‘No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.’ – C S Lewis Interview with David Linaker, a former Anglican priest who, having moved outside of the formal faith environment, offers families a powerful partnership in helping them to say their goodbyes in their way, with or without religious content. David is here to talk to us about how to get through the day of the funeral emotionally. He passes on his experience and knowledge as a long-serving Celebrant. So take it away David:  In nearly 53 years of attending or leading funeral services, I’ve experienced and witnessed the spectrum of human emotion. The death of someone close to us is bound to elicit all sorts of emotional…

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Weddings are Emotional! A wedding is guaranteed to be one of the most emotionally-charged days that you will experience in your whole life.  And this can be even truer when there’s someone very special who is missing from your big day. Our grandparents and parents are our first role models as we grow up: they shape who we are and who we become.  Their support through the defining moments of our lives is fundamental.  So when we lose a close relative – and especially if this happens near to the wedding date itself – it’s important to honour and acknowledge their love, guidance and support. If you’re struggling to feel as excited as you should about your wedding, because there’s…

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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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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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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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Christmas is a time for reflection and jubilation. It’s a time for family get-togethers and traditions, big dinners and carols by the fire. It is also a time that can be hard for some that have lost loved ones in the lead up to the holiday season. Judy shares with us her personal story of loss and some fantastic tips on how to cope with Christmas when someone you love won’t get to share it with you this year. Over to you Judy.  As I come to the end of another busy year for me, I’ve been reflecting on how this will be the first Christmas for so many families, where there will be an empty seat at the table…

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