Funerals and Memorials

© Keli Tomlin

Marking the loss of a loved one is an experience we all dread yet inevitably must undertake at some point in our lives. My aim is to make this process as simple and meaningful as possible, whilst also honouring and reflecting the unique soul being remembered.

Whatever your beliefs on life, death and life-after-death, we all want to take some time to remember someone who is no longer there, to remind ourselves and others why they mattered and to begin a process of grieving and growing past the pain of loss.

The modern approach to funerals has, for some years now, been shifting away from the traditional church services in cemeteries or crematoriums towards more creative and expressive alternatives. Green burial sites, Memorial Woodlands and celebrant-led services are becoming more and more popular as people seek out a more personal tribute for their loved one.

What few people seem to realise however is that, similar to a Naming, there is no legal requirement for a funeral of any kind; which means the type and content of service is entirely up to those organising it.  When working with certain organisations (e.g.: a crematorium) you must work within their specifications; however, even in these more restricted scenarios, it is possible to have a personal and moving service that is rooted in the life of person who has passed.

A celebrant-led funeral might include:

* Eulogies from family, friends and the celebrant on behalf of these people
* Stories and memories from their life
* Moments of quiet reflection
* Music
* Prayers, blessings and wishes relevant to any personal spirituality
* The creation of an altar/shrine in remembrance
* Opportunities for everyone to speak
* Sharing of loss and sadness, tears
* Blowing bubbles, planting seeds, burying stones etc. in remembrance
* Singing, dancing, chanting, laughing

When it comes to creating a funeral service I do my best to meet with and speak to the relevant family members and friends, before writing a service that reflects both the wishes of the deceased and those left behind to mourn them. I will listen deeply to your stories, memories, experiences and desires before creating a ceremony or service that aims to connect all present in a moment of shared remembrance.

It is always a great honour to be gifted the precious pieces of a life story and to combine them in such a way that the person is conjured in the hearts of all present. I will focus on the unique qualities and attributes that made your loved one special, as well as offering space for the sorrow of loss and the celebration of a life lived. Such a tribute can be a gift to the departed and to those in attendance; perhaps even opening the door to healing as the future unfolds.

Whether working with a funeral director or independently, it would be my pleasure and great honour to create a memorial for your loved one.

Animal Friends

Funerals of course don’t have to be limited to our human brethren. The loss of a dear animal friend can be just as painful, if not more so in some cases, and I would be honoured to work with you in creating a simple ceremony that would pay tribute to this special relationship.

Particularly good for those with young children, marking the loss of a pet can help them to begin to understand death as something natural and nothing to be afraid of. It also reaffirms the important place your animal friend held within your heart and your family.

An opportunity to be truly creative and involved, should you wish, as well as helping you to begin to accept the space they have left behind.



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