To be asked to conduct a funeral is one of the greatest honours I know.  I am entrusted to take the family through a sad and often difficult time, and to enable them to farewell their loved one in a way that is deeply satisfying for them.

 

I have conducted funerals for three very close friends. That is not easy, but it is the last and best thing I can do for them and their families.  When I do a funeral for someone I have not met, the challenge for me is to get to know that person through their family and friends, so that the ceremony I write reflects that person faithfully. 

 

Because I am a secular celebrant, I do not offer comfort from a religious perspective.  Rather, I use words that celebrate the person’s life, that mourn their loss, and that acknowledge the vital way in which that person lives on – in the memories of those that loved her or him.  My personal experiences of loss (a father, a mother, a sister and a child) have taught me that there is great comfort in remembering the person, in  acknowledging and talking about him or her, and in reaching a point where we can be grateful for their lives no matter how long or short.