Make a tribute book

Capture the meaningful moments from a difficult time

By Stacey Lamb
Remembering a loved one

I recently took part in a grief-counseling group, and a woman who had lost her husband to cancer inspired me. To ease her pain in the weeks following her husband’s death, she printed out and collected all the emails she’d sent to and received from friends, family and even caregivers during the last year or so of his life. In essence, she created her own healing book.

It was a tribute not only to her husband but also to the loving relationships they had maintained—and the new ones they had formed—during this tragic chapter of their life. Toward the end of our ten-week session, she would sometimes read from this book, and it was wonderful to see the strength it gave her.

Scrapbook materials

If this idea inspires you to create a tribute book in memoriam of a lost loved one, here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep it simple. Go ahead and paste entire emails onto a page—or to give them a more decorative feel, style them using a font you like or print in a larger size. Photo corners are another easy way to mount messages.
  • Make it meaningful. Include special cards, letters, notes and other correspondence. You can also add photographs you especially like and any poems or passages that may have given you or your loved one comfort.
  • Pass it on. Your correspondence with a close friend who has passed away can be a treasured gift for her loved ones. Make a small tribute book with copies of appropriate notes and emails. When the time is right, give it to her family as a joyful reminder of her cherished friendship.

Stacey Lamb is a consulting artist at Hallmark but likes to say she is a master doodler and professional dreamer. When she is not getting used to being a brand-new empty nester, she spends time volunteering with homeless families and taking care of her 15 barn kitties.


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