Funerals are a chance to join with others and celebrate a life. They can also reflect our own feelings through words and actions, and help in the early periods of grieving.
As a former critical care nurse, I’ve worked with families at times of great stress and this has given me a strong sense of empathy. I started my funeral work while studying celebrancy at university.
Since then I’ve had the honour of conducting funerals or memorial ceremonies for young people through to the elderly; for people I’ve known well to others I wish I’d known; for those who died as a result of accidents to those who chose to end their lives; those who seemed to know few people to those who touched thousands of lives; those whose families were devastated to lose them, to those whose families were either glad to see them go or who barely knew them. Everyone’s different and all families are different, but we all have things in common.
And that’s where the skill of a celebrant is important. A death in the family touches many people and sometimes reactions can be raw. When you can’t find the words, let me help. I can help you navigate a path which might be difficult, or I can craft something with you or for you. As someone recently said, “Jen, you held a mirror up for us, and we are so grateful.”
Hopefully your loved one’s life was well-lived.
There’s usually no rush to arrange a funeral and people often feel a little stronger when some time has elapsed – I’ve conducted memorial ceremonies some weeks after cremation and this can allow time for friends and family to arrive from overseas. sometimes these ceremonies are amazing!
I’m happy to chat about honouring someone’s life and planning a funeral celebration even if that person hasn’t died. Talk to me about a “Hoo-roo, I’m Off!” planning pack. It can be empowering and very fulfilling to plan ahead: I know of a few people have even attended their own wakes…
I’m happy to provide the following rituals as well as being open to your ideas and wishes, for example, walks to a particular spot, mourners adding flowers to a large keepsake garland, painting or adding stickers to the coffin/casket, floating flowers on water, seed packets of remembrance, music jamming, messages tied with ribbons onto the handles of the coffin – let your imagination run free!
- RSL / CFA
- Scattering Ashes on land or at sea (Coast Guard)