Paying Respects to the Deceased With a Memory Book

Updated on July 17, 2020
Abby Slutsky profile image

Abby Slutsky created a memory book when a loved one died. It is a wonderful way to share your respect if you cannot attend a funeral.

This cover includes a title with the name of the departed.
This cover includes a title with the name of the departed.

Why Create a Memory Book?

Gathering to console relatives and showing respect for the departed has always been a tradition. However, COVID-19 has put a damper on paying your respects in the flesh. Some choose to host virtual services to remember their loved ones, and others are having very simple ceremonies with limited attendees.

While surviving relatives and friends may get some closure, it is challenging to give them the same support they would have had before the pandemic. Creating a memory book may be the ideal way to provide support if you or others cannot attend a funeral but still want to make a grieving spouse, child, or parent feel less isolated.

Steps for Creating a Memory Book

A memory book recognizing the good times and memorable moments in a loved one's life is not hard to make. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Reach out to friends and family requesting pictures and stories.
  2. Create a cover.
  3. Write a note to the recipient in the beginning of the book telling them that you hope the book will bring them comfort.
  4. Start with a page about the deceased's favorite things.
  5. Organize pictures and put them next to appropriate stories.
  6. Create a page with any additional information you want to include.
  7. Make a table of contents.
  8. Bind the book.

1. Reach Out to Friends and Family to Ask for Pictures and Stories

Send brief notes or emails to friends and family indicating that the deceased has died. State that the funeral is very limited, but that you would love it if everyone could send you a brief story or picture featuring the deceased. Let each person know that you recognize that they might not have a photo but to send whatever they can.

You may be surprised at the number of photos and stories you receive. If possible, ask everyone to identify the year the photo was taken or when the event in the story took place. Provide a designated time to send the information. Some people might not put titles on their stories so, if necessary, create your own.

2. Create a Cover for the Book

When I made a memory book, I called it "A Walk Down Memory Lane." I mentioned my father's name and the dates of his birth and death. If desired, you can include a picture on the cover.

3. Write an Opening Page Note to the Recipient

Include some heartfelt comments that will let the recipient know that everyone shares their grief and loss. Possible things to mention include:

  • We wanted you to have a book to remember (insert departed's name).
  • We hope this book brings comfort and jogs fond memories.
  • We wanted you to enjoy some pictures you may not have to remind you about all the good times with (insert deceased's name).

4. Create One Page or More Listing the Departed's Favorite Things

Some ideas include:

  • Favorite color
  • Favorite food
  • Favorite hobby
  • Favorite place
  • Favorite season
  • Favorite sayings

If you do not know the answers, ask friends and family to help out. They will be happy to contribute. If no one knows the answers, leave a blank and let the recipient fill in the information. If you choose, give the recipient a pretty pen with the book.

5. Organize the Photos and Stories

Some pictures may naturally complement a story. If some of the pictures do not seem to go with any stories, create a few pages with captioned pictures. The recipient will not mind if the book is interspersed with pictures that do not relate to a particular story. I organized pictures chronologically, but you can organize them however you wish.

If you are a child making the memory book, brainstorm with your siblings about special occasions and family events you want to include. If you are a friend making the book, you may want to include a story about how you met the deceased.

6. Create a Page With Additional Information

This page can include anything you wish. Here are some ideas:

  • Accomplishments of the deceased that have not been previously mentioned
  • Cemetery and plot where they are buried
  • A list of people who contributed to the book

You may also wish to leave a few blank pages. The recipient can add memorable moments as they think of them.

7. Make a Table of Contents

Insert this at the beginning of the book. I put mine directly after my note to the recipient. Creating it after you organize all the pictures and stories makes it easier to figure out the page numbers.

8. Bind the Book

Most office supply stores will be able to bind the book for you. A softback book is more reasonably-priced than a hardback. I made mine with a plastic coil binding.

Make a softback book with an inexpensive, coil binding or opt for a hardback.
Make a softback book with an inexpensive, coil binding or opt for a hardback.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Abby Slutsky


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Abby Slutsky profile imageAUTHOR

      Abby Slutsky 

      4 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      I did not include a few blank pages, but when I update the article, would you mind if I include your suggestion?

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image


      4 weeks ago from Ohio

      This is a wonderful idea! How touching to give or receive a memory book of a departed loved one. So often people don't know what to do or say, and I think this is the perfect solution. I love the idea of giving a book with a pretty pen and leaving some pages for the recipient to fill in.. or maybe even a few blank pages or spots for their own photos.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      4 weeks ago from Ireland

      This is such a beautiful idea. Lovely idea for families who have lost a loved one and want to look back and remember those special moments.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)