Death puts life into perspective . . . Emerson

Having served as a Hospice Chaplain/Spiritual Care Coordinator in Colorado and New Jersey, I offer years of sensitivity and professional skills in planning a meaningful funeral, memorial or celebration-of-life service. My compassionate spirit and listening heart helps all who find themselves in the challenging position of finding someone to officiate a traditional or custom service.

I create a sacred place for the bereaved and family to express their grief and begin the process of making sense out of the senseless. Coping with the loss of life can be difficult, whether this loss is anticipated or sudden.  A loss is expressed in many different ways by each person.

Traditionally, funerals and memorial services have been conducted in a church or chapel, by a priest or minister of religion. Celebrations of Life services are generally more non-traditional, and incorporate creative and colorful rituals of celebration.  Many people, whether they attend a religious house of worship or not, are looking for a meaningful and comforting alternative way to say ‘good-bye’ that reflects their loved one’s life.

An interview with the grieving family is arranged in comfortable surroundings, selected by the family. This is often carried out at the family home, or the funeral home, but any other location that the family chooses can be arranged. Bereavement counseling is also available.

This interview serves two purposes:

  1. to support and encourage the family to talk and allow the natural grieving process to begin;

  2. to assist in life information gathering of the deceased for the celebration-of-life ceremony

The eulogy is the story of your family member’s life, personality, character, contributions, and more. Members of the family are encouraged, if they wish, to participate with a story, reading, poem or tribute. It all helps make the service more personal and meaningful.

Although the service is a ‘formal’ goodbye, the ceremony presents this goodbye in a sensitive, caring and positive way, often leaving the family with a feeling of calmness and acceptance.

It is important for the family to feel that the deceased has had an important part in their lives and will never be forgotten. Grief is a very personal experience and the sharing of special memories helps to create a sense of connection with those close to you and can allow the healing to begin.

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