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Utah Business Gives A Voice To The Dead Through Funeral Videos

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Few people are allowed to have the last word after death, but an emerging business aims to ensure nobody is left without a voice in the afterlife.

Rick Porter’s new venture, “Speak at Your Own Funeral,” involves producing memorial videos that can be played back at funerals or viewed in private, post mortem.

“It would be a shame to die without leaving some kind of a note about who we are, what we experienced, what we became and maybe some advice,” Porter said. “Here is your way to leave at least a short note — maybe five minutes, maybe 10 minutes — of what you learned, what you believe and some advice. The advice part is really important.”

Rick Porter’s new venture, “Speak at Your Own Funeral,” involves producing memorial videos that can be played back at funerals or viewed in private, post mortem.

Porter said in his career as a media producer he has put together numerous memorial and tribute videos for those in the corporate world and he saw applicability for those who wanted something similar in their personal lives.

“That’s the best part of what you could leave for your posterity,” Porter said.

The service isn’t just for the terminally ill and the dying.

Michael Metcalfe, 74, said he is currently in good health, but wanted something prepared for his future generations.

“I do a lot of family history, a lot of genealogy and of course I see all of the people,” Metcalfe said. “Pretty quick, when you get into the 1800s, you run out of pictures and there’s no sound at all. You don’t hear their voices. It would be so amazing to hear them talk and to say a little bit about themselves.”

Metcalfe said he was inspired by a cassette tape of his father speaking about his early life.

“They were great stories and it was his life,” Metcalfe said. “I said, ‘if I get an opportunity, I’m going to leave a little bit of audio and video so that my children and my grandchildren and the rest of my posterity throughout time have an idea of who I am and they can hear it from me personally and that’s why I want to do this.”

Michael Metcalfe said he was inspired by a cassette tape of his father speaking about his early life.

Metcalfe said his wife, DonnaLee Robbins, had a video made for herself and her previous husband who had been sick for several years and she convinced him that he should do the same.

“It’s awesome — it’s an awesome thing to do and I’m grateful that I have it, my kids have it and my grandkids will have it,” Robbins said. “I think it’s a great gift.”

Porter said while not everyone has taken him up on the idea of creating a video for a future funeral, he sees a growing market in the future.

“It’s coming — before long, this will be a thing,” Porter said. “By the time millennials are at this age, oh, everybody will be doing this.”

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