We don’t remember days, we remember moments

Two women looking at a photo album

Memory, when effectively used, can give strength and vitality in the face of grief.

Photographs and songs can be powerful vehicles for solace and provide valuable links to those we love. A forgotten scent, a song or a photograph can bring something of the past in the present in ways the spoken word cannot.

When we lose important people in our lives, our photographs can bring back memories and help us remember everything that made them special and unique. We instinctively turn to the pages of our photo albums when we lose someone., I suppose because so much can be invested in every image we encounter.  They say, ‘every picture tells a story.’

It has become increasingly popular to include photographs within a funeral ceremony, perhaps for these very reasons, whether this means having one or two pictures in a frame next to a lit candle maybe, or within a slideshow or a visual tribute.

A couple of years ago, I decided to invest in some sophisticated software and training that allows me to create professional visual tributes on behalf of the family and then to present the tribute as part of the eulogy during the ceremony – featuring one or two pieces of music. What’s more, having got to know who the person was in life by chatting with the family, I can make seemingly small yet significant reference to precious memories within the presentation, making it incredibly personal. The visual tributes are then passed to the family afterwards as a keepsake.

Brilliantly and Seamlessly

One lady I served recently commented, “we were blown away by the setting, the warmth of your words…and the lovely visual tribute you put together so brilliantly and seamlessly for us…we shall treasure it for the rest of our days.”

I know that there are media services out there that provide visual services, and I also know that they can be costly. I offer this as part of my service to the bereaved. There is usually a minimal charge for uploading the video at the venue; there are no other charges for this as far as I am concerned. I see it as an alternative or complementary means of remembering and honouring the life of the person who has died. More importantly, I see it as a valuable vehicle for comfort and solace during what can be an incredibly challenging time.

Time’s relentless melt

Photographs have a vital part to play in keeping the memory of a loved one alive. The French Photographer, Marc Riboud, says, “taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” And as the writer, Susan Sontag, says, “all photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

I would be delighted to include a memorable Visual Tribute to a loved one during the ceremony. I have the technological know-how to make this an extraordinary moment in the programme. All you have to do is ask.

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