It can be difficult dealing with everything that needs to be done immediately after a loved one has died. Many decisions need to be made, including what funeral to have. Often the circumstances make it difficult to have time to think things through and it may seem overwhelming. Someone who is understanding and compassionate can be a great help, especially when they can offer guidance on the funeral.
Choosing someone to help create that special funeral ceremony to remember a loved one, is an important decision. As a Humanists UK accredited funeral celebrant, I offer an alternative to traditional and formal funerals. The non-religious ceremonies I conduct are deeply personal and shaped by those who want to be involved. My aim is to make the ceremony memorable – a celebration of the life of a loved one, in an atmosphere supportive to those who are grieving.
My role is to help create and conduct the personal ceremony, painting a picture of the person who has died. I do this by using memories and stories shared with me, weaving in the family’s choice of music and readings. I can contribute as much or as little as the family requests.
I have long believed that I have only this one life. It is important to me to live a good life, respecting that each person is different, having their own personal views and experiences.
My father’s death was significant in that I realised it was time I put something back into society. My first move was to transfer my skills as a business consultant working in the commercial sector to working for a charity, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. My husband and I are now volunteers with Guide Dogs, boarding guide dogs when they need a ‘holiday’! But my goal was to become a funeral celebrant.
In my life’s journey I am very fortunate to have found my vocation. Every person has a story to be told and I really appreciate and value each time I am asked to help create a ceremony which is unique and memorable. I feel privileged to carry out this special role.
I live in Chandler’s Ford, between Winchester and Southampton, Hampshire and am willing to travel across the southern counties. If I can help you, or someone you know, you are welcome to contact me by telephone or email.
Humanists UK has many years’ experience of training celebrants to conduct funeral, wedding and naming ceremonies. Within the national network of accredited Humanists UK celebrants, we offer a reliable and professional service. At a local level we help each other and provide essential back-up for ceremonies.
“Life and death are but phases of the same thing, the reverse and obverse of the same coin. Death is as necessary for man’s growth as life itself.” Mahatma Gandhi