"Dawn enabled us to say a 'fond farewell' - she ensured his love, his story, sense of fun and humility shone through. She gently guided us; nothing was too much trouble, helping us feel a pride we had truly celebrated his life."
Tribute from a Classic Souvenir pack
a. Initial Contact
You can make contact:
Direct with me, by telephone, or by using the enquiries form on the Contact page.
You can do this either after immediately someone has passed away, or if you are anticipating a bereavement, contact me sooner to put your mind at rest.
Via your preferred funeral director (if you're using one)
It's best to get in touch me before you have the arrangement meeting with the funeral director or arranger. That way you'll know when I'm available before the service date/time is booked, so you are not disappointed. If you are told I'm not available, please double check back with me - I will help if I can.
b. First Call
I'll call you as soon as I can to introduce myself (usually within 24 hours), and we'll make an appointment to discuss the type of ceremony you'd like.
Ideally, we'd arrange this as soon as is practicable for us both. It's best to allow 1 - 2 hours.
Most face-to-face meetings are held within office hours. If you are unable to schedule then, there will be usually be some availability at other times.
For my personal safety, in darkness or bad weather, face-to-face meetings in the evening are only offered within the Grimsby area (N E Lincs). Outside this region, you might prefer the convenience of an evening phone or video call instead.
Think about which one is best for you:
Virtual discussion via telephone call
Virtual discussion via video call (e.g. Skype)
Face-to-face meeting at the family home
Face-to-face meeting at the funeral home (where available)
You might like to invite up to a couple of other immediate family members and/or a close friend to support you and add their stories. Other family members and friends may wish to forward on content for inclusion to yourself or me by the day of the meeting/discussion.
Unless it is a short-notice meeting, you'll usually receive an email to confirm the meeting time/place, and some useful information and links to help you prepare for it.
If you don't have email, try to find someone to be a nominated email contact who I can contact with service information/documents.
COVID-19 Note: To reduce risk, please ensure that at home visits that there is adequate space and ventilation, and only the family members who need to be present are there. I'll not offer handshakes at the meeting or after the ceremony to protect us all, and I'm happy to wear a face covering if you prefer.
c. Service Planning Discussion
This is your chance to discuss, and receive guidance on, all aspects of the ceremony, including:
- Your ceremony choices:
This includes confirming your choice of:
readings and/or poetry
music (and hymns if wanted)
symbolic acts, and all other preferences for personalising the service
I can bring along some suggestions to help guide your choices. If you prefer, I can forward suitable suggestions after the discussion.
If you are having Order of Service booklets printed, I'll collect the information needed for it - photos, music, poems, prayers, wake details, chosen charity etc. After the meeting, I'll forward the service structure to either yourself or the funeral home, depending on who is producing/printing the booklets/cards. I don't offer Order of Service printing myself.
- The tribute and/or eulogy content:
You'll have plenty of time to talk about your memories of your loved one, their life story, and the personal qualities that made them special; this will be the basis of the section that is usually the heart of the ceremony.
There is typically a condensed life story/timeline, with fond memories and stories and words of tribute by family and friends.
I'll include a checklist of things to consider in my email.
Depending on how much you'd like to be actively involved, the eulogy/tribute might be:
written by the family in your own words
written by myself from the stories you tell me
co-written (e.g. the general eulogy by myself, followed by tributes written by family/friends)
I can check spelling and grammar, so don't worry if you'd like to write something but are unsure; I'll help. I'll read words on behalf of anyone who doesn't wish to.
You'll be guided through the structure of the ceremony on the day, from greeting to the departure, and have a chance to ask questions.
d. Draft Eulogy
If you'd like to see a draft of the tribute/eulogy wording , I'll make sure you have it in good time before the service.
Then you can carefully check all the details are accurate, and the ceremony tone and structure is just right for you. You can look over it for a day or so, and then in line with your feedback, I'll amend it: so you will know what will happen, and be said, on the day of the ceremony.
I'll let you know the cut-off date for amendment requests.
The ceremony script printing will be finalised two working days before the ceremony; so you can expect a courtesy call, text, or email from me around this time.
On the day of the service, you'll be greeted and reassured before the ceremony begins; after it, I'll be there for you too.
f. Presentation Keepsake & Follow Up
Within a week of the ceremony, you'll receive a courtesy follow-up. You'll be invited to offer a recommendation/review, feedback, or comment via the links provided - if you so wish.
Also attached will be the pdf or Word copy of the souvenir tribute/readings for you to read and share with family/friends.
Optional Souvenir Keepsakes
If you like, you may order printed souvenir packs direct from me after the service.
The Classic Souvenir contains the tribute, ribbon tied, and presented in a quality folder. The Deluxe Gift Pack contains the tribute and folder, presented in a gift bag with a little memento or treat from me, such as wildflower seed bombs or a pretty memorial votive.
Details are on the Fee and Keepsakes links in the footer. For your reassurance, I abide by the Funeral Celebrant Accord.