Memory is part of a larger project in which I investigate how so-called 'image testaments' can make a funeral more personal.
In the condolence room a photographic portrait of the deceased, divided in pieces, lies on the table. It's a memory. The memory is life-size and consists of enough sets to give all the bereaved the possibility to participate. As soon as the bereaved start participating in the memory, they will find out that the bottom of the cards show an illustration. Taken together, these illustrations give a beautiful impression of the deceased's life.
The bereaved who participate in the memory together, won't necessarily know each other very well. They do have a certain bond with the deceased in common. For instance, not everyone will know a certain nickname of the deceased. But the bereaved who does know this nickname, can share the story behind it with the rest of the group. That's how sharing memories of the deceased starts.
As the memory proceeds and more and more sets are found and taken out, slowly the portrait of the deceased disappears. The sets the bereaved collect can be taken home. They take, as it were, a memory of the deceased home. A memory set consists of two different cards, so attendants take two different aspects of a memory with them, aspects that clearly belong to each other.
© Ellis van der Does
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