Natural Death Centre
This is one of the most awesome organisations I have come across since becoming a celebrant, it affords individuals and families respect, dignity and INFORMATION.
I remember when I first took a look at their website, I was blown away, it transforms what is often seen as a hugely taboo subject, death...and makes it something wholly talk-about-able, respectable, interesting, empowering, interactive, enabling and liberating.
Discussing and being aware of death doesn't make you more vulnerable to dying, quite the contrary, it encourages you to make choices while you are alive and able to, it gives people who are managing their own end of life care, power and control, that's got to be good right?
It also tells families how they can take complete control of caring for their loved one in the provision of DIY funerals, hey that is not going to be everyone's first choice when they are dealing with grief BUT perhaps if we all knew that we had choices, many choices when we or someone we loves died, then maybe it all wouldn't be so darned scary?!
Many people are not aware of even the most fundamental choices in terms of funerals.. for example... you CAN have a funeral service ANYWHERE YOU WANT... you can have a DIRECT CREMATION, which is simply cremation without any ceremony or guests at the crematorium.. some people may not want to have the service to celebrate their loved ones life in the confines of a purpose build building, lovely though they may be. You might want to have your very own service in a beautiful garden, a stately home, a nightclub, a zoo, a beach, abroad...whatever.... you could still hire a celebrant, such as myself to write the story of a persons life, lovely anecdotes, music, song, dance, painting, making daisy chains, including children, pets, whoever you want, wearing whatever you want...
You can have an Eco friendly funeral and arrange for your loved person to be placed within natural burial grounds, http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/index.php?page=find-a-natural-burial-site
'you have different options for environmentally kind and less costly coffins, including making your own or using a shroud. There is a whole section within the NDC that can advise you how to keep costs down, including writing the service yourself and not using a celebrant if this is something you feel you could do yourself.
Please also note there are some fabulous funeral directors who believe in NDC's ethos and philosophy and would be the perfect choice for providing an exemplary service if you do not want the worry of making arrangements yourself. Talk to your funeral director, you can discuss your ideas with them, I have rarely met a funeral director /arranger who isn't completely lovely!
Do take a look at their website, there is so much more I could say but I will probably blog different subjects that link into the NDC and other organisations regularly. I so wish I had known about the choices we have not only in weddings, naming ceremonies etc, (which is to be a differing blog) but specifically funerals, where we are already rendered vulnerable by grief and the last thing on our mind as a new conversation about choices and proactivity, so have that conversation now ... INFORMATION IS POWER!
I am proud to be a member of the Natural Death Society and support the NDCC and confirm the following:
'As a celebrant who shares the values of the Natural Death Centre Charity, I see my role as supportive rather than directive, and I undertake to offer my services to help each family I work with, to ensure they have the best possible funeral for the person who has died.
I believe that families should be encouraged to do as much as they feel able to in the creating and carrying out of a funeral ceremony, and I will encourage families that I work with to send The Natural Death Centre the story of their funeral so that others can be inspired to be fully involved with creating ceremonies too.'