When someone we love has died, a beautiful, bespoke funeral, or celebration of life is our final act of love and gratitude. As a funeral celebrant, I aim to create a personal, memorable ceremony, which tells a someone’s story and celebrates their life in a genuine and heartfelt way.
For me, there is great beauty in the love expressed at a funeral. I want to make every funeral service a warm, safe space for family and friends to grieve. I am 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 inevitable. When a death is unexpected, planning the funeral can seem overwhelming. Working with funeral directors, I help families make planning the ceremony as straightforward and positive as possible.
When a funeral is right, I hope it will be a small but significant first step towards a more hopeful future.
Planning a funeral
Funerals 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.
At our first meeting, we’ll talk about your loved one’s personality, life history, hobbies and achievements. We’ll talk about who was special to them over the years and their beliefs, or their philosophy of life.
I make sure the funeral reflects the individual’s views. My funeral services cover the spectrum – from secular, to humanist, to religious. You can select any poems, readings, hymns or songs that feel right, and I can offer you ideas and suggestions.
I take great pride in creating unique, beautiful funerals, which create good 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.
It’s 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 or a celebration of life 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 the ashes of a loved one is a very special time. Wherever you choose to scatter 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 £70.
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.