How to Write a Tribute or Memorial
Cesare Pavese once said ‘We don’t remember days, we remember moments.’ How true that is.
When someone you love has passed away, writing a Tribute or Memorial can seem a daunting task. How can you capture all the experiences and memories of their life in a few words?
We have put together 8 tips to give you some inspiration:
- Start with the basics – Where they were born, parents’ names, their childhood home and school. Hopefully this information is readily available. It’s helpful to ask these questions while they’re still living and note it down. Presenting the Tribute in chronological order is ideal. We’ve created a document called My Life Story so you know what questions to ask.
- What made them unique? – No two people are alike, so focus on what made your loved one different. A hobby, a passion, loveable quirks and life events that shaped them.
- Ask family & friends – The people around you will have memories of your loved one, too. Now’s the time to share stories and write them down so they won’t be forgotten. You might be surprised at what comes out!
- Remember the good times – Laughter is the best medicine and it can help with the grieving process. Think of the things your loved one did that made you laugh; their favourite joke, funny life events and stories they loved to tell over and over. All these things help you to remember your loved one fondly, with a smile.
- Use someone else’s words – If you’re not a wordsmith, there are thousands who are. Use the words from a song, or a poem, or a quote that help to capture the feelings in your heart and that sum up the life of your loved one well.
- Write in the style that they would like to be remembered. If your loved one had a whacky sense of humour, make it a bit cheeky. If they were very conservative, choose your words to reflect that. If they were emotive and expressive, use emotive language.
- Pictures tell stories – It’s very common to show a Powerpoint of photos at a funeral as part of the Tribute, or to add photos to an online Memorial. They help you remember your loved one when they were at their best. They invoke different memories for everyone who knew them and can say some things better than a thousand words ever could. The team at Sovereign Funerals can compile a complimentary Memorial DVD for you that can be shown at the funeral service and then it’s yours to keep as a memento.
- Keep the tribute brief – No more than 5 minutes to keep everyone engaged. It’s a highlights reel of your loved one’s life, and doesn’t need to encapsulate their entire life.
A Tribute is a celebration of life, so forget about the pressure to perform and just concentrate on the things that mattered most to you and your loved one.