If you’re thinking about arranging a funeral you probably already have a lot on your mind, and creating a ceremony to remember someone, and say goodbye, takes time and thought. There are many options to consider, so for a chat about what’s right for you, and how you might be supported in the process, please call me on 07855 272241 (any time is fine).
Coming to terms with the death of a relative or friend is often a difficult experience, and the chance to share memories through the ritual of a ceremony can be an important stage in coping with grief. Humanist funerals are centred on the life of the person being remembered, and the needs of those saying farewell.
The ceremonies that resonate best are usually those where people sense their presence is valued, and recognise sincerity in the words spoken. Family members and friends often read some meaningful words themselves, and tributes can include a diverse mix of contributions, including traditional hymns or prayers if appropriate. I’ll encourage those who have something personal to add, and will be ready to step in if anyone feels unable to speak when the moment arrives. For those who are less sure of what they would like in the way of readings and poetry, we can work together to find the right thing. If you’d prefer me to write and deliver the entire ceremony, I’m happy to do so.
I’m familiar with the local crematoria, and lucky to be based close to Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground with its stunning glass pavilion and meadowland nature reserve, and to the idyllic GreenAcres Heatherley Wood burial park. Ceremonies in the great outdoors go ahead, no matter what the weather brings! To consider an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation, you may like to take a stroll around these peaceful places – the teams there are always very welcoming. You might find further useful information to help with your planning on this excellent website http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/.
A bit about me
Brought up in Elstead, Surrey, I attended the local C of E schools. The communal music and language of daily assemblies and annual festivals form some of my happiest childhood memories. Even at a young age, though, I noticed when content didn’t feel relevant to me and fellow pupils who were non-religious or of different faiths. I took my A-levels at Charterhouse, and studied English Literature at Exeter University. My career in marketing was pleasantly interrupted by my four children, and my other freelance work now is mainly with professional and amateur musicians.
I love my work, because meeting new people and hearing their stories is fascinating, and being invited to capture the essence of a person’s character always feels a privilege. You can read more about why I decided to become a celebrant here.
“I just wanted to thank you again for the very central role you played in making Marian’s funeral such a memorable occasion – not just yesterday itself but in the whole planning of the day. I lost count of the number of people – both religious and non-religious alike – who remarked on how lovely they felt the whole service had been and how fitting a tribute it was to Marian’s memory” Gordon MacLean – Celebration of Life ceremony for his wife Marian, November 2018
“I have just received your hard copy of the text for the two ceremonies in Stuart’s memory. Thank you very much. I have just re-read them and am reminded as to just how perfect it all was, thanks in large part to you. I have had numerous people write or tell me in person how much they enjoyed the ceremony to celebrate Stuart’s life… I really appreciate all that you did to make the day a success” Noel Botha – Farewell and Celebration of Life ceremonies for his husband Stuart Wilson at Woking Crematorium and The Lightbox, September 2018
“Many people commented on how lovely the ceremony was and we are very grateful to you for guiding us through such an emotional hour” YL – Memorial Service for her father, July 2018
“I knew from the outset that you were the perfect person – Dad would have loved you, and you him. You have a real gift for getting across the warmth and energy of the script without taking it over” Jessie Rogers – Celebration of Life ceremony for her father Rex Lane, January 2018
“Hannah was so engaged and genuine, it was almost as if she was a family friend. Everyone said the ceremonies they attended were perfect” M Howes – Cremation and Memorial ceremonies for Sylvia Codling, November 2017
“Please thank Hannah for adding just the right note” Charles and Carol Howe – Celebration of Life ceremony for Pat Hewett, July 2017