When someone we love has died, a beautiful, bespoke funeral, or celebration of life is our final gift of love and gratitude. I take pride in creating personal ceremonies, which tell a person’s unique life story, and celebrates their character in a genuine and heartfelt way.
There is great beauty in the love expressed at funerals. I aim to make the service a warm, safe space for family and friends to express their thoughts and emotions. I’m particularly sensitive to the needs of children, who may not have attended a funeral before.
Losing someone you love is painful, even when their death is expected and they have reached an advanced age. When the death is unexpected, traumatic, or the person is young, grief can make everyday life overwhelming. Working with your funeral director, I make the planning process as simple and manageable as possible. A personal, memorable funeral can be a small but very significant step towards a more hopeful future.
I am a friendly, empathetic, person with very high standards and wide experience. I regard leading every funeral as a great privilege.
Planning a funeral or celebration of life
Funerals and celebrations of life are changing and becoming much more personalised. With that in mind, I encourage families to focus on what’s right for them, rather than convention or ‘the done thing’. For example, many funerals are held at crematoria, or burial grounds, but you are free to choose any venue.
When we meet, we’ll talk about your loved one’s personality, life history, hobbies and achievements. We’ll talk about what made them happy, who was special to them and their beliefs, or philosophy of life.
I make sure the funeral reflects their views. My ceremonies cover the spectrum – from secular, to humanist, to religious. You can select any poems, readings, hymns or songs that feel right to you, and I can offer you ideas and suggestions.
I take great pride in creating unique, beautiful funerals, which create positive, peaceful memories for the future.
A living funeral means planning a funeral service, when someone is well enough to express their wishes. Sometimes people want to organise their funeral in advance, to make it easier for their family after they die. Others might want to help a loved one who is ill to plan their funeral. For the dying person, talking about their funeral can help them feel more in control and give them peace of mind. For the family, it can give them the comfort of knowing they’ll be carrying out their loved one’s wishes.
This is a very personal choice. Some people really don’t want to discuss their funeral, whilst others welcome the opportunity. There is no right or wrong.
Memorials & celebrations of life
A memorial service is typically held some weeks after a private, family funeral. It is a longer ceremony, which offers time to reflect on a person’s life and legacy. This might be the appropriate choice if the death was sudden, or if the person was very well-known and a large number of people want to pay their respects.
This kind of ceremony is completely bespoke. There are no rules about how formal or relaxed it is; the ceremony is guided by the character and story of the person who has died. It might include several tributes and readings, a slideshow of photos and an exhibition of mementos or achievements. I have experience of different styles of memorials and celebrations of life and I’m always happy to create something new and different.
How I work with you
Funerals are often a team effort, involving the family, the funeral director and me. I welcome direct enquiries too. My funeral fee starts at £240, which includes:
- A meeting with you for 1-2 hours
- Bespoke service, written by me, up to 30 minutes in length
- Regular contact with you and liaison with the funeral director up to the funeral date
- Leading the service on the day
- Travel costs in the West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset area.
Living funerals are typically planned weeks or months in advance of a person’s death. Every person and circumstance is different and I am guided by the individual or family members about when, and for how long we should meet. My fee starts at £280, which includes our meetings and the funeral service, as outlined above.
Celebrations of life and memorial services are longer and more complex. They involve extra planning and more liaison with the different people involved. My fee starts at £350, which includes:
- Face-to-face meeting with you, for up to 2 hours
- Creation of the bespoke ceremony, up to 60 minutes
- Liaison with all the speakers
- Liaison with the venue
- Leading the ceremony on the day
- Travel costs in the West Dorset, East Devon, South Somerset area
Scattering or interring of ashes is often a very special, reflective time. Wherever or whenever you choose to scatter or inter ashes, I will help you make it meaningful and memorable with the right words, for person who has died, their family and friends and the location. My fee is £100.
Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions, or would like to find out more about any of my funeral services. You can be reassured that I work regularly with many of the best funeral directors in Dorset, Devon and Somerset.