Preserving photos is a beautiful way to honor and memorialize a loved one. That’s why many people choose to create a photo album, or memorial scrapbook, to present at a loved one’s funeral. Traditional scrapbooking is a time-consuming art. It can feel like a bit too much to tackle during a period of grief. But putting together a simple album, without all the extra design elements, can be a peaceful and therapeutic pastime while preparing for a loved one’s memorial service. Here are the steps to creating a memorial scrapbook in honor of a deceased loved one.
Gather Photos from Friends and Family
Whether you make a few phone calls or start an email thread, the first step to creating a memorial scrapbook is to gather photos from others. You may have a great number of photos of your loved one already, but reaching out to friends and family is a great way to gather photos you might not have seen before. Check social media sites as well. Even if your loved one did not actively use them, he or she has likely been featured in the photo albums of your family and friends. As you gather the photos, take the opportunity to share favorite memories of your loved one. You might even learn something new about him or her.
Decide on a Structure
Before you begin putting together your memorial scrapbook, it’s a good idea to decide on a structure. Do you want to arrange all photos chronologically by date? Or would you rather divide it by category, with sections such as family, friends, church and career? If you’re not sure, it’s also an option to simply compile the photos without any plan at all. After all, it’s the photos themselves that will make the album special, not the order they’re put in. Don’t stress too much about including photos from every part of your loved one’s life. Capturing someone’s entire life in one photo album is not a realistic goal.
Assemble the Album
There are a few options for putting together your memorial scrapbook. First, you could start with a simple photo album equipped with slots to insert each photo. These are available at most craft stores and are easy to assemble. If you want to make your album a little more intricate, however, a second option is to use a more traditional scrapbook format. With this type of album, you will glue each individual photograph (and any embellishments) onto sheets of scrapbook paper. Third, if the process of putting together a physical album feels like too much right now, consider using an online service (such as Shutterfly) that will put together and print the photo album for you.
Let Go of Perfection
Creating a memorial scrapbook is about honoring your loved one’s memory – not creating a perfect keepsake. Try not to get too caught up in the little details. Focus instead on the wonderful memories you are preserving. If putting together the album is simply too much in the immediate aftermath of your loved one’s passing, consider putting aside the project until a later date. Place the photos you’ve gathered into a box and keep them for when you’re ready to begin the project again.
Whatever you decide to create in honor of your loved one, the process of creating a memorial scrapbook should be therapeutic in your journey of grief. Instead of stressing over creating the perfect memorial, take the time to reflect on the fondest memories of your loved one.
If you are planning a funeral service for a loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, Bevis Funeral Home has a variety of resources available to assist you during this difficult time. You can also give us a call at (850) 385-2193 to speak with one of our expert funeral directors or send us a message here.