Also see Tribute Albums, Memorial Poems, Grief Writing, Heritage Albums, Untimely Death, Scrapping Difficult Times, Baby Memorial Albums and Children Memorial Albums.
If tears could build a stairway,
and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you back again.
(adapted from a quote by John W. Hudnall)
I know it's difficult today to see beyond your sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
Look at what he left behind for you to see and hold and touch,
Your children that you love so very much,
he lives . . . in them.
Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones,
Speak them rather now instead.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
On a day of burial there is no perspective--for space itself is annihilated. Your dead friend is still a fragmentary being. The day you bury him is a day of chores and crowds, of hands false or true to be shaken, of the immediate cares of mourning. The dead friend will not really die until tomorrow, when silence is round you again. Then he will show himself complete, as he was--to tear himself away, as he was, from the substantial you. Only then will you cry out because of him who is leaving and whom you cannot detain.
It will be the little things
that you will remember,
the quiet moments,
the smiles, the laughter.
And although it may seem
hard right now,
it will be the memories
of these little things
that help to push
away the pain
and bring the smiles
I want to create a Tribute Album (8x10 black album) to be a tribute to all my relatives and friends that have passed away. I'm planning to do a one or two-page spread for each person. I want to include all information I can on this page including a copy of the funeral program, birth date, date of death, cause of death (for historical reasons), dried flowers from the funeral (just a habit of mine), location of burial, and any favorite memories I have of that person. (IADiana)
I did a few pages in my scrapbook for my father. I only have about six photos of him so I used the best one for my first page. I put his name and the dates on the same page.
The next two pages had the other photos, his obituary, and I had a rubber stamp of Psalm 13 that I did and mounted. I kept the mounts and borders very simple. I mounted the photos on silver card stock. I drew a line down the sides and across the bottom in silver. Each corner had a small square sticker where the lines intersected. Very tasteful and elegant. (Amy)
My MIL was a quilter and made all of the grandchildren quilts which she presented to them just before she died. I took pictures of the quilts and included them with the program and death notice. I also included two cards that I found especially inspirational.
On my Grandma's page I have a few pictures of her with the obit. I also have a copy of the eulogy my aunt shared. (hml)
When I did my brother's album I took all of the newspaper articles (he drowned) and copied them on acid free paper and put them in an album. I have the obituary and all of the sympathy cards sent to me. I used pocket pages for the cards so I can take them out easily and look at them. The first page I used a 5x7 picture of him and double matted it. The next pages I copied some hymns that were appropriate for the circumstances and put those in.
After the cards I made pages of him when he was younger and then did pages of my whole family. I put in our last family picture together too. I also included pictures of him at the funeral. I have pictures of the flowers people sent and journaled how my mom used his favorite fishing pole in his flowers for the casket.
I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do it. It's all about memories of that person and what they meant to you. (farmwifek)
My sister passed away very unexpectedly in September. She left behind a box of 54 years of photos from her life and her childrens' lives. They had no clue about the stories, or the people, in a majority of the photos. During the week of planning her memorial service, my other sister and I took those photos and created a memory album of her for her family (adult children and grandchildren). I cannot tell you how that experience has touched our lives and emphasized to me personally how imperative the Creative Memories message truly is.
Since there were hundreds of photos from all different parts of her life, we first sorted through the piles of photos for generalized categories. Rather than try to assemble them year-by-year, we grouped them by topic and used a format that was presented at National Convention last year. Thus we created Sharron's album, "This Gentle Lady . . . " with her 'beach portrait' (taken only a few weeks previously), as the title page. We started with baby pictures--"This Happy Baby . . . ", followed with "This Joyful Child . . . ", "This Spirited Teenager . . . ", "This Young Lady . . . ", "This New Bride . . . ", "This Loving Mother . . . ", "This Special Friend . . . ", "This Animal Lover . . . ", "This Garden Grower . . . ", "This Favorite Grandma . . . ", "This Loved Sister . . . ", and then closed the album with her 'beach portrait' again combined with a personalized prose.
With this type of layout, we could journal whenever we had the specific information or particular insight, add names/dates to the photos where we could, or just group photos according to topic if we "hadn't a clue" (just present the photo in context to the topic).
We spent the week while creating the album, surrounded by memories, laughing and crying and sharing our grief in such a healthy way that it truly enabled my sister and me to come to terms with Sharron's death in a very positive manner.
When my husband's brother died several years ago I made teddy bears out of his stretchy fabric shirts with this poem "I'm made out of clothes from someone so dear, Who from loving memory will always be here, So when you hug me up close to you, Just remember ____ loved you too!"
This would also work with flannel shirts or old suits. You could take a photo of each of the people with their bears and use scraps of the fabric (or color copies of it) to mat the photos.
(The info in the next three sections is from Nancy W. - aka scrapwiz)
Create a personalized memorial/remembrance scrapbook that celebrates a special person's journey into, through, and passing out of our lives. Record their lives in the pages of a scrapbook that will remind you and their loved ones what their life was like. Capture the experiences of this special person's lives, not just the events. Your scrapbook will become a treasure chest that gathers memories for you to keep and/or give as gifts to those you love.
Begin by using the handouts provided to make a list of things that are important to you and things you would like to put into your album.
"We're contacting special friends and family with an invitation to participate in a special remembrance book for ________. An album [and display] are being compiled with photos and notes of stories, special times, and memories from many of those who are/were dear to her/us.
Memory note: Enclosed is archival paper that fits on the album pages. Just write (front side only, please) about a fond memory, thought, poem you have of a time you and __________ shared or special things about him/her. We've enclosed an idea sheet to offer some ideas to get you thinking.
Option 1: Request for photo for baby or someone you may never have met: "If you can, please send a photo of yourself to include on the page with your memory note."
Option 2: Request f or photo for someone you've known: "If you can, please send a photo of you and ____________ together (4x6 preferred, but not essential). If you don't have one together, please send a photo of yourself to include on the page with your memory note. We'll also be happy to receive a good quality color copy (available at Kinko's, Staples, Office Depot, etc.) Enclosed is a post-it note for details: date, occasion, location, etc. If you don't have a photo, just your note will be most welcome."
Please return mail the note and photo to me in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope no later than [date] to give us plenty of time to put together the album. If you are on the Internet, feel free to email me any stories, poems or memories Otherwise you can mail them to me.
Thank you in advance for your support. This will be so meaningful to
Option l: us
Option 2: ____________ ['and his/her family', if appropriate].
Signed Your name; Address; Phone number; FAX number; Email address
"We're contacting special friends and family with an invitation to participate in a remembrance book for ________. A tribute album and display are being compiled with photos and notes of stories, special times, and memories from many of those who are dear to her.
"Memory note: Enclosed is archival paper which fits on the album pages. Just write (front side only, please) about a fond memory you have of a time you and __________ shared or special things about him/her.
"Photo: If you can, please send a photo of you and ____________ together (4x6 preferred, but not essential). We'll also be happy to receive a good quality color copy (available at Kinko's, Staples, Office Depot, etc.) Enclosed is a post-it note for details: date, occasion, location, etc. If you don't have a photo, just your note will be fine.
"Please return mail the note and photo to me in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope no later than [date] to give us plenty of time to put together the album. If you are on the Internet, feel free to email me any stories, poems or memories Otherwise you can mail them to me.
"Thank you in advance for your support. This will be so meaningful to ____________ ['and his/her family', if appropriate].
Christmas card list, plus family members, schoolmates and teachers, friends, service professionals (hospital, etc.)
On the inside cover, last page, or back cover, write a dated special note (and photo if you wish) from you, the SB creator. Tell why you created this SB, for whom, and what your hopes for it are.
To Elizabeth and Ray, Rachel's mommy and Daddy: Wishing you peace, comfort, and special memories. Love, Nancy
I have given many gifts and I suspect I will give many more before my life is through. Some will be simple, some extravagant. Some will be unusual, but not all will be unique. There is only one gift in all the world that can be given by me alone and is truly unique. That is the gift of memories -- captured, presented, and passed on to the people who loved __________.
Each page is a reflection of the lives he/she led, the love he/she shared, the lessons he/she/we learned, and the memories we cherish. It is also a reminder of the worth of each family member and the roots they carry with them.
It is the story of everyday existence. I dedicate this book to ________, with the hope that the past will never be forgotten.
"I remember when _________"
Introduce your subject through a bio-poem. (See Journaling a Child's Album.)
I did one for my mother-in-law, who died after a sudden stroke. I did it on black pages, very minimal decoration, using the silver pen to journal. She had left her photos organized in files, so it was easy to pick and choose them, then ask the family to help give specifics about the photos. The process of putting it together gave us something to focus on, and was a source of good memories for everyone. It is really hard to know what to do with yourself in the first days after an unexpected death.
On the first page, I used a formal 5x7 portrait of her, surrounded by her name and birth year-death year. I grouped the photos as Daughter (baby pics), Sister (childhood with her brother), Student (School photos), Wife (wedding and early marriage), Mother (with her two sons), Career Woman (on the job), Musician, Animal Lover, and Friend. I did a two-page spread for each role that she played, and included some songs and poems she had written.
The final page contained the last picture on the role of film that was in her camera when she died--a beautiful rainbow over her house. I signed it "With love, great admiration, and fondest remembrance of a life well-lived."
We put it out at the memorial service, and people just loved it. Most of them didn't know about all the things she had accomplished in her life, and the album just hit the highlights. We color copied it for her brother, my husband, and his brother, and left the original with her husband.