Memorial ceremonies are generally held some weeks after a funeral. Without the time constraints imposed by, for example, a crematorium, they can often be more relaxed. And because more time has passed between the death of the person and the ceremony, memorials can often be more celebratory in tone. Sometimes families choose to have a small funeral with only immediate family members present followed by a memorial ceremony, which is open to the wider family, friends and colleagues.
Memorial ceremonies can be held pretty much anywhere, perhaps at a place that holds some special meaning for the person who has died. I’ve led ceremonies in a range of diverse venues, including Ashton Court and Leigh Court in Bristol, a local pub, a village hall, the Tithe Barn in Nailsea and the Peng Observatory at the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, Slimbridge.
“Thank you so much Karen for your beautiful words yesterday, it really did feel as if you knew Mum. Your comprehension and understanding made for a very moving and appropriate funeral for her. I know she would have been honored to have you represent such a perfect picture of her life.”
Working with People Before Death
More and more I find myself working with individuals who know they are terminally ill or who simply want to help their families by getting their affairs in order. Some have had very strong ideas about how they would like their funeral to be organised and it is always a privilege to be able to offer advice, guidance and support at this time.
I also work with people to create a record of their lives for their families to keep. I think of it as a memory box for children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Although we seldom realise it, we are all living through history and our personal stories are a reflection of a world that is changing all the time. The stories of our lives can be a gift to those who come after us, enabling them to remember us and feel connected to their own histories.
“Whatever I say by way of thanks would be inadequate. You have navigated us through what we anticipated as one of the worst days in our lives with an empathy and calmness that soothed all our fears. Your obvious sincerity impressed everyone who attended yesterday’s ceremony.”
What Training Do I Have?
I have been trained and accredited by the British Humanist Association to conduct funeral and memorial ceremonies. I am covered by their Commitment to Quality and Code of Conduct. I am fully covered by the BHA for public liability and professional indemnity insurance
Getting in Touch…
If you would like to talk to me about a Humanist funeral or memorial ceremony, please contact me by phone or e-mail. I’d be happy to chat.