A funeral can and should reflect the life and death of the person at its centre
A funeral, in our modern world, is such a brief moment to reflect on a life, so it is important to make sure that it is true to who the person was, to all that they held dear. Sometimes, they have humour alongside the sadness.
At other times, the whole event is one of unadulterated grief and loss.
No matter what the emotional, practical, psychological and spiritual landscape of the loss, I make sure that I am there for those closest to the loved one who has died, to guide them gently through the process of creating a ceremony that will be meaningful, moving and as satisfying as it can be.
In preparation for this work, I trained as an undertaker with an award winning green funeral director to learn how best to meet the needs of people in grief, in confusion and in their love for the person they have lost.
In each and every case, I go out of my way to spend as much time as possible with the family and friends of the person whose life and death we are gathering to remember, celebrate, honour and mourn.
Nominated for Celebrant of the year at the 2016 Good Funeral Awards
There is something incredibly powerful and beautiful in planning our own funeral.
It simplifies our priorities, helps us to appreciate our blessings and reminds us to communicate our love to those who matter most to us.
I have helped all sorts of people, both healthy and unwell, to elucidate their wishes and their beliefs so that when the time comes, everyone around them knows exactly how they want to be remembered and celebrated, in the manner of their choosing.
So many of us understandably fear this particular and yet inevitable frontier, and yet with some guidance, courage and creativity, we can all embrace the only thing that we know for sure and transform the prospect of our own death into an opportunity for creative expression, a celebration of all that we are and have been, and a chance to charge our lives with a new blast of energy, appreciation and clarity for the time that we have left.