My name is Kate and I’m proud to be a celebrant of weddings, naming and funerals.
I live in Louth and work mainly in Lincolnshire.
I love my garden, painting (not decorating), reading, writing, music of all kinds, dancing, eating, walking and being outdoors especially beside the seaside, playing in a ukulele band, my friends and my family.
How did I come to be a celebrant?
By chance. Two close family members died in quick succession and sadly, both funerals left me feeling anything but comforted. They were so impersonal they could have been anyone’s. I remember feeling angry and sad afterwards.
Around the same time, I became friends with someone I met at uni who described herself a humanist. She explained humanism as a philosophy that has all the morals and good intentions of many religions, without any reliance on, or belief in god. Humanism is about taking responsibility for our actions and being aware of what each of us does and can do, to make life better – or worse for others; our friends and family, society, the world.
The realisation that I was a humanist too led me to find out more about humanism and the role of humanist celebrants.
After my negative experiences, I decided that I would one day like to train as a celebrant so that I could help families plan funeral ceremonies they could come away from, feeling somehow better – not worse.
I knew straightaway that I had found something I loved and wanted to do, to the very best of my ability, for as long as I possibly could.
I have learned over the years that when a close friend or family member passes away, knowing that you put together a positive and fitting farewell for the person you loved is very comforting and often an important part of the grieving process.
After 20 years, I still get a real buzz of adrenaline before each ceremony and a great thrill afterwards, knowing it went well.
There are some who say, “Oh I don’t know how you can do that” in relation to funerals, but as a retired nurse, my working life has been all about being beside people in all the challenging situations we experience during a ‘normal’ lifetime, beginning with birth and moving through every stage, including death.
Nurses are very used to having conversations about life, death and dying and everything in between, and as a celebrant, I feel so very privileged to still be in a position to help people through some of the very worst days of their lives, as well as days that most definitely rank among the very best.