marco P.
3. Recreate their memories
From being her mother’s proxy throughout her entire cancer journey to becoming an advocate for lung cancer awareness, Lizzie has dedicated her life to living her and her mom’s shared legacy, which includes an incredible photo recreation project. Lizzie’s mom was a model when she was young, and Lizzie selected fifteen of her original photos to recreate.
“I totally feel connected and closer to my mom when I recreate the photos. When I share them, people think it’s wonderful because they get to see her again—in her glory. It’s an honor to recreate her image.” - Lizzie B.
4. Start a business
Inspired by the confidence her beloved dog, Hannah, instilled in her, Candace summoned the courage to start her own marketing agency. She named it Wise Wolf, in honor of her Alaskan Malamute-mix, and moves forward with the mission of fusing marketing expertise with a people-first approach. She believes each client is unique, with specific goals and challenges, so she takes the time to truly understand their goals and craft tailor-made marketing strategies.
“As I grow in my different pursuits in life, whether it’s my Wise Wolf agency or something still on the horizon, I hope that she’s never forgotten. When people ask why I named my business Wise Wolf, I love that I get to share her story with them.” - Candace N.
5. Continue their adventure
Alyx and her dad, Dave, bonded during outdoor adventures. They loved skiing, snowboarding, and hiking; and planned to climb Mt. Whitney one day. Sadly, Dave passed away before they managed to fulfill their adventure bucket list. In his honor, Alyx set out solo to climb the mountain where she scattered her dad’s ashes at the summit.
“After my dad passed, I felt the draw to do something big. I remembered our conversation about climbing Mt. Whitney, and so at midnight, I set out on our journey. Altitude sickness aside, it was a really beautiful, transformative experience.” - Alyx C.
6. Start a grant
When Devon’s dad, Rudy, passed away from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease—a rare and fatal illness that affects one in one million people per year—she and her family set out to raise awareness and raise funding for medical research so doctors can learn more about CJD and hopefully, someday, develop a cure. They set up the Rudy Wolter Memorial Grant, and met their goal of $10,000.
“We’re probably the only people in our lifetime who we will know to be affected by CJD. But if we can help one family recognize the warning signs, or to comfort them and share best practices for things like telling your loved one it’s okay to go… we will have done what we set out to do.” - Devon W.
7. Make an Eterneva Diamond
A memorial diamond is an everlasting way to honor a loved one’s legacy. By growing a diamond from the carbon in their ashes or hair, you can create a one-of-a-kind, tangible representation of the life they led and the legacy they left behind. What makes an Eterneva Diamond even more special is that it becomes a beautiful family heirloom that can be passed down through generations, so everyone will know your loved one’s story and the indelible impact they had on the world.
Eterneva: A Legacy Project
Did you know that Eterneva began as a legacy project?
Upon losing her dear friend and mentor, Tracey, Eterneva Co-founder Adelle Archer was looking for a new way to memorialize a remarkable life. After finding the memorial options for ashes to be underwhelming, she and partner Garrett Ozar set out to create a more meaningful experience, one grounded in the concept of reconnecting with your loved one.
Pioneering the Eterneva Diamond Journey herself gave Adelle an opportunity to design the experience she wanted to have—and share with others. She chose to have Tracey’s ashes made into a black Diamond to capture her sparkling spirit and unwavering tenacity. Now, Tracey’s legacy continues to shine bright as Eterneva helps others to find brightness and meaning in loss.
“It's in Tracey's honor that I'm working to help thousands of families preserve their own loved ones' legacies.” - Adelle Archer, Co-founder & Co-CEO
A Lasting Impact
We want our loved ones to be remembered, for their lives to have value and meaning, ideally one we can interact with and share with others. We want their legacy to last forever, and to continue making an impact. As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to honoring your loved one’s remarkable life. Just as legacies are unique to each individual, so, too, are legacy projects.
Whatever you decide to do for your legacy project should hold incredible meaning for you, and serve as a way to continue your bond with your loved one. We hope that this article has been inspirational as you embark on your own journey of honoring that person or pet who made an unforgettable impact on your life.