Gathering Memories Others Have of your Loved One
When a loved one dies, we think about all the things that made that person special and important to us. Take this time, while family and friends are together, to gather together memories that others have of your loved one.
As time goes on, these memories will be there for you, to give you comfort, bring you smiles, and help heal your broken heart.
These ideas can be used at a viewing, funeral, memorial service, or any other place where friends and loved ones are gathered, and are especially important if there are children grieving the loss of a parent.
Lay out paper and pens on a table at the viewing or memorial service, along with a piece of paper that asks friends and family to share their memories with you. Here are a few ways to make this extra special:
- Use special stationary with designs that reflect the life and interests of your loved one.
- Decorate the table with favorite photographs and lay out memorabilia that was special to your loved one.
- Provide a spot where people can leave their letters, making it clear that you’d love to have them back as soon as possible.
- Otherwise, people, even with the best of intentions, may not get them back to you. If there is room, set up a few small tables to allow people to sit and write while they are there.
- Collect these memories into a Memorial Tribute Book using Mixbook or another online system, or a scrapbook with large sleeves for the letters. (Mixbook is an online system where you can add your special memories and photographs and invite others to do the same, then have it printed into as many books as you’d like.)
- Give close friends and family members copies of the memorial book you’ve created.
Share your memories
You have memories of your loved one that are shared by no other. Take a few minutes and write down some of your favorite memories to display. Here are a few ways to make this extra special:
- Select favorite photographs of your loved one that are related to the memories you have written down. Display them together for others to view.
- Tie your memories in with your loved one’s favorite memorabilia with the same idea, display them together.
- Ask others to add their own memories to what is already displayed.
Gather together those who were closest to your loved one and talk about some of your favorite memories. If there isn’t room in your home, you can ask the funeral home or your local church if they have a room available for you to use. Here are a few ways to make this extra special:
- Get a tape or ditigal recorder (or rent one) to record these stories. Then type the memories up for everyone later.
- Ask everyone to bring a favorite photograph to talk about, then make copies of the photographs for everyone.