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Saying Goodbye - Your way. Act Now

Saying Goodbye – Your way



Act Now before your final Goodbye.

When families are confronted with trying to prepare the funeral, shock and grief can make it very difficult to remember those things that they need to know about “Mum” or “Dad”!  Generally your children look upon you as only their parent, not from any other perspective.  So the other compartments of your life, as a lover, partner, friend, student, teacher, mentor, work colleague, employer, team player, sports person, voluntary worker, etc, etc, are not fully appreciated or understood. 

The same can be said for your life experiences and their context.  All this information is needed to prepare a fitting life tribute that will do justice to a person’s life as a whole. 

So when is the best time to get started?  Now – none of us know when our time is up!

So what can you do to start this process?  Meet with your local independent Funeral Celebrant to discuss your funeral ceremony and the way you would like to say goodbye to your loved ones.

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What makes a funeral meaningful?

What makes a Funeral meaningful?

For centuries funerals have helped us to say goodbye, to honour, to celebrate and remember those we love.  Funerals can bring together families and friends who offer loving support in our time of greatest need and can offer comfort to those mourning.

A funeral is made up of different parts that when combined make an incredible meaningful experience for you, your family and friends.  It is how you, your family and friends, with the assistance of your Celebrant, combine these components that will make the funeral meaningful.

The major components of a funeral are; music, readings, symbols, committal and eulogy. 

Music – music forms an important part of many social rituals and can be used to access feelings and using music meaningfully in a service helps us to embrace our loss and can form a vital part of the grieving and mourning process.  

Readings – can be selected to capture the unique life and beliefs of the person who has died and can also acknowledge the reality of death; it is quiet appropriate to include humour here if it reflects the personality of your loved one.

Symbols – the main symbols used in funerals are flowers, candles, photos and the coffin.  Flowers represent love and beauty and placing flowers on the coffin is a way to honour the deceased.  The flame of the candle represents the spirit and for some it also represents life’s continuation beyond death.  The presence of the coffin serves as a focus for mourners and helps them recognize and embrace their loss and pain.  Family will often place items on the coffin that relate to the life of the deceased, such as tools of a trade, a fishing rod, war medals, a photo, or sporting memorabilia from their favourite team.

Eulogy – this if often the part that stays with the family and friends long after they have left the funeral and most likely the part to be talked about later.  Don’t be afraid to ask others to assist you in sharing their memories that can be included.  The eulogy acknowledges the unique life and personality of the person who has died and affirms the significance of that life for all who shared it.

Committal – In a chapel service the Committal is the final goodbye – it is the time we honour the dead with respect, honour and dignity.  The curtain closing on the coffin brings a necessary feeling of finality to the service and can be powerful to the family and friends and can assist in the healing process.  If the Committal is graveside it is the final goodbye as you watch the coffin being lowered and it can also be a powerful moment - a moment of quiet reflection, a time to say goodbye.

While each faith and culture have their own variations on the elements of a funeral and incorporating them together with those listed above will make the funeral meaningful while respecting the values and traditions of a particular faith or culture. 

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Saying Goodbye

It is difficult to say goodbye to those we love but options of how we do this are increasing.  Have you thought of an Honouring Ceremony? In our modern society the options of where and how we say goodbye are ever changing.  I recently officiated at a ceremony honouring a much loved mother and grandmother - it was beautiful. 

The Honouring Ceremony was held in a beautiful open chapel within the Cemetery – what a beautiful location with the wind gently caressing the cheeks of her family (it felt like her spirit passing by) and the birds singing in the surrounding trees.  The family decorated the area with symbols in a beautiful tribute to their mother and grandma. 

The Ceremony started with a Candle Lighting in her memory and in memory of all others who had passed away due to cancer as this was very important to the family.  All her grandchildren participated in the Honouring Ceremony doing what they felt comfortable with – their love for the Grandma was obvious.

Before the Committal a verse ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ as recited, it was so appropriate and read beautifully by her Granddaughter.  After the Committal the family and friends covered the coffin with beautiful colourful rose petals – she was in her rainbow.

It was an intimate yet dignified honouring and goodbye to a beloved lady in the manner that she wished and in a manner that they found comfort with.  

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Michael - In Memory Of tribute

“A Loving Heart is the Truest Wisdom ..” Charles Dickens
Free On-Line Memorials in our "In Memory Of" section

Introducing ASKACELEBRANT''s newest section "In Memory Of" on our website.

Do you have a loved one or friend, or respect a community member for whom you would like to make a tribute for their life?

Every day there are short poppies that stand tall in the lives of families and communities who never receive a public acknowledge in the "Obits" of even the local papers. ASKACELEBRANT wants to hear some of their stories.

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