|Gone but not forgotten|
When someone we love more than life dies, we die too. Losing that person leaves their family without its heartbeat.
Each one of us is as unique as our DNA, so celebrating the life of your loved one, and farewelling them, should be as individual as they were. It’s important to you that your departed is remembered in a personal and meaningful way that reflects their personality and how special they were to you. A standard service will not do this.
Daisy Chain Civil Celebrants will help ease the burden of organising a funeral ceremony or memorial service at such a deeply sad and emotionally difficult time. It can be too overwhelming to think about practicalities when you’re grieving but I can help. I can plan, compose and conduct a beautiful service that accurately reflects your loved one’s true character and what they meant to you. It will be done with care, compassion, respect and sensitivity.
You, the family and friends, should be at the heart of the ceremony so you decide what tributes, poems, readings, stories, memorabilia and music you want. I can guide you, if you are bereft of ideas, or pull all the threads together if you know exactly what you want. I will do as much or as little as you want, working closely with you at all times. Attention to detail is everything and my job is to respectfully and professionally ensure your wishes, and those of your loved one, are fulfilled.
My hope is that you will look back on the ceremony you gave your loved one and feel that you honoured them with the most heartfelt celebration of life and farewell you could, surrounded by people who loved and cared for them.
Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I do not die
This is your day as much as it is about your dearly departed. Whatever you choose I will stand by your side and help create a ceremony in an atmosphere of love and support.
Afterwards, I will give you a copy of the service as a lasting reminder of the day you said goodbye.
These are becoming more popular as we become more environmentally aware. The process involves an unembalmed body in a biodegrable coffin, usually made from cardboard or bamboo, and buried on a site where native flowers and trees serve as memorials.
Natural burial grounds are run by local authorities, charities, not for profit groups and diversifying landowners such as farmers. The only one in Kent is Deerton Natural Burials Ltd, 99a London Road, Teynham, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 9QL
Questions often asked
Do we have to have hymns?
No. You can have music and/or songs that mean something special to you or were special to your loved one. You can choose classical, country, pop or rock…anything you like.
Who can speak at the funeral ceremony or memorial service?
It’s your choice. Any member of your family or friends of your loved one can speak at the ceremony. Many people want to do a reading but are afraid they will become too choked with emotion on the day. I suggest that you prepare to speak but give me a copy of what you want to say and if you find it too difficult I will step in and finish reading it for you. I will support you in any way I can.
Can anyone conduct the ceremony?
Yes. As above, this might seem okay beforehand but on the day it may become too emotionally difficult. In this situation I can help prepare the ceremony if you want me to and take over if you need me to.
Do we have to say a prayer?
No. It’s entirely up to you. I’m happy to include prayers if you want or we can just take a few moments during the ceremony to allow those who want to say a prayer to do so. There are no legal requirements in relation to the content or style of a funeral ceremony or memorial service.
Do we have to wear black?
No. It’s your choice. Some families request mourners wear brighter colours to reflect the vibrant personality of the deceased. However, the older generation can find this disrespectful and would prefer to wear traditional black. In this case, you may want to consider just wearing a black armband over something more colourful. The best thing is to make your wishes clear and mourners will respect them.
If the deceased had requested something in particular to be done at the ceremony do we have to do it? - There is no yes or no answer to this. You are not legally required to carry out their wishes. If you had been asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable you have to make a decision about what to do. There may be a compromise that we can achieve by working together. The ceremony is for you as well as your loved one.
Do we have to have a religious reading?
No. This is your choice. There are so many wonderful alternatives that you can find on the internet or in books that will give you inspiration. However, if you want a psalm or a reading from the bible you can include this.
Where do we have the ceremony?
You can have a ceremony anywhere you want but the internment of your loved one must be at a crematorium or burial site. This is law. The ceremony can be at the same place as the cremation or burial or at a place of your choosing such as at your home or in your garden. It can be before or after the internment – whatever you wish. However, many people need to see the casket lowered into the ground or the curtains close at a crematorium in order to feel closure.
Do we have to have flowers?
No. You can ask that mourners don’t send flowers. You can ask them to donate money to a charity relevant to your loved one or plant something on behalf of the departed instead.
Can we place personal items on the coffin while the ceremony is taking place?
Yes. You can arrange with me or the undertakers to have something of meaning to you placed on the coffin or at the front where the service is delivered.
Can we clap or stand up at any point as a show of respect?
Yes. If that’s something you want to do please let me know and I’ll build it into the ceremony.
Can we have a slideshow of pictures of the loved one?
It depends on the facilities available at the crematorium or venue you’ve chosen for the ceremony. But every effort will be made to accommodate your wishes.
Can we release doves or balloons after the ceremony?
Yes. This can be arranged. However, you may want to consider a few things before making a final decision.
- Are any of the mourners frightened of birds?
- Will you use homing or wild birds?
- Will the balloons be released near a nature reserve, where animals could find them, or electric pylons?