By Diana Gardner-Williams

Your pain is a reflection of your love for those who have made the journey to another place. It may feel as though part of you has left with them. We never want to part with the memories; we hold them close in many different ways. That’s where creating a scrapbook can help.

Some memories are captured on film or video, handwriting found in journals, cookbooks or calendars, and personal clothing, hair or jewelry. When a loved one passes away, family members usually gather favorite pictures of the deceased to display at the funeral or wake. Sometimes pictures are adhered to large poster boards in a collage and placed on an easel for all the guests to view. This activity is a form of scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking is an increasingly popular activity today; however, this craft has been practiced for a very long time. Scrapbooking allows people to select favorite pictures, tell a story by journaling, and embellish pages with memorabilia significant to the deceased, and to the person creating the scrapbook. Memorabilia may include poems, recipes, plane tickets, or anything that conveys the message of your scrapbook page.

The word scrapbooking may intimidate some who think of it as an elite craft for creative minded people. “Remembering” is a simpler word to describe scrapbooking. Ask yourself: What do I want to remember? What do I want those in the future to know about the deceased? There are certain events that only you and the loved one have had the pleasure of experiencing together. This is your opportunity to document it in a unique and special way.

You can pour yourself into your pages so that when people view this tribute, they also feel as though you are telling a story. Your personality, your handwriting, and your favorite pictures placed in a certain way will make your scrapbook dedication unique. It is not just the pictures themselves, but also the presentation and perspective of the person telling the story. You are memorializing your love and in turn, your love will be interpreted by another person in the future.

After some time of scrapbooking at your own leisure, you will develop your own style whether it is organic and free flowing or more structured and organized. There are no rules, of course. The only concern is using products that are lignin and acid free to preserve your pages for a longer period of time.

As you prepare your scrapbook, you will be able to explore in depth your emotions. If you never truly had the chance to vocalize your feelings in person, take this time to reconnect with those thoughts. It is never too late to express love and gratitude. Keep a journal close by to jot down anything that comes to mind. We need to continue living and we need to find a way to heal from our losses. Scrapbooking gives us that outlet by allowing us to preserve our loved one’s legacy in a positive and productive manner without having their physical bodies present.

To learn more about Diana Gardner-Williams and her work, visit

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Diana Gardner-Williams

Diana Gardner-Williams is the mother of son, two early pregnancy losses and one stillbirth. Nearly three years after losing her stillborn son Tanner, Diana set out to provide a creative outlet for parents to acknowledge and preserve the legacy of their angel babies. Diana is owner and founder of Just a Cloud Away Inc. ( support website providing specialty remembrance kits, memory garden tutorials, keepsake crafts and inspirational articles and ideas to help families grieving the loss of their baby. Diana is also Professional Landscape Designer who has a passion for developing Memory/Remembrance Gardens to help those grieving the loss of a loved one. Diana also speaks on topics of pregnancy and infant loss, memory and reflective gardens, garden design and scrapbooking loss.

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