Looking for a unique way to commemorate a loved one who’s passed away? A funeral memory book might be just the thing. Get tips on how to make a memory book for a funeral below and create a keepsake to help you and your family with your loss.
What is a funeral memory book?
A funeral memory book is a collection of images and stories that’s put together to help you look back on the life of a loved one. They’re sometimes called memorial books. You can collect old photos and put them together with captions in the style of a scrapbook. Or you can get a funeral memory book put together professionally. However you decide to put one together it’s a good way of celebrating the life of a loved one who’s died. And it’s something you can look through again and again to help you remember the times you shared together.
How to create a memory book for a funeral
1. Decide on a DIY funeral memory book or a digital version
Before you put together a memory book for a funeral decide whether you’re going to make one yourself or if you’re going to make a digital copy to be professionally printed.
Not sure which to choose?
Are you comfortable digitising old photos and putting them together to create your funeral memorial book? Then going the digital route might be best for you. It can be a quick way of making a keepsake for other family members too because you can easily get more copies printed once it’s been put together.
But don’t worry if that feels like too much of a task. A scrapbook-style memory book for a funeral can be a more personal way of remembering your loved one. And you and other family members can add more photos to it whenever you like too. Once you’ve decided how to make a memory book you can start looking for everything you need to bring it altogether.
2. Gather photos to put in your funeral memory book
Take out your family photo albums or start looking through the photos on your phone. You’ll need to put together all the photos of your loved one and start narrowing it down to the ones that mean the most. What are your favourite images of them? The ones that mark a life event or remind you of a funny story?
Once you’ve collected all the photos that you’d like to put into your funeral memory book you might want to put them in chronological order or group them by life events. This will help you bring everything together.
If you’re putting together a digital memory book you may need to scan some old photos so you have digital copies. In fact, even if you’re making a scrapbook-style memory book you may want to scan your photos too. That way you can keep the originals safe and use the duplicate versions for your memory book for the funeral service.
3. What to write in a funeral memory book
The photos you’ve gathered for the funeral memorial book will trigger memories of your loved one. So it’s a great way to start writing down stories to be shared with other family members and friends. Ask them to get involved too, especially if they’re in the photos. If they’re happy to contribute, ask them to write down the story behind the photo. You might want to send them prompts to help them get started.
Here’s a few ideas:
- When was the date?
- Where were you at the time?
- What’s happening in the photo?
- What was the event?
- What can you remember talking about in the photo?
- What can you remember thinking and feeling at the time?
Keep in mind that not everyone will feel confident writing all of this down. So you could do the writing for them. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Remember that it’s all about capturing a memory about your loved one that celebrates their personality or what they achieved in their life.
4. What else can you add to your funeral memory book?
There are no rules about what you should or shouldn’t add to your memory book for the funeral. Aside from photos and stories you could also add notes about their career, their passions, or lyrics from their favourite song.
Here are a few more funeral memory book ideas that might help:
- Was your loved one ever featured in a newspaper or magazine? Include the clipping or a copy of it if possible.
- Who was their favourite writer? Include a quote that feels appropriate and add an image of them reading if you have one.
- Were they known for saying a certain phrase? Include a quote that you know will make close family members and friends smile.
- What would you like to say to them if they were still here? Ask family and friends to write their own messages to your loved one to include in the funeral memory book.
- Consider including their obituary and perhaps any poems or readings that’ll be read out at the funeral too. Often we’re not sure what to do with order of service booklets or sympathy cards that are left after the funeral. But adding them to your funeral memorial book is one way of making sure you can look back on the day if you want to.
5. Finalising your funeral memory book
Once you’ve gathered everything you need to make the memory book you may want to get multiple copies printed or decorate it with a personal message on the front. Keep in mind that you can ask other people who attend the funeral to add their own messages to it on the day. So you may want to leave some space for that. You could even ask them to bring their own photos to place into the book as a way of sharing their own memories of your loved one too.
How to make a virtual memory book for a funeral
Would you rather have an online memory book for the funeral? This doesn’t have to be as complicated as building your own online memorial. Instead you could ask friends and family to share their memories on social media. Share a photo online that reminds you of a fond memory with your loved one and ask those who attend the funeral to add their memories in the comments. It’s another way of remembering a loved one who’s passed away and can help you say goodbye in a way that suits you.
Funeral Choice is a free online directory that helps you find a funeral director. You can also visit more resources in our advice centre that’ll help you with funeral planning.
Photo by cottonbro studio.