I've always been fascinated by the stories we tell at funerals.
(And trust me, I know a thing or two about funerals. I lived in a funeral home for a couple of years as a kid).
I'll never forget the time I was sitting at a funeral and heard the sweet widower of the deceased relate his wife's dislike for sharp cheddar cheese and the tender laughter of those in attendance who knew he'd gone decades without his favorite flavor of cheese on burgers and sandwiches because he loved his wife.
Naturally, funerals lend themselves to drumming up these types of memories of the deceased, perhaps in a subconscious way of clinging to our loved ones. Often, these previously inconsequential stories now mean the world and make us cry, laugh, smile, feel awe and wonder, gratitude and closeness - these stories bind us to the people lying in the casket, even if we can't laugh with them anymore.
Our stories are all that remains when we pass on. But, why do we as a society continue to wait to tell those stories until after the main character is gone?
Recently, I created a 50th birthday tribute for my dad. It was a surprise, so rather than interviewing him about his stories, this particular project involved interviewing my grandparents, my aunts, my mom and my siblings.
When I debuted the film at my dad's 50th birthday party, not only did we get to hear stories told about my dad from his family's perspective, we also got to get my dad's side of the story after the film was done.
In one evening, our family captured the memory swapping, smile inducing and love binding experience we all have at a funeral - without waiting for the dreadful day when my dad is no longer with us.
This isn't just something our family gets to have. This is something I want every family to have a chance to feel for themselves! This is why I'm so passionate about telling the simple and human stories of everyday people.
THIS is why Root Story Studios exists today.
If you're ready to tell your story, or you're ready to hear all those great stories about Aunt Gladys, Grandma Betty or Uncle Joe, do it today while your loved ones are still with you.
We don't have to wait for the funeral, we shouldn't wait for the funeral - we can tell those stories today.
In the coming weeks, I'll be releasing more information about how Root Story Studios can help you with that process. In the mean time, start to think about the stories you'd like to share and/or hear. It's a journey you'll never regret starting.