I received this note from Janis Horne, one of our amazing officiants on the Modern Celebrant team.
Tomorrow I will fly to the UK to take a course to become a Funeral Celebrant, certified by the International College of Celebrancy (UK Division.) I have been planning this trip for months because for years I’ve wanted to expand my practice as a Celebrant to include end-of-life ceremonies. But now as the beginning of the course is nigh, I find myself thinking about it in ways that I hadn’t before. Suddenly I am even more aware of the potency and intimacy of this work.
To me, life is all about connection. And never is the need for connection greater than when a loved one dies. Despite our grief, the sense that our lives have ongoing relevance and meaning to ourselves and those around us is what fuels us as we begin the healing process. When we lose someone we love, it is an opportunity to pause and take stock of life, and what it means to us. Hopefully, we are reminded once again that life is a precious and fleeting gift that should be savoured each and every day. Our connection to that person forms part of the rich fabric of our lives. We shouldn’t be afraid of our grief, because, at the end of the day, it is a true measure of how much we valued and loved that person.
I hope to offer this reflective opportunity to those families, friends and loved ones for whom I will create celebrations of life and memorial ceremonies. Yes, we want to celebrate our loved one’s life, but in our [cultural] need to “move on” let’s also allow ourselves to experience and learn from our own grief.
Is this what I will learn? I do not know. Will I be good at this? Time will tell. Does it matter that people have meaningful ceremonies at the end of their lives? Yes. Absolutely.
by Funeral Celebrant Janis Horne