Is there such a thing as "a good funeral"? I believe so. It's the farewell they would have wanted. It's a chance to bring the family and friends together to celebrate their life. It's a chance for everyone to prepare for life without them. Of course there will be sadness, but there may also be laughter as we remember the things we loved about them.
You're dealing with your own grief, supporting others, trying to deal with all the details. And you want to make sure the funeral ceremony honours your loved one, and satisfies the bereaved family and friends. I can help.
I will help you find the stories, the symbols, the music, the precious possessions, the photos and the words that touch the essence of the life that has just ended. You may be in shock; you may be dealing with family issues that have surfaced in this difficult time. I will listen with empathy and work gently and sensitively with you and your family to create the right ceremony.
I understand that creating an appropriate funeral ceremony needs special skills; in 2012, I completed a training course in funeral celebrancy at The Celebrants Training College.
I will never forget the funeral of a dear friend some years ago - one moment in particular. The service was over and I felt unsatisfied; it had not really captured the essence of who she was. As the celebrant finished speaking, music filled the hall. It was Nick Cave's Into My Arms. Suddenly the tears flowed freely and I experienced a moment of overwhelming grief, and yet a profound connection to my departed friend. I walked out into the sunshine with blurred vision, but with the feeling that we, her friends and family, had honoured and celebrated her life, and I could move on. Sometimes a piece of music is the key that unlocks all hearts.
It was a lovely ceremony and many, many people spoke to us about how compassionate, sensitive, and professional you were in your approach.
I remember another funeral where the deceased had been an amateur naturalist, with a particular interest in frogs. He used to do his own "frog counts" to track the well-being of urban frog habitats. At his funeral, there was a row of children at the front holding up hand-painted frogs on sticks. I knew that's exactly what he would have wanted, and it's the only part of the funeral I remember. The symbol, the artwork, the special possession - these may give us a focus for our grief, and also our understanding, our connection with the deceased, even our joy in the ongoing cycle of life.