Our life changes in an instant when someone we love dies. Everything is different, except the love. The love doesn’t go anywhere. The sweet mystery is that love survives – it takes refuge in our hearts, weaves itself into the fabric of our minds, and rests deeply in our bones.

At first, and even for awhile, the heart may feel confused; twisted, like a wrung out towel lying on the bathroom floor. Our emotions and moods swerve out of control. The usual delights of life no longer offer pleasure or comfort. We miss and long for our loved one.

Then a certain song plays on the radio, we enjoy a piece of apple pie, we laugh at something our dear one would find silly, we arrive at a new milestone – and, somehow, we’re restored to living life. Except, we find that we’ve awakened into a new and foreign land. Here, we live not with them, but remembering them. In a curious way, we discover that instead of seeing them before us, we find them right here, inside of us. This divine spark – living on in us – is their lasting legacy.

A celebrant funeral honors this legacy by celebrating the individual’s particular story. No two life stories are ever alike. Every life lives itself in a completely unique and magnificent way through each set of eyes, pair of hands, mythical soul and earthbound feet. Every heart beats with a unique tale to tell of its’ lifetime journey and inevitable passing.

As a funeral celebrant, I paint a sensitive portrait of your loved one by selecting meaningful readings, poetry, and music — as requested; along with writing the life biography or eulogy. These elements are woven together to nourish all who assemble to pay tribute. Material for the service is gathered during a personal meeting, where I listen carefully, learning about your loved one’s character, spirit and passions. I go on to spend hours creating an honest and heartfelt ceremony, and speak to others to discuss their participation, if that is indicated. The ceremony is presented to you beforehand, to confirm accuracy in every detail, as well as to ensure that the entire ceremony is a true expression of your loved one’s life and your wishes.

A celebrant funeral or memorial ceremony is designed to be intimate, and real – in a caring, considerate way that pays close attention to the lifetime we honor, along with those who are left behind to find their way. As I officiate, I read from a binder with warmth and compassion. After the last words are spoken and the silence is breathed in when the ceremony comes to a close, the divine spark remains lit. The flame that continues to burn in your heart can never be taken away – your loved one’s lasting legacy belongs to you.

Our journey together is collaborative. I write and officiate personal ceremony for celebration of life ceremony, funeral, memorial, scattering ceremonies, cremation, remembrance rituals, and also pre-planning your celebration of life ceremony, including developing, writing and composing an ethical will. I also will work with you to write a eulogy for a loved one that you wish to deliver.

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“When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith knows that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly.” Barbara J. Winter

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