Funerals, Memorials and Celebrations of Life 

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

“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

“Jennifer 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

 

Funeral 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.