Celebrations of Life can and should be expanded to include the life story, not just the pictures, of a loved one.

1. Remember life stories to go with pictures shared. If you are creating a display of pictures, include a paragraph or two that describes the people, times, and places noted in the pictures. A picture is almost always worth 1,000 words (or at least a few sentences).

2. Be intentional about having people share their own memories of your loved one and record these memories. At a celebration of life or memorial service, give people cards that say... "I remember..." or "One of my fondest memories is...." or "Grandma touched my life by..." It will help people think about a special way this person touched their lives, and the rest of the family will enjoy reading these at a later time.

3. Do your best to capture the life stories of other loved ones--and celebrate their lives--before they pass away. Life celebrations are especially powerful when your loved one is there to experience it. We have found that older adults love to create autobiographies with the help of family or friends (http://www.lifebio.com/ can help). Also, they can help in creating a storyboard--a display of their pictures and life stories--to share with their children and grandchildren. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to say or write down their memories during a special birthday or anniversary celebration. It will make for a fun and interesting experience for everyone. Appreciation and love will abound!

Beth Sanders is the author of the Memory Journal (http://www.memoryjournal.com/) and the founder of http://www.lifebio.com/. She resides in Marysville, Ohio with her husband and two children.