May I offer my genuine sympathy at this time,
if you are facing the acute pain of loss.
Death of a family member, a friend or other person we know is generally very shocking to us.
Whatever the circumstances of the loss, its near impossible to anticipate how it will affect us, and those feelings are likely to range hugely depending on your relationship with the person who has died.
I am here to help you.
First, decide which funeral director you want to use:
or, want to do it yourself?
Decide what type of funeral service you want...(you can find natural burial grounds / Eco / Green funerals via Natural Death Centre or of course Google.
Independent Celebrant - (me)
Creative service that can blend beliefs and or non belief, reflects the person exactly, culture, lifestyle etc. I am not religious but am fascinated by differing belief systems and happy to include anything you want, especially enjoy celebrating life, alternative approaches and as a poet I can also include a bespoke poem. I am trained with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.
Religious Minister / Priest / Imam / Rabbi / etc
Religion is the priority in this service, - If your faith is very important to you and the person whose service you are arranging ask for an appropriate religious minister for your chosen faith
Strictly non religious, no reference to anything religious or spiritual, heavenly or fantasy, Humanists are pragmatic and believe that death is the end. I am a member of the Humanist Society, but am open minded about the world and other people's thoughts and beliefs so decided not to be trained as a Humanist
My advice is do not be afraid to be very clear about your budget and the type of funeral you want!
Social Benefits die with the person
so, if the deceased does not have money to pay for the funeral or a funeral pre-paid plan etc and you are next of kin AND are on certain benefits you may get help to pay for a basic funeral- Check now! https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments
Don't feel obliged
to have any elements you simply can't afford it does not mean you love the person any less and they would not want you to struggle!
Most people don't put their charges online but I will, because its the first thing I want to know when I buy something!
Fully Personalised Celebrant Funeral Service
(No charge for children)
includes up to 2 hour meeting with the family/friends
Travel within 30 miles
4 (+) hours writing & collating a personalised service
Liaising with the funeral director
Sending draft service to family & redrafting if needed
Printing a presentation folder with full service for family
Delivering the service in the crematorium or venue
Please note prices vary around the country, my prices are in line with other trained professionals in the area. Also please note, Celebrants vary considerably, check them out, how they write on their website, what they offer etc.
My charges are usually added to your overall bill by the funeral director so if you want to use my services, please do let them know so they don't book another celebrant.
If you want to use my services independently from a funeral director, for example, at your home or for memorials etc, you can pay me directly.
Simply put, I will meet with you and key people who knew the person who has died, I will ask you very specific questions to help you tell me all about the person so that I can really get to know their life story and character, their fabulous bits , humorous bits, quirks and flaws (having the whole picture creates a much more personalised service that is true to the person)
I am unshockable! I understand about family dynamics and the rough and smooth of life, you may have adored the person with a passion or indeed simply tolerated them..
I also understand that the circumstances surrounding a death may have been traumatic, the loss may be an unborn baby, a child, teen, young adult or an elder, the death may have been of natural, accidental or of criminal nature.
Whatever the backdrop of your loss I will be sensitive, supportive, caring, non judgemental and responsive to your wishes.
The impact of Loss
Responses to loss range hugely from absolutely overwhelming distress, and emotional pain so extreme it feels physical to numbness, denial, acceptance, anger, guilt, blame, relief, fear, withdrawal, behaviours may change too, including becoming more reclusive, excessive drinking / and or misuse of prescription/over the counter, illegal drugs/ self harming, not eating, sleeping constantly, not washing/ changing clothes etc, the list goes on.. it is important at this time to really keep an eye on each other and support your family member, friend, or neighbour towards help if you feel they need it.
Gut instinct is great- trust it..
Take a look at my leaflet for more information. I am based in-between Hitchin & Luton in Hertfordshire but can travel if you would like me to write & conduct the
We can also have meetings via skype /Facetime etc if this helps.
I will have to charge additional mileage costs for travel over 30 miles or so from LU2, but I am really flexible and approachable, so ask me anything
So other things to consider
You CAN direct the funeral yourself
OR use the services of a funeral director. Obviously this involves additional work at a time when you may be emotionally exhausted, but it is important to know that you do have the choice and it is possible.
You CAN have the service ANYWHERE
Be it Natural Burial Grounds, beautiful gardens, waterside, crematorium, church (if religious) , Stately Home and actually many, many places- we can discuss exactly what you would like.
You CAN wear anything you want
From traditional black to ball gowns, fancy dress to body paint. I too am happy to dress in a way that reflects the nature of your life celebration, just let me know.
You CAN celebrate any way you wish
Be it dancing around with daisies in your hair or riding through town on Harley Davidson's.
You can make the ceremony a celebration of life
Say 'hello' to knowing that person through memories and anecdotes, photographs, stories, video, music, places.. It is transferring our relationship with those we love to the non physical
I want to get to know the person we are celebrating the life of and articulate their character through sharing stories and photographs.
I will be encouraging you and your family, children, elders, significant 'others' to be as involved as possible in the writing of the service, participation is very healing. Also, If you want to you can extend your service and have an additional service elsewhere..