This page is for road crash victims affected by bereavement or injury, who want to:
- do something in remembrance of a person or people who died
- campaign for road safety, and connect with others who care too.
In remembrance of a person or people who died
As well as holding a memorial event such as a funeral, many bereaved road crash victims want to memorialise in other ways. You may feel you want a temporary or permanent memorial at the site of the crash, or in another public place near you, such as a park.
Brake's National Road Victim Service can help you find out any options, and also find out if there is a memorial to all road crash victims near you. Talk to your named caseworker.
Campaigning for road safety and connecting with others who care too
Some victims decide they want to speak about what happened to them, and campaign for road safety, with Brake. You may feel you want to do this, to raise awareness and help get changes needed. Some victims choose not to do this. It is a matter of personal choice.
If you think you want to speak out for safety, then Brake can be there for you, on your campaigning journey, helping in ways that provide support, get change and protect your wellbeing. We also help you connect with others who are seeking positive change too.
- Taking part in Road Safety Week, as one of our Road Safety Week community champions
- Talking about Brake and road safety in your community, for example to teachers or employers
- Campaigning for a particular change, either locally or nationally
Talk to our volunteer manager Lisa on 01484 683294 to tell us what you want to do and to get involved in what we are doing
For information and tools about campaigning, sign up to MyBrake.
Plant a rose in memory of your loved one
Brake's memorial rose garden is dedicated to the memory of people who have died in road crashes. Share stories of your loved one or create your own tribute.
Imogen Cauthery suffered serious brain injury when she was hit by a car driven by a distracted driver. She says that fundraising with Brake helped her rebuild her confidence after her injury and gives her a sense of purpose.
Other ways to honour a loved one's memory
A special place
You may want to set up a special place in your home where you can go to think about your loved one. This could include a photo of them and some flowers, or something else that you consider special.
You might choose to walk to a special place to remember your loved one, for example, a particular tree in a park.
Plan an event to celebrate their life
Planning an event provides an opportunity to talk about someone who has died and how you all want to remember or celebrate their life. Talking with other people can be very comforting.
You could plan to hold the event in a particular place that was important to your loved one, or to hold it on a special date next year such as their birthday or on the anniversary of the day they died.
Hold a memorial event in your home
You might decide to hold a small memorial event in your home. Talk to other people about what it feels right to do.
You might want to consider sharing memories, listening to music, reading out a poem, saying a prayer, or doing something else that has meaning to you all. Focus on your loved one’s life to decide what to do.
Think about what you are going to do after your event to help you support each other. One idea is to make and share a meal together. Perhaps include food that the person who died loved to eat.
Sharing memories online
You may want to invite friends and family to share memories and photos of the person who has died using private pages on social media, private group chats on messaging services, or a group email.
Hold a memorial event online
It is possible to use modern technology to gather people together in a virtual room to memorialise the person who has died and offer love and support to each other. Talk about this idea with people you love and decide if this is what you would like to do. For example, you could use Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime.
Some tips on planning an online event:
- Decide an agreed date and time and how long it will last.
- Find someone in your family, or a family friend or helper in your community, who is good with technology, to coordinate it and help everyone to join in.
- Plan what is going to happen and when. Send people the programme in an email so they know what to expect. For example, length of eulogies and who will read them out, any music you want to be played, or songs sung, or opportunities for people to say things or do things together or pray together.
- You may want to choose someone to lead the event. This could be someone within your family, a family friend, or a professional who normally leads an event, such as a funeral celebrant.
Making memories last
Here are some ideas that have been used by other people to memorialise their loved one who has died.
- Place a notice of your loved one’s death in a newspaper to honour their life. Perhaps make it longer by saying some of the things you loved about them and asking people to take the time to remember them at a certain time on a particular day.
- Write a eulogy (something you would normally read out) or poem that celebrates your loved one. When it is written you could email it to family and friends, or post it on social media, perhaps with a photo.
- Make a collage of photos of your loved one that you frame. Or post pictures, or a slide show, on a social media platform, for other people to view. If you don’t know how to do this, a friend may be able to help.
- Use an online music player, such as Spotify, to make play lists of your loved one’s favourite music, and share it with your friends.
- Make a memory box, containing things that remind you of your loved one, and that you would want any other members of your family to look at too. For example, trinkets, jewellery, postcards.
- Join an online tribute website, where you can put a star in a digital sky, or a flower in a digital garden.
- If you have a garden, make an area where you can remember the person who has died. For example, a place where you can sit, or where you can plant things, or where you could put an object such as a sculpture.
- Choose a small momento, such as an item of jewellery, that reminds you of your loved one, and choose to keep it close by or wear it.
- Create a piece of art or craft to express how you are feeling or remind you of your loved one. This could be a painting, a drawing, or something you make, for example out of clay or something you sew or knit. Some people write poetry, songs, create music or even a dance.
- Some people start a gratitude journal. Every day, for a length of time you decide, write down positive memories about your loved one’s life, or their personality, that you are grateful for.
The National Road Victim Service
0808 8000 401
Brake’s free support service if you are bereaved, seriously injured, or helping a road crash victim.
Meet your named caseworker. Call 0808 8000 401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org