Exploring the Importance of Taking Photos

  From leather-bound photo albums to digital picture sharing, the modern photographer has tons of different options for displaying favorite snapshots. While great pictures are a work of art, these mementos mean so much more than simple decoration. Photographs allow us to record life’s greatest moments, so they stay in our memories forever. Explore the importance of taking photos, and learn how to take your skills to the next level! These photos may even help get the conversation started when you decide to Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

Remembering Key Moments

While memories may get hazy with time, photographs can capture moments in high definition. Take one look at your family’s holiday portrait, and you’ll feel transported to grandma’s house in an instant. You’ll remember all the small details, from the decorations on the mantle to the smell of cinnamon in the air. Even though special events may be hectic, it’s important to record these moments for the future. Try arranging your favorite snapshots in a photo album or scrapbook to share with those you love.

Developing Artistry

Whether simple or complex, all photographs are meaningful. But, it can be fun to challenge yourself to improve your artistic eye. Why not practice your skills at your next vacation? Pull out the camera and take some different shots of the waves on the beach, or try different angles when snapping pictures of dramatic architecture. In the age of digital photography, it’s easy to take dozens of experimental shots and view the results in an instant. You may be surprised by all you discover behind the lens of your camera!

Telling Stories

One picture can tell a thousand words, but what about a series of photographs? Keep your camera out throughout the day, week, or even year to capture events over a period of time. Nature lovers can take photographs of the changing leaves throughout the season, while adventurers can take pictures throughout an entire day of hiking. This photojournalistic approach can also be a wonderful way to commemorate your loved ones. Spend the day with friends and family while capturing moments that reflect their interests, like unique hobbies and special talents. This can also be a wonderful time to integrate the Talk of a Lifetime . You can learn even more about your loved ones in the present, while creating additional memories for the future.

Creating a Memorable Mother’s Day

  Mother’s Day is a special time to show your family how much you care, but preparing for this big day may feel a little overwhelming. Luckily, creating a memorable Mother’s Day is easy when you speak from the heart and Have the Talk of a Lifetime. Read on for our top suggestions on how to make this holiday the best one yet.

Personal Gifts

While lavish jewelry and huge bouquets may be impressive gifts, some of the best gifts don’t cost a thing. If you have little ones, encourage them to create cards and pictures for mom or grandma as one-of-a-kind art. Have them think about their favorite memories with these special women so they can incorporate them into their masterpieces. These charming mementos make great displays at the office or in the home, and the colorful designs will brighten any day, and may spark even more conversation about what matters most in their lives. Additionally, thoughtful gestures may make a big impact. Consider scheduling special time to share memories, and chipping in with extra chores to give Mom a day off.

Dining Out

Taking mom out for dinner is one of the most popular activities for Mother’s Day, so be sure to treat her to an amazing meal! Mother’s Day can be a great time to try an extra-nice establishment for dinner, but you don’t have to break the bank to have a memorable dinner. Think about your family’s favorite establishments. Whether mom prefers an upscale bistro or a neighborhood diner, she’ll be thrilled that you remembered her favorite restaurant on the big day, and these memories can last a lifetime.

New Experiences

If you want to plan something big, shared experiences may be more memorable than even the fanciest gifts. Talk to your mothers and grandmothers to learn more about things they love to do, places they love to go, or things they’ve always wanted to do. Head out on a road trip to somewhere brand new, or take a special vacation to a country you’ve never visited. Don’t forget to bring your camera, and record the experiences! The memories that you make with your family will be cherished long after the return flight is over.

Deep Conversations

Though some moms love to celebrate Mother’s Day with flair, others prefer quieter celebrations. The gift of great conversation may be just what your mom wants on her special day. Whether speaking through the phone or in person, take the time to learn something new about your mother. Have the Talk of a Lifetime. What are her favorite accomplishments in life? How does she want to be remembered in life? If you need more talking points…

Why Memories Are So Important

  From colorful childhood birthdays to proud career accomplishments, every person has their own vault of cherished memories. Your unique memories are a highlight reel of your life’s greatest moments, so it’s important to Have the Talk of a Lifetime, and share them with your loved ones. But over time, these recollections may get a little foggy. Why are memories so important, and how can we keep them alive?

Document Moments

Memories of your first baseball game may fade in time, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Search through old photo albums with family and talk about all the wonderful times in your lives. Dust off those old letters from your grandparents and re-read your favorite passages with your family. You may be surprised by all the emotions that a few pieces of paper can stir up! Additionally, it’s important to document moments for the future as well. Don’t forget to bring a camera to events, like children’s birthday parties and family reunions. These small acts can preserve memories for generations to come.

Share Stories

Not every memory can be documented. Sometimes a great conversation can reveal more than an entire photo album. Take some time in the present to recall the past with your family members. Call your parents and Have the Talk of a Lifetime, ask them about their favorite memories, or invite your grandparents to lunch for a casual interview. What are their favorite childhood memories? What things inspire them? Who are their role models of the past and present?

Take Time to Reflect

Though modern times are hectic, it’s important to take some time to sit and reflect. Your calendar can be a great reminder to reach out to loved ones. Share favorite memories with your best friend during a birthday, or look through old photographs with your spouse on your anniversary. Not only can Having the Talk of a Lifetime help you reflect on important people in your day-to-day life, but it can also help you reflect on those who’ve passed. You can keep memories of the departed alive in a number of ways. Try listening to your grandparents’ wedding song in honor of their anniversary, or go through old birthday cards from your old friends. Sharing memories with your loved ones is one of the most important gifts you can give, for now and the for the future.

Why Does it Take a Tragic Event to Get People’s Attention?

  We all take different “journeys” with many people in our lives. As a result, the way we respond can vary when we lose these people. We have contrasting feelings when we lose a 90-year loved one compared to a teenaged loved one. We can even experience strong emotions when dealing with the loss of a celebrity or of someone we don’t know, but who experienced a tragic death. Most everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing when they learned of the 9-11 attack. I am sure the families who lost loved ones during this tragic event wished they had spent more time talking to them. Do you remember the death of Princess Diana? I didn’t know her personally, but I was touched by the stories that were told about her. Why does it take a tragic event to get people’s attention? The reason I ask this question is because as funeral professionals, we deal with the loss of people’s most priceless possessions – their mothers and fathers who made them into the people they are today, and heaven forbid, someone’s child who forever changed lives once born. When people experience a loss, they come to us, the funeral professionals, because they trust us. They trust that we will help them celebrate the lives of the people that made their world better. How can we truly celebrate their lives if we don’t allow them to tell their stories? Trying to learn these stories after the fact can leave us feeling a sense of stress, regret and remorse. We need to Have the Talk of a Lifetime, to ask our loved ones to share stories of experiences, people and major events that shaped them as people. Having the Talk of a Lifetime today helps us continue the journey with our loved ones, through shared stories. Plus, we understand that healing is its own journey. Every conversation we have now, leads to a healthier healing journey later. Go, Have the Talk and allow the journey to be full of fantastic memories that live on even after we’re gone.

The Importance of Memorialization to the Living

  Throughout history, nearly every culture across the globe has created rich traditions of memorializing those who have died. While these time-honored traditions serve as a method of preserving memories of the departed, the importance of memorialization to the living cannot be understated. What are some of the most common forms of memorialization, and how did these customs begin? We’ll explore the historical and sociological background behind memorialization today. Read on for a glimpse inside this fascinating process, and be sure to download a Have the Talk of a Lifetime Workbook for tips on getting your Talk of a Lifetime started.

Memorials in History

Every culture has its own unique customs to honor the lives of those passed. These traditions range from intimate gatherings in small villages to grand displays in ancient cultures. Historically, everyday citizens received more humble memorials involving close friends and family. While traditional burials were common, cremation has also been a part of many services throughout time. More extravagant memorials, like monuments and temples, were reserved for the elite. However, some monuments were constructed in tribute to represent entire villages. These methods served to highlight the community, strengthening the bond between citizens. What kind of memorial will you want when you die? Be sure to Have the Talk of a Lifetime with your family to share your wishes.

Psychology of Memorials

Memorialization is a wonderful way to cherish the fond memories of those departed, while also allowing the living to grieve. In fact, social sciences believe that memorialization is a crucial part of the grieving process. In the case of unexpected deaths, such as motor accidents, scientists have noticed the phenomenon of “spontaneous memorialization.” Mourners will often leave flowers and letters at the site of the incident, even creating “roadside memorials” as a tribute to those passed. This process may help the living show their enduring affection and appreciation while coping with such tragedy in the process. No time is too soon to talk about how you want to be memorialized. It’s important to Have the Talk with your loved ones today.

Honoring the Living

The memorialization process serves as a valuable reminder to cherish every moment with loved ones. One powerful way to strengthen your bond in the present is to Have the Talk of a Lifetime. Arrange some time in your schedule to speak with beloved friends and family about their proudest achievements, favorite memories, and more. You may learn new stories and valuable advice that may have otherwise been left unsaid. If you’d like to get started, visit the Have the Talk of a Lifetime website for more information about this powerful experience.

How To Help Someone Who is Grieving

  When your loved ones are dealing with the mourning process, it’s important to show your support. But, many struggle to know how to help someone who is grieving. While your heart may be full of love and sympathy, it may be difficult to articulate exactly what you are feeling during these difficult times. It’s good to explore ways to provide the support and comfort that your loved one may need. Learn what sentiments are worth expressing, and learn what phrases are best to avoid.

Supportive Communication

The grieving process is a long and stressful process, but it is one that must be experienced to properly cope with loss. Having the Talk of a Lifetime now will help make the grieving process less stressful when the time comes. But if you haven’t had the Talk, know that the best thing that you can do now is support your friend or family member emotionally during this time and focus on feelings. While many feel compelled to “fix” the situation, know that there is nothing that you can do to truly resolve the feeling of loss. No amount of rationalization, explanation, judgement, or minimization will make these emotions go away. Recognize the importance of the moment, and focus on really listening to your loved one. They will open up and grieve at their own pace.

Nonproductive Communication

As previously mentioned, there is a common desire to “fix” the situation. Friends and family members feel the urge to find a definitive solution to reduce the pain, but this is not an effective strategy. Try to listen and support your loved one, rather than instruct them. Here are some phrases that you may want to avoid:
  • They are in a better place now.
  • There is a reason for everything.
  • You should be strong.
  • At least they lived a long life.
  • I know exactly how you feel.

Talk of a Lifetime

While it may be difficult to know how to help someone who is grieving, your loved one will undoubtedly appreciate your kindness during these times. Having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones can make the grieving process a little easier. The Talk of a Lifetime is one way to encourage the sharing of important memories. Consider setting up time with your dearest friends and family to Have the Talk of a Lifetime soon, so you can honor them the way that they want to be remembered.

Having the Talk of a Lifetime with Siblings

  National Siblings Day is on April 10, and there’s no better time to reach out to your brothers and sisters to catch up! Whether you communicate daily, or can’t remember the last real conversation with your siblings, anyone can use this annual holiday to reconnect with family members. While it’s always exciting to catch up on recent events, National Sibling Day can also be a great opportunity for more in-depth conversations. Find out a little bit more about this holiday, and then learn how to Have the Talk of a Lifetime with your brothers and sisters!

National Siblings Day

It’s true, most everyone knows about Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June, but many families don’t know about another holiday that comes around every spring: National Siblings Day! National Siblings Day was created in 1995 by New York resident, Claudia Evart. Evart, who had lost both siblings in separate accidents, was inspired to create an event that honored these valued members of the family. In fact, the holiday itself honors the birthday of Evart’s late sister Lisette.

Getting in Touch

This year on April 10, take some time to reconnect with your brothers and sisters and Have the Talk of a Lifetime. In today’s modern times, it’s easier than ever to communicate. Video chat with your brother in another state and say hi to your niece in high definition. Invite your sister over for a movie night and talk about your favorite memories. You can even use the hashtag #NationalSiblingsDay to send a shout-out to your siblings on social media!

Have the Talk of a Lifetime

National Siblings Day is a great time for a quick chat. We encourage you and your siblings to have a deeper conversation about your lives as well. What are your proudest accomplishments? What advice would you give the next generation? Consider learning about Have the Talk of a Lifetime to inspire even more rich conversations about your lives and what is important to each of you. This can be a great time to bond and learn more about your siblings.

Honoring a Loved One at Home

  How will you remember your loved ones when they are no longer with you? By honoring a loved one in a special way within your home, you can pay tribute to those who’ve passed, while making peace with the present. The way in which you honor your loved one at home should be personal, and unique to that individual. Having the Talk of a Lifetime now will allow you to better memorialize a loved one when they die. Browse through these suggestions to bring a little brightness into the home with decorative, sentimental touches.

Plant a Tree

Planting a tree can be a great way to commemorate a life well-lived, and there are a wide variety of types to choose. Consider a gorgeous flowering tree for someone who loved nature, or Have the Talk with your family and friends about what kind of tree they think best represents the person you’re honoring. Every year, you can remember your loved one while admiring the colorful blossoms. If your loved one was a baker or chef, a fruit tree may be a wonderful tribute to memories in the kitchen.

Create an Indoor Space

With a little creativity, you can set up a special space indoors that is dedicated to your loved one. Was your loved one an avid reader? Create a little reading nook with books from his or her collection of books. Did they enjoy photography? Mount a portrait and frame their old pictures on the wall. Was fashion their passion? Display memorable garments, like hats and even dresses. Developing this space can also be a great time to involve the little ones in the process, so they can make peace as well. Kids can illustrate their favorite memories, draw portraits, or write out stories to remember family members in a personalized way. Invite your family and friends over and use our Activity Guide (insert link here) for tips on how to share other memories.

Honor Special Memories

Did your loved one have any special hobbies that defined them? You may want to integrate a few of these pieces into your home, like sports memorabilia and artwork, but you also may share these pieces with other collectors. Whether handing a signed baseball to a cousin or selling a painting to an art aficionado, your loved one would want these cherished items to be enjoyed.

The Talk of a Lifetime

Honoring a loved one at home is a beautiful way to keep their memory alive for years to come. Gathering with friends and family to Have the Talk of a Lifetime in your remembrance space is also a great time to talk about the future. Find out their proudest accomplishments, their favorite memories, and other ways that they would like to be remembered.

Keeping a Loved One’s Memory Alive

  Have the Talk of a Lifetime so that even after loved ones have passed, they never truly leave your life. Keeping a loved one’s memory alive can be an incredibly valuable part of the grieving process, so the living can celebrate the departed in a meaningful way. Learn how to create your own personal traditions to keep those cherished memories alive forever.

The Importance of Remembrance

While the mourning process can be incredibly challenging, moving through the stages of grief is essential to healthy coping, and Have the Talk of a Lifetime can help. By working through the pain of loss in the present, you can learn how to create a more peaceful future. That’s why it is never too early to Have the Talk of a Lifetime and discuss how you and your loved one’s want to be remembered. Many find comfort in connecting with friends and family when Having the Talk, discussing your favorite memories or collaborating on a meaningful tribute. These important connections can help the living feel a greater sense of harmony while honoring the memories of the departed.

Creating a New Tradition

Keeping a loved one’s memory alive can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. Think about your favorite times with your loved one for inspiration. Did they have any defining hobbies? Did they support any particular charities? Did they adore their alma mater? These are important things to talk about. After a bit of reflection, you may come up with some ideas of your own. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions as a starting point:
  • Take the time to celebrate your loved one’s birthday every year.
  • Create a video or scrapbook of memorable moments from your loved one’s life.
  • Donate money or time to a favorite charity, school, or organization in your loved ones’ honor.
  • Bring fresh flowers to the gravesite on a date that is significant to you, like a birthday or anniversary.
  • Host an annual dinner featuring your loved one’s favorite dishes.

The Past, Present, and Future

Though the loss of a loved one is a tragic time, it can serve as a powerful reminder to reconnect and Have the Talk of a Lifetime with those close to you. While developing your own methods of keeping a loved one’s memory alive, you may find some comfort in speaking with friends and family about their lives. Have the Talk of a Lifetime is a rewarding way to find out about the things that truly matter to your loved ones.

The Benefits of Family Meals

  It was a familiar scene in the days of black-and-white television: a family—the father with his newspaper, mother in her apron, and children who have just come in from play—gathers around their dining room table for an evening meal together. Baby boomers may remember these times fondly, sharing stories with their kids and grandkids that start with, “When I was a kid…,” followed by memories large and small that shaped their lives. Today, that scene may seem like fiction and nothing more. In our hectic world of electronic devices and 60-hour workweeks, family meals have become few and far between. Today’s families, in fact, may find themselves only eating meals together on holiday occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the benefits of family meals and sharing important family stories cannot be denied.

Benefits of Eating Together

Research conducted about the effects of regularly having family meals has concluded that families who eat together also reap various benefits, including:
  • Improved academic performance for children
  • Reduced risk of substance abuse
  • Enhanced self-esteem in children
  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Reduced risk of teen pregnancy
  • Lowered risk of depression
  • Reduced risk of developing eating disorders
  • Lowered risk of obesity

Ideal Setting for The Talk of a Lifetime

Among the many benefits of having family mealtime, parents will find it is also the ideal setting for family communication. This important—and largely forgotten—tradition is not only a key to the health of a family, but is also the perfect setting in which to Have the Talk of a Lifetime. In our hectic world, family history may be far from our thoughts as we work to make it through each day and then get enough sleep to face the next day. But, eventually, it’s important to have these conversations. During your family meals, make the conversation count. Talk about cherished memories, and let family members express how they wish to be remembered when their lives come to an end. Invite relatives over for family mealtime on occasion, and talk to grandparents, aunts, and uncles about their lives, their treasured memories, the things that have been most important to them.

Prepare for the Most Important Family Conversations

Don’t let cherished opportunities pass you by. Family meals provide many benefits and are the perfect setting to Have the Talk of a Lifetime.