This was a triumph.
I’m making a note here, “Huge Success”
I was given SO much latitude in regard to “normal usage of the church.” No church dress in the chapel. No bishop conducting the service. We had an opening prayer, but no viewing (ewww… no.). Nothing about this was normal.
And it was magnificent.
I’ve never had such a loud “funeral.” It was like a real convention. And the food was phenomenal! Like… panini press + ham + cheese? Oh! Relief Society you knocked it OUT OF THE PARK. People were laughing and crying. I was talking to a friend. I was making him cry. And then I told a joke at Asher’s expense. Something about a 30 day orientation period before he gets access to the deep world lore. My friend said, “Man, talking to you is like a roller coaster. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.” I said, “Both. Both is good.”
And I think that was the theme of the event. “Both. Both is good.” We cried while laughing and laughed to forsake the crying. Perfect. I think it was just like he wanted it to be. I hope he was there or can see the recording.
Things We Did Well
- Pre-recorded video. There’s no way I could have made it through that without sobbing. And frankly as a parent, I feel I told the story very well. I don’t know if that’s something other people could do.
- Jokes between the hard part (Phase 1 - Eulogy) and the fun part (Phase 2 - Booths). People could participate enthusiastically. Physically moving from one to the other was really helpful. “We’re going to watch a video and honor him, and now we’re going to move and go play to honor him!”
- Handing out tickets with jokes and a great picture of Asher.
- Having a semi-functional website which has connection information.
- Swag Bags and volunteers for each booth. The Youth did a great job and I hope they had fun.
- Frames for the canvas. @Elder’s Quorum Presidency REPRESENT!
- Ham and cheese with panini presses. Self-service amazing goodness.
- No somber dresses.
- Move at your own pace and were very interactive.
- About 100 people was good. More than that would have been a real problem.
Things I might have done differently
- Order more printing material. I ran out of canvas and had to use a backup plan.
- Better grip on the technology before hand. We had to pivot for a couple of things.
- The head sets were stupid.
- Too much dependency on the WiFi. It got full REALLY FAST.
- Maybe have more people helping with the design. I made myself a SPoF and that wasn’t a great thing.
- I wish the other boys had been able to better engage with the convention. They were largely disconnected. It’s their grief. I just hope they were able to get out of it what was important for their process.
Thank you for all the many hands that helped. The people that hoped, the people that built, the people that attended. All of you wonderful people.
Love you, buddy. I hope you had a good time.