Beautiful Funeral Ceremonies
Have you ever been to a funeral at the end of which you think to yourself, ‘what was that about?’; where there seemed to be nothing of the person who died, only a drab, one-size-fits-all dirge? That was my feeling after both my parents’ funerals. They were deeply unsatisfactory and gloomy.
Most of us are pole-axed when someone we love dies. We don’t know what to do or where to turn. We often get swept along on a conveyor belt and do not know that we have choices.
There is a taboo around death and funerals which makes even talking about them a problem. Religious indoctrination, superstition, cultural conditioning and fear surround the subject. Most people dread funerals and a kind of paralysis takes over. We struggle to know what to do when someone dies and often take the line of least resistance letting ourselves accept a formula which may not reflect our own beliefs and values. But do funerals have to be as awful as they so often are; one-size-fits-all dreary affairs that contribute little to the memory of the deceased?
Most people do not realise that there are other choices although there is definitely a growing awareness that we don’t have to put up with a standard, ‘off-the-shelf’ service. We are beginning to think about what we would want for our loved ones and for ourselves and to look at ways of trying to make funerals more personal, more truthful, more distinctive. Each life is unique and wouldn’t it be wonderful if this could be reflected in the ceremony that marks their final rite of passage?
So began my quest to find a better way – one where families, friends and communities can move away from convention to reclaim choice over how to hold a funeral.
I have now conducted over 300 funerals – each one unique and special. I will support you to create and co-ordinate a memorable funeral that reflects the individual character of the person who has died; a heartfelt, appropriate funeral which is both an expression of loss and a celebration of life, bringing comfort, inspiration and good memories.
‘I just wanted to say a big thank you for your effortless care and compassion in guiding us through D.’s service and all the lead up to it. Your words at the service were beautiful. For such a difficult time in people’s lives it is wonderful that there are genuine people like you who can really make a difference.’
‘Dear Allegra, Just to tell you how much I appreciated how beautifully you arranged and conducted the service for dear A. last Wednesday. It was inevitably sad, but simple, appropriate and deeply moving. Just what he would have wanted I’m sure. Your opening words were an excellent account of his life and a marvellous tribute to him. The whole occasion will be a treasured memory for us all.’
‘On behalf of all the family I would just like to send you this quick note to say a very big Thank you for the wonderful service you conducted yesterday. It was exactly what we wanted and I think M. would have agreed, so thank you Allegra for making it go smoothly and stress free for us all.’
‘Thank you once again for the beautiful service you conducted for Mum. Friends and family are still referring to it. It really helped to bring our family together.’
‘On behalf of myself and my children, thank you for everything. I never knew a funeral could be like this. I only wish S. could have seen it – well perhaps she did!’
‘Dear Allegra, You made a really difficult time so much easier for us. So many people said afterwards that they wished funerals were always this personal and beautiful. Thank you for taking so much time and care.’
‘Although it seems strange to say it, you helped to make Dad’s funeral a happy day for us. It was a celebration of his life and the best possible farewell. Thank you so much.’
‘We just wish to say thank you for all your support and the lovely service you conducted for Mum.’
‘Thank you so much for the wonderful service you conducted for J. last Tuesday. You were a calming and kind soul steering us through a sea of grief – and a choppy one at that!’
‘I just wanted to take some time to say a proper thank you for everything you did to make Mum’s funeral a celebration of her life.
You are a truly intuitive lady – the Chopin piece was inspired, to say the least.
Although it was a funeral it was not at all sombre and your eulogy captured the essence of what my mum was about. You really did make it the loveliest, happiest funeral I have ever been to and many people commented on this tone which ran throughout. It’s weird but it has taken away much of the fear of death for me – it is another part of life therefore she has just moved on. With much thanks and love.’
‘Brilliant, perfect, beautiful. Many thanks.’