26 Sep

Training to become a funeral celebrant has provided me with the opportunity to meet people who have warmth and compassion and real care for how they support people during a time when they are overwhelmed by emotions and are simultaneously forced into a land, they know nothing of.  Death is something we will all encounter and experience, yet the world of death and its words - coffins, cremation, burial, probate, coroners…. is likely to be a foreign territory.  Admin and doing things ‘the right way’ can take over.  Yet it is a time when we need to feel that we have made the choices that are right for our loved one, for ourselves. When my friend offered the chance to step into the role of celebrant and walk the journey of planning the funeral with her, I can’t deny that I felt some anxiety, but also a gladness to be useful.  There are so many decisions to make. The music, the words, the last clothes your loved one will wear. As the day of ceremony moved closer, I had moments of wondering why on earth I was choosing to step into a role so different from those I had experienced before. This foreign land with all its new words.  I could be sitting at my desk right now, I thought, as I approached the crematorium.   It’s hard to describe in words the feeling of being part of the ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful. There were smiles, there were tears. The emotion was palpable and intense, but also safe and comforting. Sharing it all was a privilege.

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