Memorials with Roslyn McFarlane

Access Civil Ceremonies; "It's the little things that count"
Ros McFarlane 2
Celebrant background: Working for a Health insurance company for 20 years and dealing with people with health problems made me very aware of the fragility of life and the need to value lives and the importance of having loving support during the difficult times in our  lives.
When I became a Life and Funeral Celebrant I could see the importance of sharing family stories and history, of making each person feel valued and needed, It is customary for the life story to be told at a funeral, but in my opinion it is equally important, or perhaps more important for a person to  know just how much they are loved and appreciated in life; having the opportunity to share stories, expereinces  and family  history.
Adding ceremony to the special occasions during a lifetime is a positive way to recognise those people whom you love so much.
Why I'm a celebrant: Ritual and Ceremony are the backbone of all cultures and I am greatly rewarded when I can use my skills to tell the story of a life well lived, or to facilitate a celebration of a person's success or to be a part of the tradional life Celebrations such as the Naming of a Child. If I am abe to bring comfort to those who mourn, or to bring joy to those who have achieved a special goal ; or help people learn about their roots and ancestry through Ceremony is a  most rewarding profession.
Treasured memories: Many people today are choosing not to have a traditional funeral for a variety of reasons.
But they do not seem to understand that the sharing of both grief and happy memories is the main way the family can begin to deal with the loss. 
I was asked to conduct a Ceremony to scatter the ashes for a family whose Mother and Father had passed away some years before. Neither parent wanted any ceremony at all. After some years had passed the sons and daughters had not been able to find the closure that they needed.
The parents "Urns" contaning their remains were passed around the family for safe keeping. This was not a  satisfactory solution for any of them.  In the end it was agreed that the remains of both parents would be placed under a Weeping Maple tree in the family home where one of the Children was currently living.   It had been decreed in the parent's will that the home was to remain in the family and never be sold as long as there was a decendant living,  so the risk of the tree being left behind when the family moved was miniscule. 
The ceremony was a simple one, Each family member had the opportunity to express their own memories, gratitude and grief as they poured some of the Ashes into the ground, and later by placing the soft earth gently around the young tree. Even the smallest of  the Grandchildren participated by helping to dig the hole where the tree would grow and then helping to fill in aorund the tree roots. As the Urns were emptied to the sound of a relevant piece of music, the family were at last able to accept that there was a finality.
An aftternoon tea consisting only of Meat Pies, Tim Tams, Coca Cola  and Ice Cream followed.  This was the food that was favoured by Mum and Dad in life.  Now whenever the decendants have the need they can go to the house where the tree lives and flourishes and feel comforted that something beautiful lives on in their own family and in the shape of that beautiful tree.
Tips : Have you considered having a living Memorial or Liferal? 
That is in essence the opportunity for famiy and friends to gather to celebrate the peron's life while they are living. The sharing of stories, history, experiences and love across the generations. It is a validation of a person while they are still alive to appreciate and be appreciated.  It is a True Celebration of Love and Life.
Have you considered having a Memorial rather than the Funeral as the major occasion? 
Our TCN association explains the benefits of a memorial in this video titled "Why have a fast funeral? in its section for ceremonies for loss and grief.
It is common today to pre pay for a funeral or take out Funeral Insurance.
This is a very caring and Pro-Active thing for a person to do so that their family will not be faced with the financial strain of paying for a Funeral in the event of their death.
It is also very wise to take steps to prepare in other ways.  Such as:

Making sure your will is up to date
Identify where your bank accounts are held, who is your Solicitor or Exeutor .
Who is your power of attorney.
Leaving a list of what small items you would like to go to what person
Tell someone what type of funeral you would like such as Religious or Civil, Burial or Cremation, Do you want your organs donated etc.
It can be very helpful to write your own story and not assume that someone else knows it all. 
What type of flowers would you like? What music  would you like played at your funeral?

and I'd like to say: Life itself is reason to Celebrate. 
Make every Celebration a Party with a Purpose.  A  party that is a structured Celebration is one that will be long remembered for all the right reasons.
Engaging a Celebrant will ensure that it is ressearched and managed in a timely, organised and appropriate manner.
Areas serviced: Melbourne, East and South East Suburbs
Celebrant Town/ Suburb: Pakenham
State: Victoria
Phone: 0401275678
Skype : RoslynMcFarlane1
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