This project is obviously very personal to me as Betty was my mother. I have a wonderful collection of Betty’s old photos, along with my father’s slides from the 1960s and 70s until his death in 1975.
The funeral was held during our third lockdown, with some of Betty’s friends shielding at home. This memorial was created to send to those that couldn’t attend, as well as to give to those attending Betty’s funeral.
Wanting to avoid the usual Order of Service that most people have at funerals, I created this visual timeline as a memorial to Betty’s life. Making it a wonderful time for me to revisit her photos from the viewpoint of a grieving son.
Opening the memorial shows the earlier photographs – mainly in black and white. Turning over, all the photos are now in colour. Depicting the more recent events in her life, from attending my brother’s wedding to being a grandmother.
When I had to clear Betty’s house I was able to keep aside small memorable items. I used Betty’s shorthand notebook and a match book from Switchgear and Cowans – where Betty was a secretary to my father. These keepsakes are used to annotate the story where I didn’t have any photos to illustrate the story.
Betty’s Alzheimer’s meant she eventually had to move to full time care at Holcroft Grange in Culcheth – only half a mile from her home. Despite having Covid-19 she had no symptoms. At the age of 91, she passed away peacefully in January 2021.
The memorial was also a useful starting point for our celebrant – Hilary Walker – to write her script for the funeral service.