I read the eulogy at Mum and Don’s service and it was a privilege. I knew this next chapter was an opportunity to bring what I have and continue to learn, to support others, but I wasn’t clear exactly how. Then I was approached by the Funeral Director of Don’s service, a friend, to ask if I had considered becoming a Celebrant… and so the journey started to unfold.
The Funeral Director and Celebrant or Minister will be your support team and expect you to ask them for help. They deal with the situation you are worrying about regularly. If they don't have the answer themselves, they will know who to ask. We tend to be 'brave' and 'cope' with more than we need to when we are dealing with grief.
Leaving clear instructions about what we want to happen when we die, is a useful and sensible thing to do, and here-in starts the problem. When we die, those who love us are feeling pain and loss, they are often 'holding it together' for the sake of others and they are not feeling useful or sensible. They are now the ones who need to be looked after; not you. I know, that sounds a little harsh, but it is those who mourn our passing who would benefit the most from deciding how to honour us and what they want to include to help them grieve.
I would love to hold a Life Celebration at the beach, hearing the waves in the background and having that wonderful expanse of sky behind us. To have lots of music, drinks and dancing after the Committal with lots of people wanting to share their memories of the person – with no time limits!
Showing empathy or compassion is vital in our work as Celebrants. However, as we teach in all our programmes, the work we do as professional independent Celebrants, is never about us. This is often a challenge when we are met with grief. We’re taught to show compassion by saying things like ‘I know how you […]
I am often asked what the difference is between a funeral and a life celebration. It’s the celebration that makes it different. A funeral, traditionally here in the UK at least, is often portrayed as depressing, sad, everyone dressed in black. A life celebration is carried out with a focus on the life of the […]
Being an Independent Celebrant and training others in this profession is one of the greatest joys of my life. Often, after I have delivered a wedding ceremony or a Celebration of someone’s life, I am asked by someone attending ‘How do I become a Celebrant?’ I am always so glad to hear that they’re asking […]
It is easy to forget, when we are the people helping a grieving friend, that this looks and feels different for each of us. Grief is often described as a process and we understand there are several stages
Being a storyteller is such an integral part of our work as Independent Celebrants. Whether it’s for a life celebration or a union, the story behind the people and their families is key. I’ve been exploring the key funeral celebrant skills and this one has to be in my top three. I have always loved […]
Active listening is one of the key skills a Funeral Celebrant needs. To be truly present and listen intently. Without distraction and with a clear mind. It is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. It does not come easily in the noise of our busy world. Being excellent at active listening will […]