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Sep 25

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On the February 7, 2017 episode of the NBC hit show This Is Us, one of the three storylines is exploring the death of a parent and the impact on the entire family. This episode featured the “coping tool” of a Memory Box, where the family will put objects, documents etc. that will remind them of their father/grandfather. The simple homemade box featured is what families do on their own when funeral homes do not offer the In Loving Memory Box. 16.8 million viewers at the time of airing – statistics for on demand tbd.

If mainstream TV shows are featuring this concept, funeral homes should too.


This story is from a funeral director at Allnutt Funeral Service in Fort Collins CO.

A teenage girl died tragically.

Her family was not interested in a typical funeral service as their daughter was not a typical girl.

She was an avid skateboarder and beloved by the entire local skateboard community.

This is a group who prizes individuality and creative expression. They clearly identify with this sport as a way of life, much like the theology among surfers.

The funeral director knew that this family was not interested in anything traditional and was going to hold the service on their own. Knowing the cathartic opportunity for the family and friends, he presented them with the In Loving Memory Box anyway. He then recommended that they hold her service at the skateboard park using the In Loving Memory Box as the focal point.

The service went as follows:

The service was held at twilight. They placed the box on the highest ledge in the park. They propped her skateboard to the left of the box and had the candle burning to the right. They handed each person a writing slate and two sheets of stationery. Everyone sat quietly writing and when they were done, one after another they slowly rode their skateboards forward, stopped, popped their boards, stepped forward and placed the stationery in the box. Unexpectedly, some of them also took off pieces of jewelry they were wearing and put them in the box. People took turns telling the stories they had written. Others came and asked for more paper as this conversation reminded them of more things they wanted to add. When darkness came, everyone lit the flash lights on their phones. It was a glowing, magical scene. They continued to talk and share as darkness fell like a soft blanket around them.

The In Loving Memory Box became the representation of this wonderful teenage girl. It became a vessel for her grieving friends and family. It became a cherished collection to remember her.

Allnutt Funeral Service was THE firm to offer the perfectly appropriate yet unconventional service for this family and community.

That is WHY we all do this. Touch more deeply. Serve more completely. Represent far more uniquely.

Keep being a source of creativity and passion to the families you serve.

Happy Spring-

It’s All In The Box

As time passes, our memory of experiences, events and interactions- change. Some fade completely and are gone forever. Others are like water, hard to hold onto and slowly moving away. The reason “time heals” is because time softens. Time erases. Time makes us forget.

In her book All At Sea– Decca Aitkenhead reacts to the childhood loss of her mother by painstakingly recording the death of her husband and her personal journey through grief. Quite simply, she wrote it down before time stole it.

When we encourage people who are suffering the loss of someone they love to write things down, it is for good reason. While in grief, these memories are like a razor- sharp and unforgiving.  Relentless in their detailed assault; all consuming, painful and unpredictable.

Writing or recording these thoughts and memories helps dull the need to hold on so tightly. Knowing they are now safely recorded is a relief and a release. In Loving Memory Services are how we gather them, The In Loving Memory Box is where we keep them.

Now time can do it’s work of healing, without washing away what we hold precious.

More about the book ALL AT SEA

—Washington Post

“Asensational, devastating story … All at Sea is more than the recounting of a freak accident and its consequences. It is a thoughtful and provocative rumination on love, family and grief. Where When Breath Becomes Air offered a dying man’s perspective on mortality, All at Sea offers a widow’s perspective on survivor’s guilt … A bracing and valuable reminder of the vagaries of fate that can leave you feeling unaccountably grateful—not only for your own relative serendipity, but for the wisdom borne of Aitkenhead’s grit.”

The first service that I had the chance to use the box was a community changing event. I was able to present the box to the family during the arrangement conference and explained how we would implement it in their service. They were excited as they had a service in another state and did not have this kind of service experience there. As we went through the service I got real nervous as to how the 125 or so people would feel about this. As I discussed with the pastor earlier in the week about how it would go he came to me prior to service and wanted to read the script. I said ok lets roll with it…. He did a great job and every person in the room took advantage of the opportunity to write down a memory. At the conclusion of the service this pastor came up to me and said that this was the best memorial service that he had conducted in years… It was not what he said but the action that the people took in participating in this new program. He then followed that with… If anyone ever asks me where to go when they want a memorial service done right I will send them to you as long as you are doing this program… This is what a memorial service should look like…


I have done 5 services so far with the box

Thanks again Kelly, this will change the way we do business for years to come!!

We are excited to announce that our NEW MEMORY KEEPERS ARE HERE and will ship to you by May 16th. The overall quality is profoundly improved and we can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Just-In-Case you run out before then and you need to hold a Memory Service- Hold your Memory Service as usual. Have them bring a 4×6 framed photo for the service and keep the photo. Collect the letters, photos, stationery etc and keep them in an envelope with the family’s name and info.

Once your shipment arrives, place the 4×6 photo in the front of the Memory Keeper. Place the collected memories inside. Have a follow-up meeting with the family and present them with the gift of the completed In Loving Memory Box.

There is no need to miss the opportunity to hold a Memory Service on behalf of your deserving families. And they will appreciate the gift just the same.

Let us know if you need additional stationery to accommodate these services and we’ll get it right out to you!

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The Birthday Speech from Meet Joe Black.

Anthony Hopkins’ character is going to die later this night, and he knows it. His daughters threw this 65th birthday party for him, not knowing that he’s leaving with Brad Pitt at the conclusion of this speech. Pitt is his escort to heaven. This dialog is a perfect summation of why families should have the benefit of the In Loving Memory Box.

It’s All In The Box was featured in the Horan & McConaty service shown in the CNBC Special, DEATH, ITS A LIVING. This overview of the funeral business showcased H&M beautifully and we are proud to be part of their success. The program aired on Jan 31st, 2013. Thank you HORAN & MCCONATY and Thank you CNBC!

You can watch it here-