Some recent Testimonials:
“Thank you so much for your words. They were insightful, at times witty but also inspiring and they touched a place in my heart and soul and gave me some direction to focus on. You are amazing. I am in awe of what you do. The world is a better place for having someone like you in it and I know your words will be a guiding light for me from this day forward.”
“It was amazing you did a fantastic job! Mum was really extremely impressed and truly grateful that you were able to capture him in your words she said that it was beautiful”
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the beautiful service that you did today for my nan. I take great comfort in the few people that were there with me in saying what a lovely service and the things that were said were so true. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I am sure my nan would have been so proud xx”
“We are amazed that you have captured the essence of Dad from our disjointed conversation”
“May I say that I thought the arrangements and conducting of her funeral were excellent throughout”.
“Hi Joanna, Just want to thank you so much for the wonderful day we had and the professional, fabulous presentation you gave, it was so thoughtful, we couldn’t have wished for better. Many, many thanks.”
The top 10 “alternative” funeral songs:
1. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Eric Idle / Monty Python
2. Cabaret – Liza Minnelli
3. Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye – Gracie Fields
4. My Way – Sid Vicious
5. They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa – Napoleon
6. Fame! I Want To Live Forever – The cast of Fame
7. We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals
8. Going Underground – The Jam
9. Spirit In The Sky – Dr and The Medics
Today I received a heart wrenching letter from a lady thanking me for the “happy” “uplifting” funeral service for her late husband.
She had taken the time and trouble to write to me but the thing that I found most moving was the description of the pain she had been through in the weeks following her husband’s death. On top of dealing with the grief she had difficult practical matters to deal with.
It is clear that we all go through a process of grief. We feel anger, pain, hurt, guilt. We go through all the range of emotions we could possibly feel. We cope in different ways. This lady had taken the ashes of her husband for a walk in an old pram around the town and down to the river and finally sat in the park overlooking the Spring flowers he always loved to see each year. She has also taken comfort from the wonderful garden he created – a mural he painted on the shed, hanging baskets and little statutes of animals in the flower beds. This is her special place to go and cry and remember him. We all need a special place to go when we want to focus on our loved ones; a place of peace to think and maybe talk aloud to them.
We are increasing hearing about the idea of a ‘good death’. For some people this might mean euthanasia but it is actually about so much more. Look up Kate Granger’s blog. Kate is a terminally ill cancer patient. She has spoken about her impending death on radio 4. Kate is charting her illness and her thoughts about life and death. She make suggestions on making death easier to address as a subject of conversation. She says that humour, with dignity is so important. Some of my best funerals have included an injection of humour. With the family’s agreement I included a few ‘risque’ comments and it went down very well. Lots of the mourners said it was the best funeral they had attended.
Kate suggests making a ‘death plan’ in the same way a pregnant woman would make a ‘birth plan’. And why not? If you know you are dying then why not make a plan of who you would like to be there? Would you like aromatherapy treatment as you die? Accupuncture? Scented candles in the room? Music playing? A favourite book read to you? I know we never know exactly when death will happen but we dont with birth either.( unless you have a caesarian) The hard fact is we prefer to avoid admitting that we are dying. We live in hope. We think by not saying the word death we are being positive. But this is not realistic. Being positive and strong is about facing the truth, the facts and making death comfortable and something not to be feared.
Visit Kate’s blog at drkategrangerwordpress.com