"Draw upon your memories,

Let them dance within your mind.

For you are the guardian of these treasures,

Your loved one has left behind"

 

Michael Gosden

Wealden Celebrant

ITV-PRISON-DOC-436.JPG

Services,

Funerals have evolved over the years and they are now seen as an opportunity to celebrate a life, after all no one can change what has happened - but we can ensure that your loved one receives the best send off possible.

 

The services that I deliver capture the essence of the person you have lost through an effective (and sometimes 'lighthearted') biography of their life. 

 

Step by step guide:

Initial Contact

I receive an initial inquiry, this can be directly from you or from your chosen funeral director, you may have found my details on the internet, through a recommendation or simply 'word of mouth'.

 

Because I am freelance I am able to work with any funeral director or organisation that you have chosen - complementing the service they provide and working together for you and your family .

We arrange a time and place that is convenient to you to meet and discuss your requirements, this may be at your home over a coffee or anywhere you feel most comfortable.

If you have friends or family members that you feel would be able to provide some input into our discussions then please ask them to come along too.

Where you are unable to meet in person I can arrange a video call or speak over the phone. 

Meeting

At the meeting I will go through the process with you and listen to your thoughts and ideas. If you, or any other family member or friend wishes to speak at the service, read a poem or tribute then I take down the details and provide you with guidance and suggestions .

We will discuss music, readings and how you would like things to run on the day.

If you have decided to have a photographic tribute I can help you with organising this too.

I will ask some questions that provide me with the tools to create a structured and insightful life story that is sometimes referred to as the 'Eulogy'.

It is likely that you will not have all of the answers and this is not uncommon - every Eulogy that I write evolves and grows over time, often with input from several of your family members and friends - but this collaboration makes the service completely bespoke, personal and tailor made for your loved one.

Next Steps

After our meeting I will get to work setting out the proposed 'Order of Service', this details the way in which I propose the service will run and in what order - this provides a useful reference for the crematorium staff, the funeral director and also the content for printed service sheets (if you are having them).

I will then email or phone you with the proposed running order  and once you have approved it I will then pass this on to your funeral director.

I will then begin my work on the Eulogy (or life story), this may take a couple of days to get to the first draft, however I will keep you updated on progress. During this time you may think of additional things that you want me to include, you can call or message me at any time you wish and I will incorporate them for you.

Once you have received the first draft from me we will discuss it and I will make any adaptations, amendments and changes that you require, further drafts will then be shared with you until we arrive at one that you are completely happy with.

On The Day Of The Service

On the day of the service I will arrive at the venue half an hour before the start time, this gives me plenty of time to check the music and ensure that everything is as it should be.

I will greet you when you arrive and then conduct the service in the way that we have discussed.

 

Frequently asked questions...

What parts of a service do we have to have?

In short - none, the entire service is a blank canvas on which I help you create something personal and appropriate to your needs

Can you visit me at my home?

Yes of course, I am happy to meet wherever is most convenient and comfortable for you.

 

Can you give me a copy of the eulogy?

I send a draft copy of the service beforehand and can also provide the final printed version on request for a keepsake. 

If someone wishes to speak can they?

Yes of course, I do like to have a draft of what they intend to say for several reasons;

  • I am then able to check that what I write doesn't overlap

  • If needed I can step in and read their words on their behalf if it becomes too much

  • It enables me to check the timings 

Do the curtains have to be closed at the end of the service?

Its up to you, some people like to have the chance to say their own personal goodbye as they leave and others prefer the curtains to be closed.

When you produce the eulogy can we alter it?

Absolutely, this is your service for your loved one - I adapt and update the service according to your needs and as many times as you want.

 

How much do you charge and what is included?

£200* - this includes preparation for the service, meeting you (visiting your home, video call or discussions over the phone), background research using my genealogy system, writing the eulogy (and updating as required) and delivery of the service on the day.

 

*Can vary according to the location and the content - please contact me and we can discuss (advice is free and without any obligation).