3 Amazing Funeral Products Families Too Often IgnoreJanuary 5th, 2017
It’s no secret that funerals are the red-headed stepchild of the event world.
Some people spend months (even years) planning out the intricate, detailed celebrations of their important life events, like birthdays, anniversaries or weddings. But when it comes to life’s final — and arguably, most monumental — event, most people have never even give a second thought to how they would like to be celebrated at their funeral…. let alone how they should celebrate someone else’s.
So, when it comes time to sit down and plan a funeral for a loved one, many families only think through the basics… What kind of casket do I need to get for the service? What kind of print-outs do I need to order for friends and family visiting? What kind of clothing do I need to give to the funeral home?
And there in these sentences lies the problem… “what do I need to do?”
Too many families are still looking at funerals as a necessary, unavoidable tradition, rather than a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate life. So when it comes time to select the products and services for the funeral, they only think about the things that are needed… not what will add the most value to the service. And unfortunately, by doing so, they completely ignore some of our professions most emotional, supportive, beautiful and beneficial offerings.
Here are just a few of the most valuable product and service elements that every funeral service should include… but yet families too often ignore:
1. A Guest Book (In Person and Online)
The second that anyone hears that someone in their life has passed away, they immediately begin reflecting: I remember the last time I saw John. I’ll never forget that one moment we shared. I’ll always cherish that one memory we made… Before they know it, they have a whole list of important memories, funny stories, colorful anecdotes, or other meaningful reflections that they want to share with others who knew their loved one. A guest book is the perfect place to do that.
There are a number of different guestbook or memorial book options that funeral homes offer to their families, as a way to keep track of the many guests who came to pay their respects during visitations or funeral services. The most valuable of these offerings are the books that allow friends and family members a chance to share their favorite memories of their loved one, alongside their personal information. By doing so, the guest book not only becomes a helpful log for families, but also an important keepsake that they can reflect back upon for years to come.
However, what about the large number of friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances that often aren’t able to make it to the funeral service? Luckily, many funeral homes now offer online guest books or social memorial pages in honor of the families that they serve, so that guests from far and wide can share their favorite memories of their loved one, light a candle in their honor, send a sympathy gift, or even upload a photo of a memory that they shared.
Are you a funeral home that wants to make social memorial pages a part of your funeral home’s website? Click here to sign up for a free demo of how you can get started!
2. Memorial Imagery
There is no better way to add personality or uniqueness into a funeral service than by including photos and prints that represent the person whose life you are celebrating. And luckily, there are a number of unique ways to do this outside of your typical funeral photoboard. If families want to display personal photos of their loved one, they could create a visual funeral program to hand out to every guest who attends the service, allowing guests to look back on a person’s life like a scrapbook, rather than relying on a wall-of-words obituary. (See an example below.)
Families can also turn photos or meaningful quotes into permanent works of art. There are a number of free tools available on the web (like Canva or PicMonkey) where you can easily put words on top of beautiful imagery or custom photos, creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece to include in funeral printables, or even make into a custom piece of artwork to hang beside the casket.
Displaying images of a loved one can provide great value because imagery sparks meaningful stories surrounding the person whose life you are celebrating. Family and friends will see these images in the funeral program, or even while walking around at the visitation, and will begin to ask questions… Where was this photo taken? Why was this quote chosen for the photo caption? Why is this photo significant enough to have been placed next to the casket? As more and more stories are told, guests will begin to slowly piece together a more complete picture of the life they are celebrating.
3. A Video of the Service
As we mentioned above, not every family member or friend has the opportunity to attend a loved one’s funeral service. This could be because they didn’t find out about the event in time or because they simply live too far away to make it to the service. But, thankfully, distance no longer is a problem when it comes to tuning into a funeral or memorial service. With innovative funeral software programs like Life Tributes, funeral homes can webcast and record all of the meaningful, detailed moments of a loved one’s funeral service online.
Relatives and friends can use a personalized password to tune into the service live on their computers, or log in later to watch the service even after it has ended. Another benefit that comes with recording a funeral service is that all of the memories and stories shared can be enjoyed by future generations, who can tune in and hear all about the most meaningful, hilarious and memorable moments of their family member’s life.
Do you want to begin webcasting your funeral home’s services to your families? Click here to sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of Life Tributes software.
Have you attended or planned a funeral that featured one of the personalized, meaningful products above? If so, what did YOU think is the single most valuable part of the funeral service? Let us know in the comments below!