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Capture a Moment in a Memory Box

by Wendy Jacobson

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” – Corrie Ten Boom


Memory Boxes by OneWorld Memorials

Image by C. Paras*

Throughout our lives we create memories. Starting from birth all the way to death – moments are celebrated, grieved, and shared – moments become memories and inform our future. Over time, the memories might fade into the mind’s recesses, as does our ability to recall the details.

Poignant and special memories deserve a concrete item that celebrates the moment. Images and emotions are recalled when we see or touch the item. For such mementos, a memory box can be used to gather and rekindle the all too fleeting moments. 

Keep the tradition of keepsakes alive in a memory box

Today the keepsake tradition is strong, and memory boxes provide a perfect place for keepsakes. It’s fun to come together as family and friends to look through the items, reminisce, share and reflect on wonderful moments.

Decorative memory boxes hold trinkets and relics of a special time, event or person. Many people use them to remember all stages of a loved one’s life, including a first haircut, the first tooth that came out, special events, and other shared moments. The items become artifacts for future generations to touch as they hear and visualize stories of parents and grandparents, or others. They provide physical evidence along with the verbal or written recollection of a certain event or time, truly connecting the past with the future. 

A bereavement memory box

Although it is unclear when the keepsake tradition began as it relates to the loss of a loved one, history points to the reign of Queen Victoria. Certainly Queen Victoria is credited with popularizing mourning jewelry and clothing. After her husband Prince Albert died, her grieving was so great that his private rooms were maintained for years as he preferred them when he was living. In a way, his rooms became a memory box of many keepsakes.

People of the Victorian era were very attached to the memory of their loved one. Survivors safeguarded anything that rekindled a memory of the deceased. Lockets, clothes, brooches, rings, and even locks of hair have been found.

Memory boxes are a popular way to hold keepsakes. Many people find comfort in having keepsakes safely stored in a single place. Boxes range in size from hand held to large chests. Small boxes are used to hold items such as hair or dried flowers. Larger boxes hold tickets and other mementos. 

People often wonder if keeping cremated remains at home is okay, or what it feels like, or how to store them. Our blog, "How does it feel to keep an urn for ashes at home," addresses the question of keeping cremated ashes at home. A memory chest, such as the Autumn Leaves large memory chest, is large enough to hold a temporary adult cremation urn (often a cardboard box), or larger keepsakes.

The gift of a memory box

We’re seeing a trend in giving memory boxes as gifts to mark milestones, or simply as a birthday or holiday gift. Parents of newborns appreciate them to hold items that document the wonder and amazement of a growing baby. The Sapphire Memory Chest is a beautiful piece made with hand-mixed glass pieces that are carefully soldered to a metal frame. The colors and patterns unique to each box symbolize the unique and precious new life of the infant. For newlyweds or parents of newlyweds, a large memory box makes a thoughtful gift to store special mementos of the magical day.

We also find that people choose memory boxes as a deeply meaningful sympathy gift. A handsome wooden box, such as the In My Heart memory box, is decorative, as well as functional.

The Green Tortoise Memory Box makes a sweet gift as a token of friendship and affection that is always appreciated. Memory boxes provide a thoughtful way to show your friendship, love, or appreciation for someone.

Let us know what keepsakes you treasure!

*Image can be found here: http://bit.ly/2fylD7P

Wendy Jacobson is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis with her husband, two kids and dog. She helped market her mother’s book, “Hands Off My Hope: Life Lessons on my Journey with Breast Cancer” at the request of her mom, who died two weeks after publishing it in 2008. She also is the editor of Minneapolis Happening, a digital lifestyle magazine about what’s happening in Minneapolis and the surrounding area.

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