I don’t like to dwell on loss and death, particularly on a business website which celebrates love and life through photography but I thought I might share this personal story with you to inspire you to make more out of the photographs that you and your family may have taken a lifetime to collect.
Last year my father sadly passed away, and having organised most of the funeral arrangements, I wondered about his eulogy.
Dad was keen to speak at a number of funerals I’d attended with him, his brother’s and his wife’s (my step mother) particularly and I understood he felt it the right thing to do on such occasions.
I’d thought about what I might say at his funeral, but kept hitting something of a block. I’d shared many memories with dad, but didn’t have the feeling that I needed to share any these stories with other people, for some reason. I felt some guilt and a certain amount of pressure to do or say something at this funeral service, rather than leave it to someone who didn’t really know him very well.
With so much to do after the death of a loved one, I put it to the back of my mind, at least in the short term, until the date was looming and it became more pressing to organise something suitable.
As part of clearing out his house, I’d come across Dad’s old photograph albums, he loved taking photos and lots of them too. As I started to go through them, the idea came to mind about doing a presentation of his favourite images for the funeral, a kind of collage of his life.
I spoke to the funeral directors, who in turn spoke to the venue and after a day or two they said it would be fine to present on a screen at the venue, if I forwarded the slideshow ahead of the day, which I did.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to celebrate Dad’s life with photos of his life, shared with the family he loved, many of whom would be at the funeral. It would give them a chance to reminisce the good old days, and to feel part of the day rather more than they would at a funeral.
It turned out to be a nice surprise for many of the people attending the funeral service, and seem to go down well with all.
I liked the poem by LInda Ellis called “the dash” so incorporated it into the slideshow because we were celebrating Dad’s dash after all.
Hope it inspires you to make the most of those precious memories that you’ve captured in the past and are going to capture years into the future.
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
© 1996 Linda Ellis
This fabulous poem by Linda Ellis really gets to the heart of what’s important in life, it inspired me to do this slideshow to celebrate the life of my wonderful dad, who passed away a short time ago.
We recently had the pleasure of photographing some of the lovely children that attend Babyballet classes in the surrounding area. Here is a selection of images taken during the sessions.
If you’ve run a class or group and would like to know more about our location photoshoots, please get in touch.
Whether you come to enjoy a Makeover photoshoot, where you have your hair and makeup professionally styled, or for a regular photoshoot, we’ll take a variety of stylish portraits to capture your unique personality and style. We’re all individuals and here at Mike Turner Photography we believe in celebrating this uniqueness. Check out just a small selection of images captured during one shoot, to get an idea about the variety of images we’re able to capture. We’d love to see you at our studio in Lowton soon. Check out more information about our makeover photoshoots and our regular portraits.