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Chelsea Hanson

Chelsea Hanson is a nationally recognized grief educator, creator of the Loss to Legacy MethodTM, author of six gift books and founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes (http://www.withsympathygifts.com), which is an online memorial gift store and grief support center. Chelsea’s published books...

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With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes

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07/16/2015 11:36pm
Sympathy Gifts - Creating Memories That Last

Sympathy gifts that provide a tangible way to remember a love one serve as an ideal and appropriate way to support the bereaved as they begin the grieving process. Here are a few creative projects designed to help you support those grieving and yourself.
Keepsake Boxes
You may want to preciously stow away certain items such as a wedding ring, jewelry, old photos or memorial program. If it makes you feel more secure, safely tuck the meaningful items away in a fire-proof cabinet or safe-deposit box.
Shortly after my mother passed away, I put many items in a safe-deposit box, since I felt this was all I had left of her and didn't want to lose it. Of course, this was not true, but I had not yet understood that. I stowed away items she treasured, many of them having to do with me, her only child. Now, more than 15 years later, I still have this safe-deposit box with the same items in it. I have only visited it two or three times. Nonetheless, I still appreciate the safe location of these objects.
For keepsakes you want close to you, think of a special place to store or display them-maybe a music box, memorabilia box, curio cabinet or bookcase?
One widower crafted three wooden hope chests for himself and his two sons. His sons placed these hope chests by their beds and carefully tucked pictures of their mother, their mother's flannel pajamas and scrapbook pages she made. The widower safely tucked away wedding photos, a favorite blanket of his wife's and childhood pictures of him and his wife.
What items you want to safely tuck away?
Memory Frames
Framing pictures of your loved one can therapeutic. Find a lovely place to display a group of your favorite pictures. Photos serve as eternal and tangible reminders of our loved ones. You can see their smile or be reminded of special moments.
Spend some time gathering beloved pictures and choosing just the right frames. I have a curio cabinet in my office that displays pictures of my parents and other loved ones. I like to have their pictures near to me when I am working for inspiration and divine guidance.
Frame a favorite picture of your loved one and give copies to other family members, so you all can enjoy it.
My husband and each of his brothers received two handsome pictures of their deceased brother from their mother. The pictures showed their brother doing what he loved, ice fishing.
Another couple had a family picture taken the summer before their daughter passed away. The picture is now proudly displayed in their living room and serves as reminder of their daughter's eternal love.
What favorite photos of your loved can you frame?
Remembrance Books
Creating a remembrance photo book can be a great way to preserve family memories. If you prefer, photo book services can do almost everything for you, and the results can be stunning. Photo books can be created for any memory, whether family vacation, a wedding or an entire year of activities.
To begin, pick an online service, download the software and upload your photos. If you're not comfortable with computer technology, recruit a teenager or young adult in your family to make a photo book. Give your recruit the chosen pictures, and he or she can also reap the healing benefits of putting together a remembrance book.
Photo books are wonderful presents for difficult milestone dates, such as holidays, your loved one's birthday or the anniversary of loss. And they also give future generations a glimpse into their history.
Is there a certain event you would like to remember with a photo book?
Cherish your memories and they shall live in your heart forever.

Chelsea Hanson, grief educator and life coach, guides heart-based women through
the transformative process of grief to make their life and work matter in honor
of those they love. For her FREE mini-class, The Art of Life - Create a
Meaningful and Joyous Life You Love
, visit http://www.ChelseaHanson.com. For her FREE guide, What to
Say and Not Say at Time of Loss
, visit http://www.WithSympathyGifts.com. This article was originally
published at http://withsympathygifts.com/blog/griefsupport/sympathy-gifts-creating-memories-that-last/
and has been syndicated with permission.


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