I understand that when choosing a funeral celebrant, you want the right person for the job. You want someone who can not only write you the perfect eulogy but also deliver it in a manner that feels right for you. I hope you’ve seen the short video of me speaking, which gives you an idea of tone, timbre and of course what I look like.
However, I thought it also might be helpful to share with you some examples of pieces I’ve written recently. This gives you a sense of my style of writing or a flavour at least of what you might expect if you engage me to help in your funeral planning.
London in 1965 was a thriving centre of fashion, latest trends and world-famous pop music. The Mod movement was in full swing; women skirts were getting shorter and men’s hair was getting longer. It was here that Denise and Joseph Inglesbury had their beautiful son, Jeremiah in the autumn of that year. Right around now in fact as it would have been Jeremiah’s birthday just last Sunday.
Denise, or Denny as she is known, and Joseph’s home was in Greenwich and the family grew up happy and well, much like many south London families of their time. Denny stayed at home, and Joseph fixed cars up, mended broken vehicles and his mechanic work provided an income for them all.
The family home at this time was just on the south side of the river and not too far from the West Ham football ground. Despite this closeness, Jeremiah’s devotion was to lay elsewhere.
In the 1970’s Peggy met Paul, a civil engineer, and the young couple married and moved to Ashford. Paul was a jolly man, certainly the more outgoing of the pair, but they enjoyed taking part in activities together as much as doing things separately. The couple had a buoyant and busy social life including the tennis club and visiting Paul’s parents for their holidays in Scotland.
Peggy and Paul could often be found enjoying a meal out: Peggy was always immaculately dressed and never a hair out of place. It was one of her great delights to enjoy the first Christmas dinner of the season.
They enjoyed time together and they enjoyed pursuits on their own. It could be said that they struck the perfect balance that most couples strive for and were happily married for over 40 years.
As an adult, Peggy continued to love deeply her brother Steven who lived in nearby Hythe and her sister Alison. Despite Alison’s moving away to America the two sisters were always extremely close. Frequent phone calls and visits wherever possible meant they were never far apart in their hearts and minds. Since Alison’s passing, her daughter, Peggy’s niece Karen has continued to maintain the family links.
We are now going to take a moment for some personal reflection for you all to think about Peggy in your own hearts and in your own minds.
Think of all she was and all she meant to you, and all she will still mean to you now and forever.
Turn through these memories like the pages in a book, gently flicking through each special moment one at a time. This is your very own treasured book of memories that you can pick up and dip into whenever you want or need to.
On behalf of John, Peter and Paul I’d like to offer you a warm welcome and to thank you for being here this afternoon to support them on this sad and difficult day.
It may be with heavy hearts that you have made your way here today and although we are here to celebrate Terry’s life, it may be hard to contemplate celebration when you are still coming to terms with his loss.
We are here to celebrate the special life of Richard Longfellow. To say thank you for the way he impacted on all your lives. And to gather together in love, friendship and respect as we say farewell to a much-loved partner, brother, son and friend.
I am sure you would like to join me in saying to Richard’s family that you are in our thoughts at this time. Please also let me express Richard’s family’s gratitude for your presence here today.
The journey of grief is long, and those who walk it should not have to walk it alone. At times like these, nothing takes the place of friends and family for comfort. Your presence now and in the days and weeks to come, helps the whole family realise how valuable Richard was to others and shows what an impact his living and dying has made.
Words of Comfort
We have been remembering with love and gratitude an important life, but more than that, we have been honouring life itself. It is how we move forward, with David in our hearts, that gives meaning to his passing.
I would ask you to take comfort in the assurance that death is not the end; it is not final; it does not ever separate us from those whom we love. David’s spirit lives on; around us and within us.
We now leave the memory of David in peace. Let us promise him to live our lives devoted to worthwhile things; to fill our own lives with words and actions of compassion and meaningful worth.