Recently, we lost a very dear friend and relative. My mom’s sister, my sweet “Aunt Liz”.

Lizzie had a condition that wore her down slowly, with very little pain. So we were all blessed with a little time. Time to visit. Time to get used to the idea. Time to say good-bye.

And my sister had a really amazing idea. The idea was to create a book of Lizzie’s wonderful life. Creating a book of this sort isn’t the amazing part. Online publishers like My Publisher and Shutterfly make it a snap. But the ingenious part was, instead of doing so after she passed, we worked on it with her, while she was still with us.

Together, Liz and my mom combed photo albums to pick out favorites. Family members would create spreads, or send in thoughts and photos for the rest of the “editors” to make use of. Liz wrote wonderful detailed passages about her work, her travels, and her dreams, and of course corrected the occasional errant fact.

The wonderful pages full of her life stacked up. As her strength waned, we printed a copy so she could have it and share it with visitors at hospice. And once she was gone, we printed many copies, giving each person a means to reminisce.

By the way, you don’t even have to wait until someone is ill. A treasure like this can be started any time. Either way, why wait till someone is gone to express how very much they mean to you?


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