Have you recently lost a loved one?
Are you looking for interesting memorial book ideas?
Would you like to personalize a memorial book?
The Importance of a Funeral Memory Book
There’s a saying that goes something like this: the only times we see all of our family are at weddings and funerals. And with how widespread today’s families can sometimes be, this may be the case today more than ever before.
Creating a funeral memory book—when your family is all gathered together—can be a great opportunity to collect memories that may have been long forgotten, or memories that only a few may know about. In fact, your local funeral home or funeral director may offer the creation of a memorial book as part of their traditional services. A memorial guest book is most commonly offered by funeral homes. And some companies now offer electronic memorial books that take the information in a typical memorial book and present it in a digital or video format.
Starting a Blank Memorial Book
As with any project, it can be tough to know where to start, especially if you’re still going through the grieving process. If you don’t feel inclined to create a memorial book on your own, you can find many books off the shelf or online that will get you started. These books often prompt you on what to write and/or add to each page. You can also create a memorial book from online program templates.
If you do feel ready to create a book of memories on your own or start one that others can add to, here are some things you may want to include.
- Photographs of your loved one during different periods of his/her life
- Stories to go along with the photos
- Mementos that have been collected or saved
- Stories that don’t have any photos or mementos to go with them
- Their favorite things
- Messages from family and friends
- Quotes, poems, songs, scripture, etc. that were meaningful to your loved one
- Sketches or drawings
- Important documents
- Holy cards
- And much more!
Once you’ve collected all of the items, it’s time to begin organizing your tribute. Decide on the size of your book and the number of pages. If you plan to have the book printed, you may want to check with a printer first. They typically bind books that have certain page counts (e.g., multiples of four). You may want to have a special cover created or you may want to decorate the covers individually. The choice is up to you, and it may depend on what would best represent the lifetime and memory of your loved one.
How Funeral Attendees Can Contribute to a Memorial Book
Since the dawn of time, we’ve always taken the time to memorialize the people who have gone before us. And it’s been an innate human need to want to be remembered for our life here on earth. Ultimately, a funeral memory book can be a great celebration of life and a permanent way to capture and tell a story—your loved one’s story.
What better way to honor a loved one than by sharing a memory spent together? Creating a funeral memory book gives funeral service attendees the chance to take part in creating the memories themselves. Instead of a book being created by one person or a small group of family members, guests have a chance to add personal input toward the final product.
A memory book is truly a random collection of stories and items of significance that can help us recall the meaning of a person’s presence in our lives. That’s why capturing thoughts and memories that may seem small or even insignificant today can become highly treasured stories tomorrow. Here are some things that people often share about a lost loved one.
- Happy times
- Something they learned from the deceased
- A special memory shared
- Challenges / struggles
- Awards / recognitions
- Highs and lows
- Funny stories
- Standout moments
- Anything significant (or insignificant)
Try creating a memory board or quote board where family members can post special thoughts about your loved one. You may want to have paper and pen ready to allow friends and family members to contribute their thoughts and memories of the deceased.
Instead of just giving out a funeral program or having people sign a guest book, you can also ask people to bring an item to contribute toward the memory book. These items can be displayed for all to see on a memory table at the life celebration. If someone has an item they’d rather not part with, they can bring it to the memorial and then take a photograph of the item to provide for the memory book.
Unique Memorial Book Ideas
How we choose to remember a loved one with a memorial book can be as unique as each individual. Think about their hobbies and interests as well as what made them happy. Whatever made your loved one a special and unique person is what you can focus on as a theme for your memorial book. Here are a few unique ideas for memorial books.
- Collect donations for a charity that was meaningful to your loved one.
- Add a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds with each memorial book.
- Keep notes regarding those who brought a meal, flowers, helped the family through this difficult time, made a donation, etc. This is also a great way to send memorial cards as a kind gesture to say thank you.
- Add a map of their travels and everywhere they have lived.
- And more!
Future Uses for Memorial Service Books
Once your memorial book is complete, you may want to make printed copies so that all of your loved ones can share in holding a permanent memory of the deceased. Memorial books can be a loving memory and an item of comfort to the bereaved as they are dealing with loss. They can feel free to display the keepsake book and peruse through the pages to reminisce whenever they wish as a way to confront painful emotions.
Surviving family members and friends will appreciate having this touching memorial in their possession. Little ones and even future generations who didn’t know the deceased well can have the story of a life in their hands in order to know where they’ve come from. Newer generations and future descendants will benefit from knowing the history of their family and how they came to be where they are today.
Digitizing Your Memory Book
While some people do prefer a physical printed memorial book in their hands, you may want to opt for a more modern approach of remembrance for other family members. A memorial or tribute website, such as Lastly.com, will help you create an online memorial for your loved one. A digital memory book can be a great comfort as well as an item of convenience for many grieving family members.
Online memorials offer the opportunity to be looked at in the privacy of one’s own home. It can also be a place where family and friends can continue to add to your loved one’s story. Perhaps in someone’s grief they forgot an important story. Instead of feeling like they missed an opportunity to include the story, they can simply add to the living memorial online.
And taking digitization a step further, you can have your memorial service book digitized and saved to a headstone microchip. The headstone microchip is one modern innovation that takes memorial books to a new level by inserting a microchip into your loved one’s headstone. The chip, which is compatible with most electronic devices, allows gravesite visitors to access your loved one’s story directly on their mobile device.
So, however you choose to memorialize your loved one and a life well-lived, be sure to make it unique and personal. Your loved one lived a wonderful and special life. And by celebrating their life, you can be sure that they will be remembered for it.