© Susan Greer 2019
© Susan Greer 2019
Funerals can be uplifting, no matter how sad the circumstances. Everyone’s life story is unique, and by sharing their story in a compelling way, we can grab onto what’s special in their life and our own.
Whether it’s a celebration of life, memorial or funeral, there’s no prescribed formula. You might hear Bach or the Beatles. You might cry and you might laugh. The ceremony is a reflection of your loved one, and touches everyone in attendance.
During COVID-19 we can’t gather, but that doesn’t mean we can still create a special moment to bridge the gap until we can console and remember together.
It’s difficult to plan a significant ceremony when you are grieving. I shoulder that responsibility for you.
I like to hear about the kind of ceremony you envision. I ask lots of questions about your loved one, who may have been a parent, sibling, volunteer, colleague and friend. It’s nice if I gather many perspectives. Most importantly, I like to learn about the qualities that made your loved one special.
I take my cues from you and I share my ideas. There’s no obligation or fee at this initial meeting. I’d like you to be confident that I can design a ceremony that will pay tribute to your loved one in the best possible way.
After our initial meeting, I write a script for the entire ceremony (or both ceremonies if there is a committal). The script includes suggestions for music, readings, displays, and ceremonial components. Together we finesse the ceremony. This way, you take comfort knowing the ceremony is exactly as you had hoped.
On the day of the ceremony I care that you are able to focus on your loved one. It’s my role (sometimes in partnership with the funeral home) to ensure the ceremony flows flawlessly. In addition to officiating, I ensure that every element is in place.
I am often asked if a celebrant delivers the eulogy. I can write and deliver the eulogy, or it can be given by a family member or friend. We aren’t limited to one eulogy; there are lots of ways of sharing stories. This decision is entirely up to you.
When this much care, an end-of-life ceremony brings comfort and meaning.
These are worrisome times, and if you lose a loved one during the pandemic, alongside your grief you may be anxious that you can’t do anything to pay tribute. Even with the social distancing, there are many options that are safe and consoling, including gentle gestures to fill the void until the ideal ceremony can take place after social restrictions are lifted.
A personalized funeral helps us grab onto what’s special in their life and our own.