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“The Memorial or Celebration of Life ceremony can happen at a later date with the ashes at a more convenient time for you & your family”


The importance of honouring a life

More and more people are leaving it in their wishes that they would like a Direct Cremation when they die, one of the main reasons they do this is to avoid their family having to pay a lot of money for the funeral. This is completely understandable, HOWEVER, it can deny the people who are left behind the very important opportunity to come together in support of each other, to be able to begin to make sense of life without that person. We are social beings and we need people, especially at a time of loss. 

The people who are left behind need to fell reassured that they honoured that person in death as much as in life, a time to share what that person meant to them, that a life was had, to share their legacy, their accomplishments as well as their hardships. 

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We can't just neatly package death away and hope we will cope the better for it, we won't. The pain of grief can't be ignored, you can't go around it, under it or over it, you can't avoid it.  The best way to grieve healthily, in a human way, is to go through it, and going through that pain with the support of your friends and family around you helps to make it a little easier.  

To not mark the death in any way can leave many families feeling that person didn't matter, that they've let them down in some way by not honouring them. It doesn't matter how long after that person has died you can STILL have a funeral service, ceremony -  a celebration of who they were, all they brought to your life, a true honouring of their life.  

Helping with the grief

Image by Priscilla Du Preez
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Where can I have the
Honouring or Celebration
of Life ceremony?

Whether you want to call it a memorial service, a funeral, a celebration of life or an honouring of life ceremony, you can choose to have this pretty much anywhere you would like, whether at your home, in the garden - maybe with a marquee, in a village hall or a wedding venue (these can be very reasonably priced during the week and offer beautiful surroundings to remember the person who has died). 


With the help of a celebrant

Whether you choose to have a more formal or relaxed ceremony a celebrant can help you create a bespoke, beautiful service that reflects you and your families needs, they will come to your home and spend as much time as you need talking about the ceremony you would like to create to honour and say goodbye to the person who has died. Whether you have a religion/belief system or not they can support you by creating and writing the entire service for you, working closely with you until you are happy the result. They can also advise on other aspects of the day that might be helpful to you such as suppliers (marquees for the garden, caterers etc) and ideas for the ceremony (small gifts to hand out, raising a toast to the person who has died). 

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Some simple ideas 

Just because you won't be at the crematorium doesn't mean you can't hold you're own memorial ceremony anywhere you like or perhaps just do something special for yourself. 


There are many ways you can do this, here are just a few: 

  • Ask people to join you in the garden to light candles, listen to music and share memories.

  • Raise a toast to the person who has died giving thanks for their life. 

  • Do something creative to mark the day, you could even find a pottery class and make a beautiful ceramic urn for the ashes. 

  • Cook a special meal that was a favourite to the person who died and invite people around to share memories. 

  • Ask people who knew the person to all stop at a specific time in the day for one minutes silence to honour their life. 

  • Ask people to write their favourite, happiest, most meaningful memories/stories in detail and send to you to keep in a memory book for future generations. 

  • Go for a walk in nature wearing an item of your loved one's clothes, immerse yourself in the sound of nature. 

Image by Micheile Henderson

  • Create a playlist of all their favourite songs.

  • Make a memory book, give yourself time to make this as special and beautiful as possible.

  • Have a more formal ceremony  with the help of a celebrant.

  • Have a moonlight candle ceremony.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way, only what is right for you. You knew the person the best, you know what they would have wanted, what reflects them as well as what will help you in your grief.  

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