25 Jul Synchronicity Made Me A Celebrant!
I believe in the little synchronicities of life...
Unbeknown to me my celebrant journey first began 5 years ago, when I had no clue what a celebrant was. Sadly we lost my Aunty Elle, a beautiful vibrant woman who died on her birthday. We set out for her funeral in Surrey and arrived at her home just in time to join the funeral procession. At this point you may need to know that I am a bit of a weeper at funerals, so the prospect was a little daunting, but I was prepared to be strong for my Dad who had lost his dear sister. I was in for a shock, it was a small, elite gathering, and we were greeted by a lovely lady who knew we had travelled a long way, she was warm and welcoming and immediately put us at our ease. She commenced the ceremony and both Dad and I were surprised! It was lovely, sincere and a heartfelt snapshot of Aunty Elle’s full and interesting life I felt she was talking to me not at me! “You are so Beautiful” by Joe Cocker than rang out around the crematorium, so fitting for my Aunty, who was a beautiful and elegant person. When we got outside Dad and I were smiling through our tears and he said, “that’s the kind of funeral I want!” #YourFuneralYourWay
Sadly, just 6 months later we lost my lovely funny and fabulous Dad, but I knew exactly what to do…….didn’t I? Contacting the funeral director, I explained that I didn’t want a minister and asked what the alternative was. They said, “Oh you want a Humanist” and promptly booked one for a home visit. Here’s where the story gets interesting. A bearded gentleman came to the house and talked us through what he would do and what he wanted from me. At this point you should know that I didn’t totally take to the said gentleman, but again I thought he was the only option so figured that I better run with it. I complied with his wishes and wrote a lovely, funny, poignant and fact filled eulogy for him to deliver at the crematorium and emailed it over. His reply, “I can’t say that you will have to take some bits out.” His edit was cruel, and I felt that he took the heart out of the eulogy, so after discussing with my family I decided that I would read the eulogy myself, with my son as back up in case I couldn’t get the words out on the day.
I interspersed Dad’s ceremony with music from some his favourite TV programmes. I could see my family and friends nodding and laughing, enjoying the eulogy and the memories of my Dad. I felt a strange glowing, got through the eulogy with flying colours and just left the ‘official’ bits to the Humanist. On leaving the crematorium everyone commended me on a beautiful ceremony and that they had never laughed so much at a funeral before! My work that day was done #WhyChooseaCelebrant
Currently around two in every three funerals are non-religious https://www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/arranging-a-funeral/types-of-funeral/non-religious-funerals mainly with a contemporary feel celebrating the life of the deceased, so whilst there may be a place for humanists in the funeral market, the gulf between a celebrant and Humanist is vast. A Celebrant gives you, your family and your ceremony the freedom to include and say anything you wish and include any rituals that you request. It will be handcrafted and delivered from the heart with warmth, empathy and feeling; limited only by your own imagination. Humanists do not believe in religion, supernaturalism, pseudoscience and superstition, they offer secular ceremonies only. A lesson I had to learn the hard way, but at least Dad got the ceremony he desired, and I found my passion and discovered Celebrancy #LimitedOnlyByYourOwnImagaination