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Saying goodbye is always emotional, especially when it is the last farewell. Anne is the eldest of 7 and has been “responsible” for arranging many family events over the years and recalls the challenges of co-ordinating her mother’s funeral within a church environment. The family discovered it wasn’t about what the family wanted but what the Church “always did.” As emotions were high and the family didn’t want to create a scene, they complied.
Upon reflection, Anne decided this was not going to occur on her watch again SO she decided to knuckle down and train as a Celebrant. Whilst a Marriage Celebrant needs to be registered, a Funeral Celebrant does not, which concerned her and felt “knowledge” is power and has taken the time and effort to learn as much as possible about Funerals – the delivery of the service, what happens behind the scenes, dealing with pain and sadness and strategies to ensure the grieving are aware of what their options are. She has attended several (in-depth) funeral training courses with strict guidelines and is a member of several Associations who keep their members informed with updates and current trends within the funeral industry as well as on-going training and Personal Development programmes.
Anne has been a Palliative Care volunteer for many years – her role involves home visits giving the main carer respite as she stays and listens to the patient and their concerns especially their final wishes. She also makes time for hospital visits and will assist the patient to compose their biography if they so wish. Having someone listen to you without rushing is very cathartic and the families report how good it is to have the opportunity to record their loved ones’ memories.
Anne takes pride in her listening skills and writing a funeral service is a great honour and privilege to have the opportunity to portray the life of the deceased with care and consideration for all concerned. Her work ethic is being accountable for a service that is personal, capturing and delivering a beautiful tribute for the final goodbye.