There are lots of reasons you may want to know how to wear a memorial bracelet. You may want to remember an event like the September 11 attacks or the Vietnam War, draw attention to a particular disease, such as breast cancer or Alzheimer’s, show support to a movement or cause such as Black Lives Matter or Disabled Veterans.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Are Memorial Bracelets?
- Do You Wear a Memorial Bracelet on Your Right or Left Wrist?
- When Do You Take a Memorial Bracelet Off?
- How Do You Clean a Memorial Bracelet?
- How Do You Increase the Life of a Memorial Bracelet?
- What Are Other Tips About Wearing a Memorial Bracelet?
Finally, you may choose to wear a memorial bracelet as a way of remembering loved ones. Wearing a bracelet will give you a continuous reminder of how important this person was in your life, as well as remind others of the person or pet you lost.
Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, deciding how best to memorialize them may not be the only cause of stress. Handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
What Are Memorial Bracelets?
Memorial bracelets come in many different styles. The most popular ones are silicone bracelets that can be easily customized. You can also purchase metal memorial bracelets engraved with words or an image.
But the bracelet’s style is not as important as its meaning. Wearing a memorial bracelet tells others that you lost someone, suffered from something or feel strongly about an event or cause.
Do You Wear a Memorial Bracelet on Your Right or Left Wrist?
Generally, it doesn’t matter whether you wear your memorial bracelet on your right or left wrist. It’s your personal preference or comfort that matters.
Sometimes right-handed people prefer to wear bracelets on their left wrist unless they are wearing a watch.
When Do You Take a Memorial Bracelet Off?
When or whether you take off your memorial bracelet is also based on personal preference. Some people choose to leave their bracelets on all the time. Since many bracelets are made from comfortable, waterproof materials, it is possible to do so without any loss of comfort.
Others may take off their bracelets to sleep or shower, just as they would take off other pieces of jewelry.
Even if you intend to keep the memorial bracelet on indefinitely, there may be times when it’s necessary to take off the bracelet. For example, if you are wearing a metal bracelet, you will need to take it off when going through security checkpoints with metal detectors. You may also have to take off the bracelet if you are admitted to the hospital.
What Do You Say When Someone Asks You About Your Bracelet?
If you wear your bracelet every hour of the day, someone will inevitably ask you about it. You shouldn’t be surprised or upset by the question if you are wearing the bracelet in a manner that others can see it. In fact, if you don’t want to be asked about the bracelet, consider wearing a necklace or another piece of jewelry that’s easier to hide.
However, when someone asks you about your bracelet:
- You may have successfully drawn attention to a cause. You may have just opened the discussion to an important topic, from brain cancer to honoring prisoners of war.
- Sharing these stories may help others. They may donate to a charity, start wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, or get a colonoscopy.
- Wearing a memorial bracelet may also help you make connections with others. Perhaps others will see you wearing a purple pancreatic cancer awareness bracelet and will share their dad’s struggle with the disease. Or maybe someone will feel more comfortable sharing her story with you if she sees that you also lost a baby.
You may also need to be prepared to be able to discuss your bracelet with children. They are usually the most curious about such things and may ask you about the words or the significance of your jewelry. Try to come up with a truthful but age-appropriate way to tell your story.
How Do You Clean a Memorial Bracelet?
A site that specializes in silicone bracelets suggests three different ways to clean these products.
- The first method suggests that you remove the bracelet and place it in a bath of warm water and dishwashing soap. After the bracelet has soaked for a few minutes, gently scrub it with a soft brush. After the visible dirt is removed, rinse the band and pat it dry.
- The second method is for dirtier bracelets. The company suggests that you place the wristband in hot water that includes a mild liquid soap. Leave the band in the solution for several minutes. If you still see dirt or stains on the bracelet, use a sponge to scrub off the silicone. Once the dirt is removed, rinse it and cold water and pat it dry.
- The third method gives special instructions on how to remove dirt from the embossed letters or design. The company recommends that you wrap a cuticle stick in some cotton to remove the dirt found in the bracelet’s crevices. Care should be taken so you do not puncture or damage the bracelet.
How Do You Increase the Life of a Memorial Bracelet?
Even though plastic memorial bracelets look indestructible, they do break at times. Here are some tips for keeping your memorial bracelet from breaking or staining.
Don’t sleep while wearing your bracelet
If you intend to wear your bracelet every hour of the day, you may want to compromise and only wear it every waking hour. No material lasts forever. Even the most mild-mannered sleeper may snag or stretch the bracelet while sleeping.
Avoid unnecessary stretching
You may reduce the length of its life if you fidget with your bracelet. Those who continually remove and replace the bracelet or who absentmindedly stretch the bracelet out of habit will need to replace it periodically.
Avoid direct sunlight
Placing your bracelet on the dash of your car may cause damage to it. If you are storing your bracelet, do so out of direct sunlight.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Remove your bracelet if you are going to be cleaning with harsh chemicals. Some cleaning products or chemicals can alter the color of the bracelet.
What Are Other Tips About Wearing a Memorial Bracelet?
Consider purchasing several bracelets at once if you want to wear a memorial bracelet for the rest of your life. Even though silicone bracelets look indestructible, they break. If you had to pay to customize a bracelet, it would be cheaper for you to purchase several at once as opposed to making a new order each time a bracelet breaks.
You may also consider purchasing a dressier version as well as an everyday version of the bracelet. Wearing a plastic bracelet on formal occasions may not be appropriate. If you have a gold or silver version of the memorial bracelet, this will allow you to maintain your message and look good at the same time.
How Do You Remember?
There are many things you can do in memory of a loved one. You can wear a locket with your loved one’s picture or a lock of hair. You can carry a pocket token that reminds you of your mom’s love of flowers or your dad’s infatuation with airplanes. Perhaps you can choose a keychain that is engraved with a loved one’s name.
Whatever item you choose to memorialize your loved one is up to you. There is no time limit on how long you should wear your breast cancer awareness bracelet after your mother dies. There’s also no time limit on grief.
When you first start wearing a memorial bracelet, it may make you sad. You may cry every time you see the bracelet because you will be continually reminded of why you are wearing it. But later, your bracelet may become as commonplace to you as your wedding ring or watch. Periodically, something will draw your attention to your bracelet. It will cause you to pause and remember.
George Eliot said, “She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.”
Wear your bracelet as a lasting companion to help you remember.
- “How to Keep Your Rubber and Silicone Wristbands Clean.” Wristband Creation. wristbandcreation.com/keep-rubber-silicon-wristbands-clean/#:~:text=Method%201%3A%20You%20will%20need,silicon%20with%20the%20soft%20brush.