I have been working as an Independent Funeral Celebrant since 2018 and have conducted over 150 funerals, many with the team at Go As You Please.
As a celebrant I spend time getting to know as much as I can about you and your family so that I can offer a truly bespoke service that reflects your life and values. We each have things that matter to us and my job is to find unique ways to incorporate your life and personality into a service which creates space for your loved ones to celebrate your life but also to allow them to acknowledge their grief.
Over the years I have met many people who have said that they simply didn’t know what their loved one wanted and this can lead to all sorts of feelings at an already emotionally charged time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had a Death File, or even an online space, which recorded all of our wishes to help our families when we die?
I also work as a care home chaplain to people of all faiths and none, and I have accompanied many people on the journey of their final months, weeks, days and even moments. Without exceptions, the ones who had the opportunity beforehand to share what was important to them in their life, and ultimately in their death, were the ones who generally experienced what you might call a good death experience. A good death will look different for each person, but if we don’t talk about it, we’ll never know!
So I want to reclaim death and demystify dying as a normal part of life. I want to help people feel like they, and their loved ones, can have a good death. This can be achieved when we spend time working out what really matters to us, when we ask the questions about the things we don’t know, and when we then make our wishes known and record them properly for people to be able to find and use.
Funeral Planning is just part of planning for a good End of Life experience. I recently trained with Before I Go Solutions to become a licensed facilitator to help people create their own comprehensive End of Life plans.
Such plans can include everything from the day to day household chores (such as bills to pay and even what day the bins go out), to how you would like to be cared for if you were no longer able to communicate for yourself; what really matters to you, to who is going to manage all your digital accounts and media when you’re gone. Making an end of life plan doesn’t have to be scary or daunting, we take it step by step and I’m with you all the way.
I start with a no-obligation call to find out where you are at and to see if we want to work together. From there we chat about how much planning you have already done and what you really want to achieve. I then create a bespoke package to help meet your needs and budget to encourage you to get the work done. I can take you through various modules which are all delivered online so you can tackle them in your own time, helping to lay the groundwork. My job is then to facilitate as you complete your plan. I’m there to answer questions, keep you on track and to support you as you get this important piece of work done.
I work with individuals, couples and groups either in person or online so I’m sure we can find a way that will work for you.
I also run workshops and events to help people become more comfortable talking about death and dying, creating safe spaces to ask the questions they need to. They say that there are only two certainties in life, that’s death and taxes. We tend to think that nobody likes talking about either of those things, and whilst I still think nobody likes to talk about taxes, the tide does seem to be turning on talking about death and I, for one, am really glad!