Did you ever make a time capsule or memory box as a child? Sourcing treasured objects and placing them within a personalised box is an experience that people of any age can enjoy. It’s also a way you can help your friends and family through the grieving process, as it provides them with tangible objects that remind them of you.
The Purpose Of A Memory Box
You build relationships with friends and family by walking through life together. A memory box commemorates your shared times and provides the opportunity to get creative with a loved one, whether that’s a friend, parent or child.
A memory box can be immensely useful in a time of bereavement as it provides an anchor for the act of remembrance, which can help to ease the grieving process. Children, especially, benefit from mementoes as they struggle to remember their early life.
It’s also the opportunity to tell your story, from beginning to end, through a multi-sensory experience. You don’t often get the chance to curate your own mini-museum, but a memory box lets you do exactly that!
Step one – choose a container! You don’t have to order online, as you can upcycle everything from shoeboxes to small suitcases. There’s also the option to think outside the box, with some people filling jam jars and glass bottles with their treasured objects. In this case, you might want to make a series of jars or bottles to commemorate the different stages or events in your life.
Step two – decorate your memory box! Children will love this part, though it’s up to you whether or not you allow them to go wild, covering your container with paints, stickers, stamps and scribbles. Alternatively, you might opt for a neat wooden box, simply painted and with a name on the top. Lining such a box with a silky material lets you add some extra colour, protects against splinters and provides a soft cushioning for your precious memories. On the other hand, you might follow the ‘tell your story’ theme, using newspaper clippings, ribbons, tags and tape to create a vintage style, reminiscent of a package or letter from home. Some talented people go to extremes, constructing and embellishing boxes to make them look just like books!
Choosing Your Items
A photograph in the lid of the memory box is a very popular choice. This way, your loved one can look at your face every time they open the box. In fact, photographs are a major component of many boxes, as they capture a fleeting moment. Many objects recall specific experiences, whether they’re photos, newspaper cuttings, tickets or souvenirs. Momentous occasions, such as a wedding, yield a treasure trove of such objects, from DVDs and cake toppers to dried flowers and the bridal veil.
However, it’s not just sight that evokes powerful memories. Smell and sound are very powerful, with music often used as therapy to help people with dementia connect to their past, so why not slip in a CD of your favourite music, a perfume or a flower-filled sachet?
We hope we’ve prompted some ideas, but you can always turn to those who love you and ask for their advice. After all, they’re the people who know you most deeply.
Our Light Inside
Our Light Inside provides an online space for you to record special messages and precious memories, to be shared with your nominees after you die. We invite you to get in touch to find out more or ask questions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.