We used to produce memorials, celebration of life . . . funeral videos for most of the funeral homes in the area from Parkland to Lakewood, and from Tacoma to Puyallup and Auburn. We would produce them with a quick turn-a-round and if requested we would also video the services, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Taps” followed by the crack of rifles. When people would ask me what I do, I would answer, “I make people cry.” It’s true. This aspect of video just pierces the heart. When my mother and father died, I knew I wouldn’t be able to speak, especially after the showing of their videos. My best friend read my comments.
Videos of someone’s life mixes joy, friends, family, achievements, and mostly people having fun. Weave in the solemn occasion of a funeral and there are going to be tears. But, ohhhhhhh the joy they bring. I produced a video for a friend’s funeral. Her celebration was shared in the basement of a local church. The video was projected on the wall continually while people talked, ate, and shared stories. A little boy about five years of age was watching the video just a few feet away from me. He pointed at the screen and said, “That’s me!” His segment was followed by my friend. The youngster just beamed and shared the news, “That’s my grandma.” I knew. I nodded my head. I couldn’t speak. I made ME cry.
Today, many people have someone in their family who is handy with images, computers, and video, produce their presentation. My sister died about a year ago. We are looking at having a celebration near her birthday in August. My niece is going to produce the video. I will be writing something about my sister to share, but I will not be speaking. A granddaughter will be doing it for me. We will upload to our Youtube channel, so our relatives around the country can watch the video as well.
I recently produced two videos for a family funeral, but not my family. One was for a member of the family who passed away over a year go. The other was for the death of a loved one nearly three months ago. Each video had over 85 images. I suggested images of their favorite flowers at the beginning and their favorite quotes at the end . . . and included appropriate music throughout. The guests loved the images, the story the images told, and the reminder of who the person was and why everyone would miss them. And yes . . . people cried.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
Susanne Bacon says
Videos of celebrations of life … yes, they make me cry, too. Or laugh. Depending on what situation is shown. I LOVE this American way of commemorating a person. But there are other wonderful videos, too. A friend of ours, my husband’s best man, created a video for our wedding. No need to talk for a single person – ALL of of our friends did, as they remembered our journey.
Don Doman says
Thanks for commenting. We rarely shot weddings, but for a friend, a local politician, we did. His buddies had “polished” his shoes for him. They taped a message on the soles, so when he knelt down everyone could see HE on one shoe, and LP! on the other. There was plenty of snickering going on . . . nobody cried, though. Thanks for sharing. Don