End of life practices are very different today than they were only 100 years ago when the immediate family took care of their loved one and close family and friends were involved in the body preparation, viewing and ceremony. Today it seems much more sterile and detached. The body goes from the morgue to the funeral home or from the family home to the funeral home and is made ready for viewing and then either cremation or burial.

How can a Life-Cycle Celebrant® help you and bring ease in this difficult time? After the death of a loved one, I will meet with the family and ask them what they want and wish for a ceremony and tribute. The entire ceremony is unique and different for everyone and not religious. Having said that, if someone wishes to have the Lord’s Prayer read for example, then I will. It is all about the family and not the celebrant. During this “interview” the family tells stories of their loved one – both good and bad, happy and sad and so we act as a bit of a therapeutic bridge in the grieving process. We are empathetic and understanding and can hear and then translate into a beautiful tribute unique and personal.

Scattering ceremonies are important because at the time of death perhaps the family cannot all be present for a memorial. Some deceased do not want to be buried or placed in a columbarium or an urn. They wish to have their cremated remains disposed of at sea, in a forest, by a lake, on a mountain top or a special place holding fond memories for everyone. They want something significant. I will write a ceremony including rituals that are meaningful to the family and the deceased. For example – digging a hole with the spade or shovel that grandpa always used in his garden. The family sprinkling his/her favorite seeds or a plant or a tree above the sacred space of the cremains. A Scattering Ceremony helps to bring closure in a respectful and meaningful manner.