Making the best of life’s big event

Rob Hazell

A funeral can be “good” – even enjoyable. It’s a day we don’t want to face, but we can get through it to feel content and proud.

How I can help

We meticulously plan parties, birthdays, weddings and other life events, making them memorable occasions shared with family and friends. A funeral, however, is as much a life event and important get-together, but often arranged without much thought due to the emotions and pressures at the time – and perhaps never having done it before or not knowing “what is allowed”. Creating a personal, uplifting and comforting service doesn’t need to be complicated and I can help to make this happen.

There are few rules to planning a funeral service. They can be personalised very easily with music and tributes about the person who has gone. We should remember a funeral with affection, be proud to have known the person, and feel that a final journey is marked with the respect and style they would have wanted and deserved.

I have been trained by, and am a member of, The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants in partnership with the UK College of Celebrancy. The fellowship is an associate of The National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors and an official supplier to The National Association of Funeral Directors. I am in Dorset and would work alongside your chosen Funeral Director throughout.

How do we create a personal funeral service? When you lose a loved one and you have instructed your chosen Funeral Director, I would come to meet you, family, friends….. to chat about their life, things they got up to, things they enjoyed – the person they were. Involving different generations can be a help not only to create the service, but also help with the grieving process. Anecdotes, achievements, things you will remember most, things they did that made you laugh, difficulties they faced… we’ll build a picture of the life you shared.

I will write the service (including the ‘life story’ sometimes called a ‘eulogy’), or you might like to write some yourself. If you would like to see it all before the day, I can email you what I write to check details and to ensure you are happy with it. I will bring printed copies of the entire service for you to keep afterwards, and it’s often the only time we record the story of someone’s life…. it can be a comforting and valuable story to look back on or to show younger and future generations.

Family and friends can speak during the service if they want to – maybe a tribute or a poem…. it can be a tough thing to do, and I often read personal words on behalf of someone. Just see how you feel on the day at the time. And music is important…. chosen to suit the person with what they liked or which sums them up. I can help with poems, and the internet is also a great source to find the right one. We can include elements of faith with hymns or The Lord’s Prayer, for example, or simply make the entire service about the one we are there for.

We’re in it together, but I will help guide you through the options and take charge of the ceremony. We can make a difficult day an easier one with a dignified and poignant final event for a life worth remembering.

My fees are usually included in your Funeral Director’s invoice. Further costs might be involved if you would like me to attend other services, travel outside my usual area of work or provide other options. I can explain all of this.

PLEASE NOTE: Regarding GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) after a service is completed, I electronically and securely store only notes of the memories given to me by the family and the service I wrote from them. Printed copies of that spoken service are given (or emailed) to the family, and saved for my reference, for further requested copies or to help with related services in the future. No information is shared outside of the family, permitted friends or the Funeral Director, and my instruction to write and deliver the service is taken as permission to store such information unless otherwise requested.