The death of someone we love is surely one of life's most bitter pains. And not only do you have to deal with that pain, you must also make the arrangements for an appropriate farewell.
A civil celebrant helps you plan a ceremony to suit you and your family.
A common misconception is that a civil ceremony is anti-God or anti-religious. This is not so.
Rather a civil ceremony allows the family to choose whether there is any religious content or not, such as prayers or religious readings, because the celebrant's key objective is to tailor the ceremony to the needs of the bereaved.
Planning a funeral can be an opportunity for a family to come together, to share an experience that can strengthen the bond between all its members.
If you are dealing with the death of someone close to you, or perhaps you might be preparing for the death of someone you care about, you have our heartfelt sympathy.
The funeral service you arrange for your loved one is the final tribute you can make to them. It's a ceremony that carries great significance and brings with it many challenges, emotional, social and financial.
You could well feel pressured to make hasty decisions but you should not do so. Most funeral directors will lead you through the decisions you have to make but there is no need to rush them.
And there is no need to rush the service. The timing is really up to you. Wait for those relatives and friends who want to attend but need to come from far afield.
Take your time in planning a funeral service that will pay a respectful and loving tribute to your loved one.
Think about what should be said, who should say it and what other elements should be emphasised that encompass the highlights of your loved one's life. Think about whether you would like to display photos, have a DVD of favourite photos, play favourite music and display those items which symbolise your loved one's interests and favourite things.