I lost my mom about 4 weeks ago. I’ve never lost anyone close to me before. It was a quick decline which we were grateful for. Many who follow me on my Personal Facebook have come to love my parents through things I’ve posted as years have gone by. I’m their only child. All of her grandkids and two great grandkids visited her in the hospital a few days before she passed, along with Roy an I and my dad. They all got to say goodbye to this woman who fiercely adored them. She was 91.
My mom loved to clean. (I believe OCD is now the term.) But her house was always spotless and she never sat still a minute. I’m not kidding. When she broke her hip a couple years back and had to be in a wheel chair, she would roll around her house cleaning what she could reach. She didn’t let anything slow her down! I actually wrote a funny poem about that. You can read it by clicking on the small image to the left if you like.
My mom always got mad when you tried to take her picture so it was hard to get good ones. In the photo I chose she is with the family when the great-grandkids were still quite young. It’s always been a favorite of mine. It caught the natural look of joy she had with those great grandkids. She played with them constantly , getting down on their level, crawling inside cardboard boxes with them, jumping on the trampoline… and even riding her great-grandson’s push scooter… at age 79 ! (And I have a video to prove it. )
Grieving Tips and Helps
- Let yourself grieve. Do NOT hold in feelings. Guys do this more than women I think but it’s SO important to let out the feelings. Cry, sob, beat a pillow. Do what you need.
- Talk about it, when you’re ready.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs to medicate you’re pain. Call a friend, go for a walk, watch a funny movie instead.
- Focus on the person’s entire life, not just on the one day they died.
- If you’re a reader there are some great books out there. “Healing After Loss” is daily quotes or very short stories from famous people. Also “Good Grief” has helped many. You can find many secular and religious books on the topic.
- Laugh. Happy memories, especially one’s that make you laugh, will do amazing things for you. We are always teasing and joking and remembering the funny things about my mom. One of my daughter’s said “If you see a piece of fuzz on the carpet and it disappears… that’s grandma!”
I’m reminded of an old Little House on the Prairie where a widow had several children and she was dying. At the funeral she had written a paper to be read. In it said “Remember me with smiles and laughter… If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all”.
Good Books to Read
- Healing After Loss
- Good Grief
- You can find many secular and religious books on the topic.
Good Movies to Watch
- About Time This tops my list!
- Big Fish
- Love Actually
- What Dreams May Come
Good Songs To Listen Too
Music is very personal so what I like you might not.
- 5 Minutes at a Time by Superchick (I’ve listened to this a LOT recently.)
- Go the Distance Michael Bolton
- Fire and Rain by James Taylor
- Leader of the Band Dan Fogelberg
- The Rose by Bette Midler
- Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
- To Where You Are Josh Groban
- Time of Your Life Green Day
asking a Memory Photo Box Supplies
- Shadow Box You can buy these in all shapes and sizes. I used a 12″x 12″. If you plan to put thicker objects in it make sure it’s deep enough.
- X-acto Knife
- Cardboard or Foamboard for insert. The shadow boxes sometimes come with those.
- Fillers Theses will be very personal items. I used a shirt of my moms, her old glasses and then printed the text and put her photo in the middle.
- Pins, wire or Command Strips. Depending on what your putting in your shadow box, you might not want to use glue. Wire or pins can hold on things like glasses.
A memory photo box is a wonderful thing to remind us of loved ones and pets who have passed. They can be filled with actual objects that belonged to that person or pet. You can make them as simple or as complex as you wish. Even just a photo with artificial flowers glued on one corner would be beautiful.
Gather the items you wish to place in our shadow box.
Mine came with a foam insert so I didn’t need to cut my own. It has to be thick enough to in things too.
This shows what to do if cutting your own insert. I chose a shirt my mom has had for a long time as the background but I didn’t want to cut it so I planned on wrapping it around the edges and tacking it underneath with pins so in that case you might need to cut your board a tiny bit smaller. Trace the back piece of the frame onto your foam or cardboard if you need to make your own.
Use an X-acto knife and ruler to cut your board.
This shows the piece that came with my frame so I just used it.
As I didn’t want to cut the shirt I had to gather it in the back, pin it, making sure the front was flat. It was tricky and I’d suggest a helper if you do that.
You can see I still have some looseness so I had to keep pulling the back and repining it.
You’re now ready to add your items below shows what I used in my Memorial Shadow Box. The background is, of course, her shirt worn for many years.
This looks like just a picture frame not a box I’m not quite sure how to do this
Hey Kathy! It’s a frame… but it has about 2″ or a little less between the glass and the back section. That’s why you can put objects into it!
Hello, Nancy. Directed to your site from Hometalk, & happened to see this article. First, please accept my condolences. It’s never easy losing a parent, even when they’ve lived a long life.
Second, thanks for sharing your ideas for the shadow box. What a lovely way to pay tribute to your mom! Prayers for continued healing….
Thank you so much Esther. That is so kind of you. I’m so glad you found the post enjoyable. Ü
Hi Nancy. May I say that I am very sorry for your loss but what a beautiful, memorable tribute to your mom by creating the shadowbox. Thank you for taking the time to share that with us as well as how it was created, God bless you and your family.