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About: sarahchapman

Recent Posts by sarahchapman

Living Well Dying Well

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make big choices in life.

—Steve Jobs, Commencement Address

I am a member of End of Life Doula UK and have completed an Introduction to a Person-Centred Approach to Death and Dying course with Living Well Dying Well.

I now teach on the LWDW Foundation Course ( which explores many of the issues in relation to death, dying and the end of life of which, as people, we all should be aware.  Becoming more knowledgeable gives you the confidence to be able to support family or friends or as a volunteer in your community. The themes we explore are:

  • understanding grief
  • emotional and spiritual responses to death
  • physical changes at the end of life
  • increasing comfort, integrative health and supportive therapies
  • rituals and practices within cultural and faith groups
  • socio-legal requirements and Advanced Planning
  • spiritual and self-care practices
  • funeral directors’ practices

It is so important to be aware of the issues surrounding death and dying so that we can help our loved ones, an eventually ourselves, to be as prepared as possible.

Always remember – There are only two things that are certain in life – death and taxes!!

My book, Funeral Arranging and End of Life Choices, a Step by Step Guide, was published by Troubador Press/The Book Guild in June 2022.

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Sarah and Simon – Winter Wedding

On a cold bright day last December, family and friends gathered to celebrate the wedding of Sarah and Simon. After a beautiful flower ceremony with wax flowers to represent deep lasting love, the couple exchanged rings.  Sarah had made their hand fasting cord and between them, they chose personal charms to represent the qualities and elements that that they would like to invite into their relationship and affirmations for their future life together.

Simon and Sarah  attached two swans representing long lasting love and companionship, a dolphin representing fun and freedom, a monkey representing energy and humour, acorns symbolising growth and potential and a four leaf clover representing love and good luck. They had also added a star for Sarah’s Mum, an owl for wisdom, a dove for peace, a feather for strength and there was also their dog Fergus’s name tag.

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They then led their guests outside into the dark to the music of Star Wars – The Imperial March – and we walked the short distance to the courtyard.

As everyone held high a handmade candle lantern, our happy couple Jumped the Broom and ended the ceremony by setting off Confetti Cones to much laughter and applause!

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We raised our glasses of Mulled Wine to a heartfelt Toast:

As Mother Teresa once said:  “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

So let’s raise our glasses in a toast to Simon and Sarah.

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The Apache Wedding Blessing 

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness,

For each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two bodies,

But there is one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place,

To enter into the days of your togetherness.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Elliott Arnold

Sarah and Simon:

We just want to say a HUGE thank you for being our Celebrant this weekend. You made the ceremony so magical and we feel very fortunate to have made so many happy memories with our family and friends. It was so touching and all went so smoothly but also had a bit of humour added which is so our thing . Also thank you for being flexible- not minding the start time changing because of the lantern making taking longer than expected!

Thank you for making our day so special xxxx


Sophie and Brandon

On 29th December 2022, Sophie and Brandon celebrated their wedding at Deer Park Country house with their family and friends.  The ceremony was full of love and laughter as they exchanged rings and said their Vows to each other. Their friend Jenny began to read When I’m 64 by The Beatles and, when the music began, everyone joined in with the iconic words to the song.

When I get older losing my hair

Many years from now

Will you still be sending me a Valentine

Birthday greetings bottle of wine

It was obvious from the way they felt about each other that their love will still be strong when they are both 64 and beyond!

Sophie and Brandon:

Brandon and I would like to say an enormous thank you for leading our ceremony. It was absolutely perfect and so many people commented on how brilliant you were & how personal it was.

I was also so happy with how well the song went – it was either going to be a total flop or brilliant and luckily it was the latter! 

The ceremony set the tone for an absolutely amazing day to follow. 

Thank you so much again

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Warm Friend and Teacher

Another 5* review sent to me through The Book Guild. It is heartwarming to know that the book is helping people.

Sarah Chapman thoroughly guides you like a warm friend and teacher through the options and customs available to you and your family and friends for all of your end-of-life decisions. Her book is not only educational but accessible. It is user-friendly and easy to read, to help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Quite frankly she removes a lot of the fear of having to plan and make end-of-life arrangements.

This is an event that we will all face at some point and Sarah Chapman and her wonderful guide are here to make this as easy for you and your friends and family as possible.


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Handy Resource – Excellent Feedback

A handy resource for options that are available to adults looking at end-of-life decisions. I value the care and effort that the author has put into the book, and I hope to see more relevant titles like this pop up for the subcultures and areas that desire them.

This is a beautifully written and incredibly useful guide to help everyone navigate a difficult time. Though most people will not read this until they, unfortunately, have to prepare for a funeral, I am grateful I read it just to be informed ahead of time.

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5 * Review of my new book

What a wonderful review of my book!  Thank you.

What an excellent guide this is . At times of stress you need something which is comprehensive but easy to understand and assimilate. Whether this is to assist you in planning and arranging a loved one’s final farewell or in leaving a list of wishes for your own celebration of life this matter of fact, clear title tome explains all the current (and some future) options. It has certainly helped me clarify my thoughts on what I would want and the range of resources given is the most comprehensive I have come across. In my experience it makes the task of arranging a funeral much less stressful – fewer sleepless nights wondering if your loved one would be happy with what you are planning, if the person leaves you an idea of their wishes. This book will help you do that.Book - Funeral Arranging and End-of-Life Decisions


My New Book is Published!

Funeral Arranging and End of Life Decisions – a Step by Step Guide

My new book has now been published by Troubador Books and is available on Amazon and in all major book stores as well as the smaller independent bookshops.


Joyce and Jiapeng Castle Wedding

Joyce and Jiapeng chose the beautiful Bovey Castle Hotel in Devon for their wedding ceremony.  Their families came all the way from China and, on one of the hottest days of the year, they witnessed the love between the couple and their gorgeous daughter Emma.

To unite their families I performed a Candle Ceremony.  I invited both mothers to come forward to light two candles representing the love and support of their families.  I then invited Jiapeng and Joyce to take the candles and light the centre candle.  As the one light cannot be divided so they would be united from this day forth and go forward into a shining lifetime together.

Joyce and her mother had made the Hand Fasting cord together and all their guests placed pink roses, a symbol of grace, joy, admiration and happiness, in the vase along with all of their hopes, best wishes and love for them both.  

From this day forward,

You shall not walk alone.

My heart will be your shelter,

And my arms will be your home.

Jiapeng and Joyce sent me their photographs with a lovely note:

Jiapeng and I would like to thank you very much Sarah. You have been very helpful since our first phone call and meeting. You used your experience to help plan the whole wedding ceremony. It was a perfect day and everyone enjoyed it so much!

Mark and Lisa’s Beach Ceremony

Beach Ceremony
On a warm sunny afternoon at Pentewan Sands, St Austell, Mark and Lisa celebrated their 10th Wedding Anniversary together.
Surrounded by family and friends, with three little girls in white dresses totally entranced and all the boys digging in the sand, they made their vows to each other, exchanged rings and signed the certificate
I had asked Mark and Lisa the secret to their successful marriage and they told me that they had no idea!
However they asked their guests to send me their opinions and I shared those with everyone there on the beach.
Much laughter and tears later we raised our Mason jars full of bubbly to the happy couple.
“We want to thank you for producing such a wonderful ceremony,  everyone was completely relaxed and enjoyed every minute of it.  You were professional but so warm and friendly which everyone commented on.  
I’m sure if there is ever another ceremony being planned then you would be the first person any of us would think of to conduct it.”

Coffin Drape

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A coffin drape is a piece of material to place over the coffin that tells the story of the deceased. Family and friends can write words, draw pictures and attach photos and poems that reflect their loved one’s interests and life story.

As their mother was a keen seamstress, Alison’s family made a patchwork coffin drape using their mother’s clothes she had kept over the years. At the funeral, everyone came forward to stand around the coffin and the history of each patchwork piece was discussed.

The drape can go with the deceased, but many families take them home and hang them in pride of place.




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