Memory Keepers: The First Role Of A Funeral Director

Candlelight MemorialAside from preparing the deceased for services and burial, it can help to keep in mind that the foremost reason your clients hire you to arrange a memorial service is to remember their loved ones. They will never have another opportunity to impart their thoughts and feelings about their loss in a public ceremony, or honor the life of the deceased in a meaningful way.

How can you help to make your client’s experience unique to the memory of their loved ones? Obviously, a meaningful and personalized eulogy has significant bearing on remembering the life of those who are mourned. However, there are many other opportunities available to help you to create an experience that your clients will appreciate, to show that you have taken every effort to ensure that their loved-ones are well-honored and remembered. After all, isn’t that the bottom line?

  • Candle-lighting memorials. Candles have been used in ceremonies for centuries in most parts of the world. For many people, there seems to be something very comforting in a candle flame, something that imparts connection and continuity with the intangible. Typically, a tapered candle is used since these are easier to handle. Sometimes, a favorite poem or passage of the deceased is read after all of the candles are lit. Other times, silence and quiet prayer are all that is needed. There are a variety of ways to conduct this ceremony, limited only to your client’s wishes and your imagination.
  • Memory books. There are many ways to fill a memory book, not only with the signatures of family and friends in attendance, but also with photographs, a family tree, and most importantly, the deceased’s life story. A memory book can be as creative as you can imagine it to be, tailored to your client’s wishes. Being prepared with suggestions to make the book meaningful and unique, will not only show that professionalism matters to you, but that compassion does as well.
  • Memory baskets. This provides an opportunity for anyone, including children, to write down favorite or significant memories of their loved-ones and drop them into a basket. Sometimes, those in grief cannot find words to speak. Instead, they may feel more comfortable writing down their feelings. These written memories can then be shared during the eulogy, or simply left private among family.
  • Memory videos. Very moving tributes to the memory of your client’s loved ones can be created with visual imagery set to music. There are a growing number of on-line sites that can help you design another aspect of personalized service.
  • Personalized programs. With the ease of use of our technology today, creating a professional looking and personalized funeral program is within nearly anyone’s ability. There are a myriad of templates available on-line, many of which offer free customer support, seven days a week. A program needn’t only be an explanation of their service. It can also be a mini-biography of a loved one, complete with a photograph. If you have a scanner, printer, a little patience and practice, you can present your clients with a highly personalized program to honor their loved ones.

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