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The Scrapbook
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I have a friend who will be spending her eleventh Christmas without her mom this year. And although eleven years sounds like a long time, when I spoke with Kari today I could still hear sadness in her voice. Her mom had been the heart of their home.

I asked Kari how she copes during the holidays. That’s when she told me about the scrapbook. The day after her mom died, Kari feared forgetting. So she started a scrapbook that she wrote in daily for the next three months. Her tears wet the pages while her hand tried to somehow express the ache she felt in her heart. “I did it for me,” she said. “It was my grief journey. It was also my way to memorialize my mom.”

Kari’s book contains personal letters to God. She was very honest with Him about her anger at the unfairness of a world that takes those we love too soon. It also includes letters to her mom. Since they can’t talk, writing to her mom is comforting, even though her mom can’t read the letters. It’s yet another way to express her grief. And the book is full of cards, pictures, and other memories.

Intense Pain

Although creating the scrapbook brought intense pain at times, it has become a way to remember the happy times. Kari says, “Even if I cry when I look at the scrapbook, it makes me feel good to remember.”

Some of us stuff our pain. We put off grieving because it hurts. Yet working through the hurt is what helps to ease the pain eventually. Even if the remembering brings moaning, tears, or anger, it can help heal us.

Maybe this holiday season would be a good time to start a scrapbook of someone you’ve loved and lost. It can be a beautiful way to remember one who isn’t here this Christmas. If a scrapbook doesn’t appeal to you, find another way to remember and memorialize that suits you. Of course, the time needs to be right for you, and you’ll know whether you’re ready or not.

However you remember your loved one this Christmas, also remember that Christmas isn’t just a time to look back at the birth of Jesus. It’s a time to look forward. To remember that because a Child was born, your loved one can live again.

Not being able to spend a few holidays together here on earth dims in comparison to spending an eternity together in Heaven!

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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