Pauline has been the funeral celebrant for over 17 years. Her reputation is well known as she brings a sense of peace, calm and professionalism to those she works with. She spends time with the family and learns about their loved one and she has a genuine desire to help the family through such a difficult time. Pauline’s breadth of knowledge is obvious as she gently guides and assists the family with choices and decisions. As a recognised inspirational speaker Pauline has an innate sense of timing, excellent clarity of speech and a fluent command of the English language.
Pauline will help you plan the perfect funeral ceremony for your loved one.
“It was just what Granddad wanted.”
Just immediate family: Twelve family members sat in a circle chatting. Soft music was playing as stories were told. Occasionally the group burst into laughter and this led to more lively stories. Suddenly the tears began to spill and the love and support of everyone in the group became even more tangible. A young man pulled a poem out of his jacket pocket and began to read. He had written it about his grandfather. Other readings followed. The family chose to have a reflective time and listen to Granddad’s favourite music. On the casket were mementos from a life well lived and a photo. The occasion was intimate and safe in its vulnerability.
“It was just what Mum wanted”
The cars kept coming. People flooded inside chatting and smiling. Most were dressed in colourful clothing – some had hats and 3 piece suits. There was an air of celebration. Once inside the bagpipes began to sound “Amazing Grace.” The crowd become still as solemnity and celebration combined. “Thank you for coming dressed in colour to celebrate. This ceremony was pre-planned and we are honouring every wish that was made.” Power-Point photographs told the story of her life to background music. Chosen friends told meaningful stories covering different aspects of her life. The casket was carried out to the mighty sounds of Verdi’s Nabucco. We fulfilled her wish – “No sad sacks for me.”
“It was perfect for our daughter”
Her friend, a dancing teacher, danced to honour her life. The music was undulating and captured the vitality and creativity of her friend’s life. Her movements were both graceful and jagged. She was dressed in a skirt of flowing fabric rich in beautiful, vibrant colours. The young woman had loved creating. She’d made beautiful pieces of pottery, sculptures, creative pieces made from drift wood and natural materials. Her friends displayed her work and shared its meaning. Another friend sang her favourite song. It was poignant and meaningful. A tree was planted to honour her memory.
Planning your own funeral
Many people today are planning their funeral ceremonies well in advance of illness, diagnosis or becoming dependant.
- How would you like friends and family to celebrate your life?
- What memories spring to mind from each decade?
- What has been the best thing about your life?
- What music do you enjoy?
- What poems do you like?
- How do you want to be remembered?
My role is to guide people of all ages through the planning of the funeral service they really want – long before death is likely to occur. My experience and expertise in communicating ideas ensures that the end result will be a celebration rich in personal stories that will be proudly passed on from one generation to the next. Usually the process is as follows:
- The person phones to make a time when I can visit them. This may be in their homes or in a coffee bar.
- We discuss ideas to celebrate the person’s life. We talk about the structure of the ceremony and I share experiences and show resources (poems, readings, music)
- Through email and/or follow-up meetings ideas are clarified.
- A copy of the completed service/ceremony is kept by both parties.
“Pauline guided each of us as we planned our funeral ceremonies. Now we know our stories will be remembered long after family and friends celebrate our lives. We felt elated and relieved after we had worked through the process”. Carmen and Bob