As a Civil Celebrant who takes funerals, I am very aware of the pain caused to so many families who are unable to have a ‘proper’ service for their loved one during these very unusual times. Numbers attending funerals are still restricted and so many people are opting to have a direct cremation and plan a memorial service when things are more normal. Back in March I don’t think anyone realised just how long this situation was going to last and we really have no idea when ‘normal’ will return!

Even when a service can be held, many people won’t be able to attend – you may well be front line health and emergency service providers who have to be on duty, you may be self-isolating or unable to travel. There are many reasons why you’re not able to say that final goodbye to your loved one. If they died in hospital you may not have been able to visit them at the end. This all adds to your sadness, confusion – and often anger – as you mourn the loss of someone you love.

Several years’ experience has shown me that one of the key elements of saying that final goodbye to a loved one is putting together the service – choosing music, readings, and preparing a eulogy. Families always get great comfort from remembering the deceased through anecdotes, and there is often a great deal of laughter as well as tears when I meet them to discuss the funeral. Talking is an important part of grieving.

For those of you unable to have a formal service at the moment, I now offer a  service whereby I will do everything I normally do – talk on the phone/FaceTime (replacing face to face meetings), write a eulogy, then put together a service which I will send to you so you can share it with one another. You may even decide to hold a mini service in your home. As it will all be done remotely there are no geographical limits  but as I am only one person and each service will be totally personal to you, I have to be realistic on what I can provide – so am offering this service for a flat fee of £75.  Mostof our contact can be by email, but I would like to talk to you when we are planning the service

If the person who has died, or their next of kin, is a bona fide ‘front line’ worker in the NHS or one of the emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) this service will be completely FREE.

If this is something you think would help you/your family please email me in the first instance and tell me a little about your circumstances. These are challenging times for all of us, but if I can help you a little as you try and deal with your grief then please contact me.