Holding a memorial service in the days, weeks or even months following the death of a loved one provides an alternative to a traditional funeral. Although memorial services don't have to stick to a formal structure, a common element of this event is the memorial table -- a decorated table that essentially tells the life story of the person who has passed away. Photos are a key element of any memorial table, but shouldn't be the only tools you use to tell the story. With the right approach, you can build a memorial table that proudly pays tribute to the person being honored.
Dig For Photos
Do your best to dig through family photo albums and close relatives' personal collections to find photos from various times in the person's life. It's ideal to have photos from throughout the years, including photos of the person as a child, on his or her graduation and wedding days, with family and enjoying a beloved hobby. For example, if the person loved golf or traveling, a photo depicting him or her on a favorite golf course or relaxing on a cruise ship is suitable. You can display a handful of photos in frames around the table, glued to a board hung on the wall behind the table or, as a modern touch, load the photos into a digital frame that will play a slideshow throughout the service.
Use Cherished Mementos
Items from the person's life can really make the memorial table a focal point in the room. Think of the personal possessions that the person either valued or that effectively share information about the person. If the person was an avid gardener and always wore a specific hat, place the hat on the table alongside a bouquet of his or her favorite flowers. For someone who closely followed a certain professional football team, display ticket stubs or a jersey. Whatever the person's interests, some related mementos can greatly augment the look of the table and the story it tells.
If the person didn't have a surplus of personal possessions -- perhaps because he or she decluttered later in life -- ask family members and friends if they have anything that can contribute to the table. Whether it's a personal artifact that the deceased family member gave someone else or an old photo from a key time in the person's life, asking around can turn a routine memorial table into one that really stands out.
For more information about memorial services, consider visiting a funeral home like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home.