As funeral directors, you know the importance of creating a personalized funeral service that truly reflects the life being honored. However, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into learning how to best honor the deceased. It can be hard to know where to start or what questions to ask when capturing a life story.
Whether you’re talking to the family after a death or preplanning with someone for their own funeral, we’ve come up with some tips. By following these steps, capturing a life story will be an easier, less overwhelming process for everyone.
Discuss the Right Topics
When capturing a life story, you need to discuss the standard funeral arrangements that need to be decided, as well as topics for creating a personalized funeral service. By standard funeral arrangements, we mean decisions like the funeral service type and burial or cremation.
Do they want a traditional funeral service or a celebration of life ceremony? Do they want a viewing before the burial or cremation? Will there be a funeral reception following the service? Before determining how to personalize the service, you need to know its structure. Then, there are many ways you can personalize the service, such as through the songs, food, themes, funeral location, Tribute Videos, readings, flowers, and so much more.
Ask the Right Questions
Your questions should encourage thoughtful and detailed responses to lead to meaningful remembrance ideas, like the personalization ideas mentioned above. Avoid yes or no questions and come up with prompts for learning the life of the person being honored.
For example, these are a few prompts you can start with:
What was their childhood like?
Where did they grow up?
What was their favorite meal?
What was their favorite song?
The best advice that they gave someone.
Get Creative to Capture a Life Story
Once you’ve had your discussions and asked your questions, it’s time to decide what information can be used to create a meaningful remembrance ceremony. Then, you can brainstorm creative ways to showcase these qualities of their life.
For example, if the person being honored was an avid gardener, choose a selection of garden baskets as the floral arrangements. For the funeral gift, you can give guests a packet of seeds to plant in their honor. During the funeral reception, serve food made from the vegetables in their garden. You can even have the funeral service in a memorial garden or by their own garden.
Or, let’s say the deceased was a world traveler. You can create a Tribute Video to showcase all of their trips. You also can create memorial display tables to showcase their souvenirs. By dedicating a table to each location, funeral guests can feel like their traveling with their loved one on their adventures.
Want to learn more about capturing a life story? Download our free life story eBook!