A eulogy is a speech, or piece of writing, in praise of a particular person, or thing. These can be living eulogies – i.e. given in praise of someone at a retirement party, for example. Or, in the case of a funeral, a eulogy may be read as a tribute to the person that has died. This may be written by a family member or a close friend, and is often read out by the person that has penned it. If a family have chosen to work with a Funeral Celebrant they may ask the Celebrant to help with the writing and/or delivery of the eulogy. This is often the case when there is no obvious other person to do…

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Fall is a time of rebirth and reconnection. For many of us, the falling leaves and the transformation of colours are a soothing and welcome entry into the colder months. However, when faced with an autumn funeral, we can quickly forget all about these beautiful, tranquil features. Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration for funeral services. In this blog, Celebrant Rosalie shares her top five ideas to personalise an autumn funeral. Personalising a funeral can be a cathartic way to say goodbye to a loved one in a unique and meaningful way. There are many things we can take advantage from within the changing seasons to add to this gentle sense of personalisation. What unique ideas can you use…

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Dying Matters With Dying Matters awareness week in May 2019 posing the question, “Are we ready?” one Celebrant takes a look at why it is so important to think ahead and plan for the inevitable, your funeral. So many funeral celebrants have heard the following comments when having the first conversation with someone who is recently bereaved, ‘We never talked about funerals…’ ‘Burial or cremation? I don’t really know what she’d like’ ‘Religion? He never said whether he believed in anything’ ‘She liked lots of different music, but I have no idea what she would’ve liked at her celebration of life ceremony’  Does this sound like you? Perhaps it is time to open up the conversation about death, dying, funerals and…

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1. Choose a Funeral Director or do it yourself There are so many Funeral Directors out there these days that finding the right one can seem daunting. Try and get some recommendations from friends and family, word of mouth is often the strongest marketing tool. With ready online reviews available, a quick search will also show some local firms who have gone above and beyond for other families. If in doubt, ask a few different companies for a quote, it is likely you will click with one of them from the off. If you would prefer to care for your loved one yourself, this is perfectly legal and manageable if you have the right help and advice. Some really helpful…

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Planning a funeral for a loved one can be even more stressful if you don’t know where to start. You are grieving, you are planning your last goodbye and you want it to be perfect.  One experienced funeral celebrant has collated a step by step checklist to help guide you through this difficult time and support you to plan a funeral. How do I start planning a funeral? The daunting prospect of planning a funeral for a loved one at one of the most difficult times in your life breaks down into a simple checklist taking you through everything from selecting someone to officiate the memorial to choosing readings and considering transportation for the mourners. Before you start planning, read…

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Approaching any milestone event such as Christmas or a birthday can be incredibly poignant when you have lost a loved one. In the first of our three part series asking, “What is grief?”, one brave Celebrant shares an intensely moving account of her own personal experience of grief twenty years on. This is my grief? Grief is described in the dictionary as intense sorrow especially caused by someone’s death.  That it may be but until it is your grief you have no idea of the intensity of grief, what it is or why it is happening.  Life is a blur.  Grief is an emotion – an emotion no one wants to choose. Grief is a place – it is a…

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In the final part of our trilogy considering different aspects of grief, one experienced funeral Celebrant in Spain looks at death and dying overseas. Read on for a very personal account full of advice on how to die well abroad. My reasons for becoming a funeral Celebrant In 2004 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal Cancer.  She died aged 63 on 5 November 2005 at 11.55pm she loved fireworks and the noise outside the hospice in Hackney where she died was deafening.  To this day I still say she chose that day to die so we would remember – she knows how bad I am with dates! Whilst she was in the hospice we planned her funeral, she…

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Part one of What is grief?  shared a very personal account of grief. In the second of our three part series investigating grief, one very experienced Celebrant looks at how children handle bereavement and explains how to be age appropriate when helping a grieving child. Golden rule of grief: be guided by the child Children differ in their capacity to understand grief depending on their age and maturity. Babies and small children lack the words for their grief but still feel it. Toddlers and the under 5s will take time to form a consistent understanding of death. This means that they may swing back and forth between understanding and not understanding. Be prepared for this, and to answer the same…

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