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In June of this year my wonderful mother passed away. When I look at this awesome picture of her, it is hard for me to believe that she is gone. She was always so alive and such a presence in my life, even though I lived far away from her most of my adult life, I knew that she was always there for me. I've written about the many things I've learned from her on posts here and here. In reality, there is no way to express in just a couple of posts all she has meant to me and my siblings throughout our lives.
Not only did she mean so much to her own children, but she was adored by grandchildren and great grandchildren alike. She had made quilts, afghans, and slippers for everyone over the years that all of us cherish. She wasn't afraid to teach life lessons to any of her posterity, even just days before she passed away.
She had 26 grandchildren and if I'm counting correctly, 41 great-grandchildren. (forgive me family if I counted wrong!) At any rate, with almost everyone making it to the funeral, there was a lot of children in attendance. Many of them were young and didn't have any experience with my mom except as an old woman. They didn't know all of the wonderful things about her and the things that she experienced throughout her life. For example, they didn't know that she loved to dance and that she always made the most delicious tacos, pies and cookies. We wanted the children to have something to keep that would teach them more about her. Also, there needed to be something to keep them entertained throughout the funeral service. Alicia came up with the terrific idea of making a special program booklet for the great-grandchildren that would keep them busy and somewhat quiet throughout the service and also teach them something about their marvelous great-grandmother!
Of course, this booklet is personalized to our mother/grandmother. But, if you wanted to use a similar idea, I thought I would share what we did for you to see. Alicia used Canva to design this booklet. You could use Google Docs or some other site that would give similar results. Here is what she did!
The front cover was this great picture of my mom from 2 years before when she celebrated her 98th birthday! She always said that she wanted her funeral to not be a funeral, but a celebration and this picture seemed to fit the bill! During covid, we had a drive by party for her. She had a great time1
Alicia created this word search on a site she Googled, (we forget which one, there are many. Just Google it), using words that remind us of my mom's nicknames, things she did and places she has been. Some are family jokes and descriptions of her personality. This idea can easily be adapted to anyone.
My mom did quite a bit of quilting. This page allowed the kids to color a quilt. There was a little blurb at the top telling about my mom's love of quilting. If your loved one didn't quilt, maybe they another hobby to highlight. Even a cutout page in place of this that could be folded as origami or a dot to dot page depicting something about them.
Poetry was something my mom loved! This page is for writing an acrostic poem using her name. Then, on the last page we included a favorite poem that she would teach to us when we were young. If poetry isn't your thing, you could just have a page for a list of attributes or memories. You could include favorite songs, scriptures, sayings. . .
This booklet was so popular, that most of the adults wanted a copy as well!
We had the regular programs printed at a printer's, and that was costly! So, we merely printed this at home and then stapled them together. I think that they will be a sweet remembrance for everyone of their beautiful grandmother.
If you lose someone you love, I hope that this idea will help you to focus on them and that it will help you through your grief and be a blessing to your family as you think about what to include in their booklet.
I also want to say thank you to all of you who have reached out to us with your condolences. They mean so much!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!