When a family member dies, it's hard to cope. It can be especially hard when that family member falls in the line of duty.
That's why Glen Cranford of Lubbock is doing what he can to make the time after the death a little easier for loved ones.
Cranford creates memorial videos for families, and he's offering to do them for free for military personnel and first responders who die in the line of duty. Memorial videos incorporate photos and other images with music and other audio to share parts of the deceased's life. These videos are usually shown during the funeral.
His business, MGC Videos, titles each memorial DVD "A Celebration of Life."
"I started doing memorial videos in 2000, for a friend who died in 1995," said Cranford. "Then, I just kept doing more."
Cranford works with funeral homes, filming the funerals as well as making memorial videos that are shown during the service.
"The film of the funerals gives the family a chance to see who was there, later," said Cranford. "There are also family members who can't come, and they can watch the video. I also take pictures of the open casket, and of each flower arrangement, which allows the family to know who sent each arrangement."
As his way of giving back, Cranford will make the videos free for anyone who has fallen in the line of duty.
"When a person falls in the line of duty, that's devastating because it cuts a life short," Cranford said. "A video gives (the family) something to watch. It's a type of therapy."
Since 2000, Cranford has made many memorial videos, but he hasn't stopped with just memorials.
"A friend suggested I do something happier," said Cranford, "so I do weddings, quinceañeras, and growing up videos, among other projects."
And if the wedding is that of a military person in uniform, Cranford will do that for free, too.
The memorials are put on DVDs, with custom design covers, and Cranford keeps a copy of every DVD on file, should something happen to the original.
"We never end the videos with our logo," said Cranford, "because we are there to honor the deceased, not to advertise. I try to personalize the videos as much as possible."
Cranford incorporates the hobbies of the deceased, asking family members to bring things that remind them of their loved one.
One memorial video Cranford made was for Dolores Ortiz.
"The way he made the video, it brought back a lot of memories, good and bad," said Ortiz's daughter, Mary Gabriel. "It touched me. I've been to many funerals, but I like our memorial much better than others I've seen. I thought it was very well made."