Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. Stories define us, connect us, and help us heal. That’s why our caring team at Farenga Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service finds it so important to help families tell stories about their loved ones in ways that are personal and meaningful. Stories told during funerals, visitations, and even funeral receptions encourage loved ones to revisit memories, focus on a life well lived, and ultimately, say goodbye.
We always say every person is unique and needs to be celebrated. Here, we’ve outlined five creative ways to share a life story during a funeral reception. While there are many reasons to have a reception, one of them is to take one more opportunity to paint a picture of your loved one’s life. Our hope is that these ideas and options will help families convey the character and personality of their loved one in a way that provides comfort and hope.
- Explore photo collage ideas: Looking through old photo albums is incredibly cathartic, as is compiling and presenting a visual element to help tell the story of a person’s life. Photos can be displayed on a poster, photo slideshow, or video. Our compassionate staff will help families choose the format that will work best for them.
- Express love through food. Every person has favorite foods, so why not share these at the reception – either before or after the funeral service or visitation? We will prepare a beloved dish or you can provide your own. Think of enjoying Grandma’s delicious chocolate cake or the casserole your uncle made for every get-together. In the words of famed chef Julia Child, “It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.” And when you choose Farenga & Sons, we will handle all the details so you don’t have to.
- Create a fun display of treasured keepsakes. Families find solace in reminiscing about a loved one’s passions, interests, and hobbies. Looking at favorite books, knickknacks, or other treasured possessions often brings to mind stories all their own, prompting the words, “Remember when . . .”
- Ask guests to share a favorite memory. While many funerals include a book where guests can write their names, you might consider taking it a step further by providing a space to jot down a story, memory, or condolence. Or, you can set aside a time during the reception when people stand and share some of those stories with everyone. This encourages people to be more involved in the funeral, as well as offers the family the opportunity to hear and read – and hold onto – these personalized tributes.
- Distribute a keepsake item. Giving a small gift to loved ones attending the funeral reception is another way to keep memories alive. Was gardening a favorite hobby? Hand out packets of seeds. Did the person who died favor a particular song or recipe or poem? Distribute a copy to each guest. Our team will help you think of all the possibilities that can act as lasting reminders of your loved one’s life.