What is the difference between Funerals & Celebrations of Life?
A Funeral is typically held a few days after your loved one passes, and may include a viewing, as well as a graveside service. Allow me to gently guide you and your family across the threshold from living life with your loved one present, to living life with them gone.
A Celebration of Life is typically held several months – several years after the passing. Because the grief is less fresh, this is an opportunity to really celebrate the life of your loved one, and often feels a bit more like a party.
Where does the ceremony take place?
This is your choice, and I will join you and your family wherever you choose to honor your loved one, whether it is at a Funeral Home, private residence, nature area to scatter ashes, or graveside. There is no one way we have to do things, and our options are as unique as your loved one.
What is the process like for working with you?
First things first, reach out to me by phone call, text or email. The next step is for me to come to your home to meet with you and your family for a few hours. This is a chance for you to show me photos and for us to connect and chat about your loved one’s life. Inviting friends and relatives to join us helps me to get a complete picture.
We’ll talk about music, who will be speaking, and how we can pay tribute to your loved one’s beliefs and unique essence. I’ll leave with a rough plan, and possibly contact info for relatives or friends who were unable to attend but have memories to share. I’ll create a ceremony script, which I will then email to you, and you get the chance to read it over and give feedback. You get final say over every word I say about your loved one.
What about difficult deaths?
A loved one’s passing can be challenging for different reasons. They may have passed at a young age, or in a traumatic way. There may be challenging family dynamics to work through, and in some cases they may have been a difficult person to get along with. As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, I am specifically trained in navigating difficult circumstances, and telling the truth in a way that is honest, respectful and loving.
What do you think about involving kids?
Death is a natural part of life, and involving kids in viewings, rituals and ceremonies is a way for them to process their feelings and learn about death. This helps them to grow into adults who are curious and open about death, instead of feeling fearful and avoidant. There are lots of simple ways we can involve kids in ceremonies, and often just having them there can be healing for the adults present.