5 Amazing Ways Videos and Photos Help Your Families Heal


When you work in the funeral profession, you often get asked the same kind of question from family and friends who are fascinated by our jobs: “How do you cope with people grieving every day? Isn’t it depressing?” While most people think of funerals as a time of mourning, grieving or sadness, funeral professionals know what they truly are… an opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life and help them heal.

It’s why many of us have chosen this profession, and it’s the passion for healing that gets us through the hardest days. Because, of course, there are hard days. There are days where you would do anything to make life just a little bit easier for the families walking through your door, or to help them get started on the road to healing.

As funeral directors, you help families through the beautiful, meaningful services that you put together, or through the amazing words of comfort that you offer during a time of darkness. And at funeralOne, we try and help families heal through the power of videos and photos, and the opportunity to celebrate the life that was lived.

Many of you have seen the beautiful memories and stories that a photo can trigger from family members or witnessed the power of a personalized memorial video in your funeral home first hand. But these tributes aren’t just a unique add-on to a family’s service… they actually have proven healing power for people who are grieving! Here’s why…

1. Gathering Photos Can Jump Start Healing

Many families are often hesitant to jump right into gathering photos and videos of their loved one right after they have passed, because they are nervous that it may unlock even more difficult feelings or emotions. But when your families look at photos and videos of the people they love, it can actually make them feel better, as they’re able to reminisce and look back fondly on the memories shared.

Many studies have shown that it’s healthy to hold onto photo and video memories, rather than pushing them aside in an attempt to “move on.” Therefore, encourage your families to be grateful for their experiences and the stories they have to share when a memory of their loved one emerges. Support them as they take time to gather these memories and moments, and help share them in a way that is meaningful – such as a memorial tribute video. Having a beautiful place to access these memories is not only important for direct family members, but also the children of older family members who will look back on these videos as a way to carry out the legacy and memory of their loved one.

2. Families Can Learn More About Their Loved Ones

While many family members can find comfort in the fact that their loved one made a big difference in their own life, it’s even more reassuring and helpful for your families to know that their loved one made a difference in the lives of many… That their legacy and memory will live on long outside of the direct family. One of the best ways for your families to discover just how big of an impact their loved one had made is through seeing images and hearing stories that they may not have known before.

Playing a tribute video at the visitation is a great trigger for bringing out new memories from friends and family. The funny stories that can come out of a childhood photo or home movie can open up a whole new window of memories and can make people realize just how big of an influence their loved one’s life had on those around them. Therefore, encourage your arranging families to reach out to their networks and gather photos from other friends and family members who will be attending the service.

3. Sharing Funny Memories Leads To Healthier Healing

When people come into a funeral home for a service or memorial, they often try to avoid laughing at all costs – they just don’t think it’s appropriate. But one of the most beneficial and healing gifts that a family can receive during a time of loss is a lighthearted, funny story about their loved one.

In fact, research has shown that being able to reminisce about happy memories of a loved one can actually help people heal. “Those who are able to smile when describing their relationship to their husband or wife six months after the loss were happier and healthier 14 months out than those who could only speak of the deceased with sadness, fear and anger,” one study revealed. So encourage your families to share their favorite funny home movie or humorous photo in their loved one’s tribute video. Helping them focus on the happy memories of their relationship will actually help them find serenity and healing in the long run.

4. Social Tributes Create A Sense Of Community For The Grieving

Don’t let the healing power of photos and videos stay only in your funeral home. With Life Tributes personalization software, you can share the powerful videos you create for your families right on their loved one’s social memorial page on your website. That way, even the family members who weren’t able to make it to the funeral can benefit from their healing power.

Posting the tribute video on the loved one’s memorial website helps family and friends engage in a publicly shared healing experience, all in the privacy of their own home. One research study found that, when sharing a memorial video online, you “generate a communal space and create a place for shared feelings, emotions, experiences, condolences, as well as compassion between people from around the world.” By posting these healing memories online, death no longer remains a private matter where families are forced to grieve and cope on their own. It takes the stand of a publicly shared experience where family and friends can support and encourage each other in many different ways. So make sure you are offering families this online healing experience with a service such as f1Connect, which allows you to create powerful social memorial sites for your families.

5. The Ritual Of Watching Can Lessen Grief

One of the most powerful aspects of memorial tribute videos is that families can take the emotions and stories with them long after the funeral has ended. That way, when they want to celebrate their loved one and feel close to them again, they can simply pop in the beautiful video that your funeral home created, and connect with the stories and memories all over again. Life Tribute videos also become a great visual tradition for important holidays, events and anniversaries, when families want to feel especially close to their loved ones.

Rituals, such as watching personal videos and looking through photos on a particular day, can actually help families overcome grief by counteracting the turbulence and chaos that follows loss. How? “Rituals, which are deliberately-controlled gestures, trigger a very specific feeling in mourners – the feeling of being in control of their lives. After people did a ritual … they were more likely to report thinking that ‘things were in check’ and less likely to feel ‘helpless,’ ‘powerless,’ and ‘out of control.’”

If you would like to see first-hand the powerful healing experience that Life Tributes memorial videos can bring to your families, click here to sign up for a 30 day free trial!

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  1. J Terry Pace

    Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing to help individuals & families deal with the grieving process.

  2. Rilee Chastain

    Thanks, J! So happy you enjoyed it.

  3. Rodel N. Casio

    Thank You Rilee! I am a Certified Photo Organizer here in Oregon and my intention of my business is to empower people to start organizing their visual history and choose photos that they want to display at their own funeral. Most times, families have the burden to quickly find photos in boxes, CD’s, computers, folders, cloud storage, facebook that they need for the Funeral Celebration, Obituaries, etc.

    A family member passed away back home in Hawaii last week and I am sure they are scrambling to find photos of my Aunt. I have a family archive with photos already organized and shared several photos on Facebook. Families with take the first photos that they came get a hold of. It’s the one photo that they chose to have printed and framed to put on the empty seat at her eldest sons wedding which took place yesterday.

    I have healed through photos myself and it’s very powerful for the soul.

  4. Susan Reilmann

    Can you share with me, the name of some of the studies you cite in your presentation above. Our social workers agree with the content but I have no point of reference regarding the studies that qualify our thoughts and feelings.
    thank you