Celebrating A Life Well Lived

By Marianna Curran

I spoke to my dad almost every day. We chatted about my kids, the state of the world, movies to watch, books to read, things to get done, just about everything. He advised me and I advised him. He meant the world to me. But I lost him on March 12, 2021.

I am the family memory and photo keeper. I was the one my siblings turned to for our photo display to honor my dad at his funeral service. It is the task that I knew I would have to do one day, but I just never had the heart to start it sooner than needed. We all want to be prepared for the inevitable, but it would have been even harder to do before absolutely necessary. My dad was 90, so there were many years and a life well-lived to capture.

We have all been to services where the family has unearthed their photos from drawers and boxes and pins them onto corkboard displays, creating chaotic collages with the noble intention of showing snippets of a good life.

I really wanted those who came to my Dad’s services to understand a bit more about him and see him through my eyes. To say that I am grateful for my permanent FOREVER account is an understatement. For the past few years, I have been organizing the photos and videos capturing my family’s mundane and special life moments. So, gathering my Dad’s incredible life together in themes was less daunting.

Within 24 hours, with the help of Artisan, I created 10, 20” x 30” poster boards with themes: Dad as a child, Dad in college and the army, Dad at work, Dad with Mom, Dad on vacations, Dad as (the real) Santa, Dad with his children, Dad with his grandchildren, etc. I mounted them and had them placed on easels. It was the equivalent of a 40-page, 12” x 12” photobook. People really took the time to look at them.

The highest compliment I received was from a friend who said she really felt like she knew my dad after having looked at each themed poster. I was so happy and proud to have done my dad’s life justice.

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