Everybody Ought to Have a Tribute Show · 2 October 2011

I think everybody ought to have a tribute show. Whether it is a slide show or video production, there ought to be somebody putting one together for each of us every year.

I came to this conclusion after going to and missing too many funerals in the past couple years. At the ones I did go to, there were slideshows and videos showing glimpses of those people’s lives. They were nice tributes and brought back fond memories of the people we were remembering.

At one of those memorials, somebody must have said it would be nice if the deceased would have been able to see the show. Or that the person would have laughed or been embarrassed that some particular picture was shown. That is why I figured everybody ought to have a tribute show before they go.

When we are kids, our parents take pictures of us and put them in albums for all to see. Whether they want to or not. I remember growing up and having people over to watch slide shows of our family vacations. Dad would get out the slide projector and slides and everybody would wait patiently while he stuck them in the holder. When the slideshow began, we all laughed whenever Dad said, “Oops. That one’s backwards.” Or everybody would stand on their heads to see the ones he had put in upside down. It was always a good time for us, but I think our guests were just being nice when they asked to see the slides. Either that or they were suffering through it because they figured it was the least they could do after having dinner with us. Or else they were family and had to endure it.

Actually, I think that mostly people enjoyed seeing those slide shows of family vacations. They got to catch up with mutual friends and family. They got to see us having a good time. And, of course, they got to live vicariously through those slides. When the show was over and the trip was seen, somebody would invariably make the mistake of asking, “Do you have any other slides?” I would groan. Not because Dad had about a hundred carousels of slides documenting our lives so far. Or even because we had seen those slides a thousand times. I groaned because I knew there was a certain picture of me as a baby. Getting potty trained. On a ducky seat strapped to the toilet. I hated that picture.

That picture is one of those pictures that I could live without ever seeing again. It would be the one at my final tribute show where everybody would laugh and I would be glad I did not have to see it. Which brings me back to my original thought. If everybody had a tribute show every year or thereabouts, we could laugh about the current silly pictures we have. We could see kids growing older. We could see everybody at different stages of life. Newlyweds, retirees, celebrities, and dead people should not be the only ones who get those beautiful and sometimes funny tributes. We all should.

I suppose that I am probably a little crazy for suggesting such a thing, but then again, maybe that is what Facebook is really all about. We get to stay in contact with each other through words, pictures, and videos. We can get slideshows and updates any time. Then again, it would be nice to have somebody else put together a show about us.

I know it sounds crazy, but with all the digital pictures we take of all of our loved ones, we probably ought to collect them into shows or presentations. We probably ought to put them to music or narrate over them. We probably should create tribute shows for our loved ones. For while the tributes we see for our dearly departed are beautiful, it would be nice if they could see them with us.

At least once in his or her life, everybody ought to have a tribute show.

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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