It is common after cremation services in Shelby Charter Township, MI to hold funeral receptions where food, drinks, and stories are shared about loved ones. Storytelling is one of the great traditions that humans have of passing along information throughout time.
Many of the classic epics and books that are available now in written form were once part of a vibrant oral tradition. The Illiad and The Odyssey, written in poem format by Homer in the 8th century BC, are two of the oldest examples of storytelling.
The stories we tell help us define ourselves. They help us to connect with each other. And, in the case of stories that are told during a funeral reception, they help us begin to start the healing process after the death of someone we love.
The stories we tell at funeral receptions focus on fond memories, funny memories, a meaningful life, the impact our loved one had on other people. They are a comforting and supportive way to say farewell to someone we love.
So, how can you naturally evoke storytelling about your loved one at the funeral reception?
One way to encourage storytelling at your loved one’s funeral reception is to provide photo collages of them that highlight certain aspects of their lives.
For example, if your loved one was an ardent supporter of the sports teams from the college where they graduated or they had a favorite professional sports team that they closely followed, then a photo college of them in their team’s gear or attending games will naturally encourage people to say, “I remember when…”
Your loved one may have served in the military and may have won several honors and medals during their service. A photo collage of them during their military tour (or career) along with some of the accolades they received is sure to spark conversations from people who served with them or from people who may not know about their military service.
Another way to encourage people at the funeral reception to share their stories and memories of your loved one is by the food you serve at the funeral reception. You can share some of your loved one’s favorite dishes and explain why they were favorites.
Perhaps your loved one had a favorite comfort food that they wanted when they were sick, or when they had a rough day. Maybe your loved one had a special dessert that they wanted each year for their birthday. Serving these foods lets you tell the stories behind them and give insights about your loved one.
If your loved one had passions and hobbies that sustained them throughout their life, you can create a display of them doing what they loved or some of the things that they created. Not only will this elicit stories from you and your family, but it will also spark conversations among the others at the funeral reception about their memories of your loved one following their passions or enjoying their hobbies.
One of the common ways that storytelling is done at funeral receptions is by asking people who attend to share their memories of your loved one. You will have people at the funeral reception who may have known your loved one all their lives and who shared close friendships with them during their life. Perhaps college friends will be there or colleagues who worked with them throughout the years.
Hearing the stories each of the groups of people tell about your loved one will be very comforting and healing for you and your family.