Thank you for Everything



I received this lovely message on my Facebook page recently:

Sarah has been there for my family on two occasions now. She guided us and supported us through the funeral ceremony for our Father in  and again recently, when we lost our beloved Mum in the thick of the 2020 lockdown crisis!

Sarah is calming and thoughtful. She knows the local Funeral Directors well and they work seamlessly together to guide you through the fog and fear of losing someone.

Thank you Sarah, for everything!

Thank you!



Laughing Gran



I was privileged to perform the funeral ceremony recently of a lady I had known for a few years.  She was always smiling with a twinkle in her eye!

As we were only allowed to have 10 people in the chapel, her ceremony was live-streamed to family and friends around the world.

There was lots of smiling – and tears – and her family agreed it was a beautiful celebration of her life.  One of her granddaughters had brought along this amazing tribute to their Laughing Gran!

Funeral Processions



The situation with COVID19 means that funeral numbers are, sadly, still heavily restricted.  It is heartbreaking talking to families who have lost loved ones but cannot say a proper goodbye because of social distancing restrictions at the crematoriums or burial sites.  Grieving relatives have found it difficult not to hug one another – or even attend the service, with numbers still limited.

There is another way that we can all pay our respects and that is by lining the streets as the funeral procession passes. I am seeing more people coming out on to the street, they bow their heads, they clap for the deceased, bringing comfort to the relatives.

A funeral procession can also pause awhile outside your loved ones home for family, neighbours and friends, who cannot be at the ceremony, to say their farewells.  The journey may then pass personal landmarks that were of significance to the loved one. One family asked the funeral director to drive past all the local pubs as friends raised a glass of real ale to show their respect. 

In this new era of social distancing there are still many ways of showing we care. 

 

Alternative ways to saying goodbye



As the rules surrounding Funerals change, you may be deciding that Direct Cremation is the best option to protect your family. But you may be thinking, if you cannot hug each other and hold hands, how can you grieve together? In these uncertain times, I have been working on a few alternative ways to truly celebrate the life of your loved ones. 

Creating a bespoke ceremony

Talking to you and your family about your loved one, I will create a ceremony that is a celebration of their unique life. It will reflect your (and their) wishes, beliefs and values and can include spiritual content and prayer. To listen and create your bespoke ceremony, we can talk by phone, email and online communication tools such as Skype or Zoom.

You then have a choice of a Virtual Ceremony now or, when this pandemic is over and we emerge out the other side, you can then get together to hold a Celebration of Life, Memorial or Scattering of Ashes Ceremony.

Virtual Ceremony

Once I have written your ceremony, we arrange a time and date to perform the ceremony virtually, this could even be 9pm so that relatives in Australia can be included! You all then join the Virtual Ceremony using your preferred device; smartphone, tablet or computer, or you can listen to the ceremony through an ordinary landline.

You may like to create a special space around you for the ceremony; put up photographs and light candles. To make it personal, you might want to dress in their favourite colours or play some of their favourite music while you’re waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Although a traditional wake or reception will not be held afterwards, you could make and eat a special meal or cake, or raise a glass in their memory. Even when the formal ceremony ends, you could reconnect virtually and continue to share your memories.

Celebration of Life

If you opt for a Celebration of Life or Memorial Ceremony, I’ll create your ceremony now and we’ll stay connected to agree a date in the future when you can all get together. These ceremonies have no time constraints and can be held anywhere that is important to you. Ideas include sunrise on a beach, an afternoon tea on a river boat or a lavish evening celebration in a favourite hotel.

Nearer the time, I can update the ceremony with more of your memories but for now you could start collecting items to celebrate their life. Why not create a Memory Table to display their achievements and hobbies, in fact, anything they were proud of. You could organise a slide show or video of their life accompanied by their favourite music. If it is “Rocking All Over the World” wouldn’t that be great! 

Scattering of Ashes

You may wish to hold a Scattering of Ashes Ceremony together in the future. I will write your ceremony now and you can take your time to select the right spot. Mine would definitely involve a field of bluebells but you choose the perfect place to gather together and remember your loved one.

There are many ideas to make your ceremony more personal, you can send their ashes up in a firework, plant them under their favourite tree or even send their ashes off in a Viking Boat. All these ideas are possible!

Continue to connect

While we are all in lock down, continue to reach out and connect virtually to share memories of your loved one; their stories, their adventures and even their terrible jokes. 

There appears to be a growing demand for different types of ceremony which allow family and friends to come together and celebrate the life of a loved one in this challenging times. And the feedback from my families has been excellent, expressing heartfelt thanks for a ceremony that they believe their loved one would have wanted in these extraordinary times.

The Future of Funeral Ceremonies



As the rules surrounding Funerals change, you may be deciding that Direct cremation is the best option to protect your family.  But how do you celebrate the life of your loved one if you cannot hug, hold hands and grieve together?  When this pandemic is over and we emerge on the other side, then you can get together, hold meaningful ceremonies and give thanks that you were a part of their lives.

Ceremonies can then have no time constraints and can be held anywhere that is important to you.  Sunrise on a beach, a lunch time river boat trip, afternoon tea in a cliff top café, a lavish evening celebration in a hotel, sunset on Hay Tor, Dartmoor, in fact anywhere you choose.

For now, collect items for a Memory Table to display their achievements and hobbies, in fact, anything they were proud of.  Organise a slide show or video of their life accompanied by their favourite music.  If it is Rocking All Over the World wouldn’t that be great!  Share memories, stories and their jokes and make this Memorial a celebration of your loved ones life.

You can hold a Scattering of Ashes ceremony in their favourite place, mine would definitely involve a field of bluebells. Send their ashes up in a firework, plant them under their favourite tree, send the ashes off in a Viking Boat, all possible.

I will help you to create a ceremony that is a Celebration of your loved one’s life. My role is to offer bereaved families a Memorial ceremony that reflects the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their family.  I can also include prayers, hymns and spiritual content.

Contact Sarah on 07870763304

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