Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Celebration of Life: Changing Trends

I have been called upon to officiate for many beautiful interfaith families, to help navigate Jewish customs and culture, Buddhist, Christian, agnostic and atheist services. Important characteristics of my work include compassion, focused listening, excellent communication, writing, storytelling, professional speaking, decades of experience and reliable resources. I discover what bereaved families and friends envision, what resonates for them, how they want to participate and how I can best help them. I integrate prayers, poems and transitions. I am the Master of Celebration, introducing those who have been invited to share their memorial tributes and remembrances. Funeral Celebrant is not just what I do; it is who I am.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Death of a Celebrity

Why are people so affected by the loss of someone famous, someone they did not know personally? Well, loss is loss. The media and social media have brought these people into our lives in a more intimate way. Bonds are formed, even if they are virtual bonds. And any loss can trigger emotions. We don't need to judge it, but can try to understand it by open communication. There may be some aspect of how the celebrity was appreciated for their talents, their gifts, their lifestyle, their contributions or their entertainment value. There may be some connection to how the person died or the age of the person. There may be a raised consciousness of the reality of death, regardless of how much money, acclaim or accomplishment someone has achieved. External circumstances or things to which we become attached on our earthly journey cannot protect us from the reality of death and the pain of grief. Let us be mindful of the celebrities in our lives, not just those profiled in the media, but of the seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things, of the people we love, as well as those who love us.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Changes in Funeral and Celebrant Services

While I continue to assist families with traditional services, I am also serving people who request more personalized and spiritual services, and there is an expanding gap between the time of death and the time that the service is scheduled. Why am I experiencing these changes as a Funeral Celebrant? Well, many people are choosing cremation, so the sense of urgency in decision making has changed. Also, people are geographically dispersed, there are economic challenges and there are more complicated grief issues. Your funeral celebrant is also a resource. I would encourage you to have the conversation with your celebrant sooner, rather than later, in order to receive the greatest benefit.

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Funeral Celebrant

As a Funeral Celebrant, I write and deliver the eulogy and emcee funeral, memorial and celebration of life services. Having assisted bereaved family and friends in their home, the funeral home, cemetery, golf course, restaurant or banquet facility, the focus is on what the family chooses in order to honor the deceased and to help them navigate their loss. Some families select a traditional service and some choose to wait weeks or months between the time of death and the service. Others choose to have an additional service or to celebrate the anniversary of the death or some other significant date. The sooner you start the conversation with your celebrant, the more you will appreciate the value and the resources that are available to assist you.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Bereavement Overload

We are bombarded with loss: loss of people we love, financial loss, job loss, home loss, safety and security loss and loss of integrity. Please take a moment every day to send messages of love, integrity, abundance, gratitude, healthy choices and perseverence into the universe. You can make a difference. Keep the faith, continue making healthy choices, keep dreaming and manifesting and continue practicing self care and taking positive action in being of service to others.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blue Christmas

Dear Readers,
As we celebrate our holiday, let us be mindful of those who are sad this holiday season. Why are they sad and what can you do to be of service to them? Maybe because they are depressed, or they have had a loss of a loved one or a job, or they have experienced disappointments and unfulfilled expectations, or their family is geographically dispersed and they cannot be together, or perhaps they are financially challenged. These are just some of the reasons why someone might not be experiencing joy. So, how can we be of service? Pay attention! Notice someone who might not be happy or content right now. When people feel sad, they may also feel a sense of shame, blame or guilt and may not share these feelings readily. Talk with them. Listen to them. Invite them. Share what you can with them (food, money, gifts, your blessings.) There are Blue Christmas services that welcome those who are feeling blue. Sometimes, it helps just to know that you are not alone. While your feelings, relationships and circumstances are uniquely yours, you might feel better knowing that you are not the only one who does not feel joyous. Trust that your feelings of joy, hope and gratitude will return. Wishing you all the best.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tribute to Frank McCourt

I recently participated in a tribute to the late Frank McCourt, Irish American author, at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL. I had previously read the book, Angela's Ashes. I read it again to select excerpts to share with the audience. I rarely have the time or energy to read the same book twice, as there are so many new books from which to choose. What I discovered is that I am in a very different place from the time I first read this book, so my life experiences colored the lens through which I looked. Also, some passages really popped in light of the fact that Frank is now dead. Isn't this a mysterious and lovely part of the wonder of reading? You weave in the author's intimate thoughts with your life experiences.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Funeral Celebrant

As a Funeral Celebrant, I have witnessed many beautiful love stories about ordinary people who are extraordinary to their friends and family. You may not hear about them on the news, but they are quietly living their lives: working, playing, struggling, contributing, loving and being loved. What will your legacy be?