I would be honoured to help you create an end of life ceremony that honours you and your loved ones and holds space for you to grieve and find meaning in the life lived. The tone of the ceremony, the symbols and objects present, and the location of the gathering, all can be as unique as each person who passes and the people who gather to grieve their loss.  Sometimes the person him or herself has contacted me to plan their own Celebration of Life as part of their own dying process.

I work around your schedule and time-frame.  We find a time that suits to gather the people who are in this person’s inner circle.  I listen to what needs to be said, hold space for the tears and the laughter, explore who wants to speak and feels up to it, and hear who this person was in essence and how they lived their life.  Based on all that you and your family has shared with me, I write the ceremony that celebrates your loved one, and honours how they touched your life, and send it to you for any changes you wish to make.

As a culture we are slowly opening up to see death as part of life.  The traditional rituals may no longer fit, but we want to honour death and the life of our loved ones.

Today, people choose to honour death, to gather to share their grief for the loss of their loved one and to touch the mystery of life and celebrate it in many different ways such as:

  • A Ceremony of Celebration of Life
  • Memorial Ceremony
  • Funeral Ceremony
  • Ash Scattering or Internment Ceremony
  • A Grave-side Ceremony
  • Green burials and funerals
  • Home Funerals
  • Living funeral – plan your own ceremony while alive

 

“We wanted to thank you so much for your wonderfully powerful ceremony that you helped us with yesterday.  Your preparatory work helped us deal with this immense loss and to share our feelings and memories with each other and you.  We were amazed at how you were able to capture the essence of our mother and bring it forward in such a loving and celebratory way.  Every segment of the program brought out something new and interesting to celebrate. You have a real skill and talent for helping people through the loss of someone special.  Thank you again, and you can be sure that if anyone asks about a Celebration of Life, you will be the first one we will unreservedly recommend.”  Jan

 

 

” I just wanted to say that you are a really beautiful person, who seems to honestly always shoot from the heart and I find that so refreshing, and as I said to my brother Jan, you renewed my faith in person-kind!  I hope you continue enlightening the lives of others with your warm and gentle approach to life!  I have to say that your website was very true to who you are and that was what I felt when I was searching for the perfect person for our ceremony.”  Johanne  

” Thank you again for yesterday. I feel the funeral was accomplished in a way that nourished us in all dimensions of our beings.”  Diane

 

 

“Thank you Jen.  Your presence was so good for my mother (and for all of us). After you left she seemed suddenly more serene.”  Carole

“Jen took the time to get to know Dad through our words and stories.  She listened and asked many questions about the man that meant so much to so many people. It was therapeutic for us to share these memories.  She guided us through this difficult time and helped celebrate a life well lived.  It was very important to my family to have a bilingual ceremony: Jennifer transitioned from French to English seamlessly.  She was able to weave Dad’s life story into a wonderful tribute that could be shared by all those fortunate to be present.”  Joce

 

 

“Just a note of thanks for the wonderful way you officiated at mom’s memorial service.  I heard so many positive comments regarding your manner and your presentation. It’s a difficult line between grief and celebration and you managed to allow for each.  You seemed to know mom even though your meeting with her came after she was in her prime – you seemed to understand the essence of her life.  This all came across in the service. Thank you for giving our farewell to mom just the right touch.”  Lois

“Thank you for bringing us all the facets of Judy’s life. A fuller picture than any one of us had.”  Barbara

 

 

Funerals and Rituals for Perinatal Death

Healing childbearing losses, especially in our death-denying culture, is difficult beyond measure, but thankfully we are waking up to the need for support and ways to move this difficult path of loss. Ceremony and ritual can offer an outlet and one step in the grieving and healing process.

As a birth doula and celebrant, I was called upon to support women and their families who experienced pregnancy related losses.  When a baby is stillborn, some couples want to spend time with the body of their baby and take photos as well as hand and foot prints to help them honour and remember their child. For some, expressing their loss and pain through creativity helps – writing poetry, making some form of visual art or creating a ceremony – can be a helpful part of the grieving process.   Some people want support to create a personal healing ceremony for themselves or a memorial service for their still born child.