Gathering for a funeral is an important, long-held tradition. We gather to grieve together, for mutual comfort and support, to share stories and memories of the one who has died, and to honour the essence of a very unique life. Of course some of this happens informally, but it can also be important to formally acknowledge the parting of someone we love, and to share their importance to us all, in the context of a special ceremony. Grief and loss need to be acknowledged, alongside remembering, gratitude and celebration.

As a funeral celebrant I can help facilitate this process, working with the family. A unique and relevant ceremony tends to unfold as we spend time reflecting on possibilities and reminiscing about your loved one. A sense of satisfaction, belonging and meaning come from being involved in creating a funeral; feelings of grief have somewhere to go.

Whatever the circumstances of the death, a funeral can be positive and healing. I have a particular passion for helping to create ceremonies for “difficult” people.

Kind words here.

I’m very happy to answer queries or discuss your situation by telephone or email, without obligation.

The poem below captures the honour I feel in this role. It is the final poem on my CD of poems, When Death Comes Close.

On Being a Funeral Celebrant

Here I am, somehow standing in for this person
we have all gathered to honour and farewell.
I have listened to family and friends,
asked questions to elicit the fullest picture,
the roundest sense of the life at the centre of our ritual.

And here I am, holding it all,
the balance of dignity and lightness,
honesty and compassion, sorrow and hopefulness.
In the face of death I am alive, fully present,
every cell seeming to take in and give out what is needed.

Who am I serving in this cherished role?
I am serving the deceased,
standing in the midst of her family,
listening on her behalf,
open to the shades and the nuances.

I am serving family members,
each different in relationship and perspective,
each creating their piece of the remembering.

I am serving friends, colleagues,
anyone who needs to mark an ending,
to say goodbye,
to use the efficacy of ceremony
to be with their regretting and their gratitude.

I am serving the professionals –
the funeral director,
crematorium and cemetery staff,
musicians and bearers
by attending to the details
so the process is orderly and timely.

I serve healing,
for a funeral that is fitting and meaningful
and invites participation
sits well in our bones,
and the journey of adjustment can begin.

And over and around all this there dwells a larger picture,
a sense that in the midst of death and dying
I am honoured and enabled to serve.

Charges and area served

Funeral or Memorial Service: $450   (An additional fee may be charged to cover longer, double or more complex ceremonies. This would be discussed.)

I also offer consultations at $75 per hour for those who wish to create a unique funeral without using a celebrant.

My travel is charged at 50c per kilometre.

I serve Motueka and environs.