The art of remembrance: How one man's surfboard became a touching tribute to the lives of thousands of people

    The "One Last Wave" project has provided solace to those grieving loved ones.

    (CNN)A funeral oration or an obituary is traditionally how we honor those who have died. But the way we remember loved ones is changing, as thousands of families turn to one project using TikTok and a surfboard.

    Since the death of his father, Tony Mendioroz dreamed of reuniting him with the place that he loved the most -- the ocean.
    Randy Mendioroz's life revolved around water. He was a specialist in building water parks, wave machines and swimming pools. The Mendioroz family were also regulars at the coast, growing up five minutes from some of San Diego's best beaches.
      "My dad was my hero," Mendioroz told CNN Sport. "He worked hard his whole life to give me and my family a great life."
        Randy passed away from liver cancer in 2013. Feeling lost, Mendioroz began to search for ways to feel a connection with his dad again. He found solace in the sea and surfing, but always felt it was an experience he should have shared with his father.
        "We did a lot together, I even worked for him for a while -- but we never experienced surfing together," says Mendioroz.
        So, when Mendioroz stumbled across a video of a man offering to grant Randy "one last wave," he jumped at the chance.
          Tony Mendioroz with his father Randy who both shared a love for the ocean in different ways.

          The healing power of the ocean

          The man behind the video was Rhode Island surfer, Dan Fischer. He too had lost his father, Karl Fischer, to cancer and had turned to the ocean to feel closer with him.
          After one unforgettable trip into the waves off the coast of Newport, with his father's name etched onto his surfboard, Fisher realized the potential healing power this simple activity could have when dealing with loss.
          "Through surfing ... I took him out there because he always loved the ocean and him and I were adventure buddies," Fischer told CNN Sport.
          "It was a sort of a prophetic moment I guess, I felt connected to him."
          'Adventure buddies' Dan Fischer and his father Karl were keen explorers.
          When he got back to the shore, Fischer posted a TikTok video, encouraging others dealing with grief to reach out and have the names of their lost loved ones written on his surfboard.
          The Mendioroz family were one of thousands of others who got in touch from around the world, sparking the beginning of the "One Last Wave Project."
          The project prompted Fischer to document each of his trips to the beach as names continued to cover his board.