My primary focus in serving others is as an officiant/celebrant for memorial and funeral services. You might ask "why would anyone make a career out of officiating at funerals?" In my case it's because I am passionate about helping grieving families begin healing...and nothing gives me a greater sense of doing what I'm "meant to do" than helping people at such a difficult time of transition and loss as the death of someone they love. For me, it is more than a "career," it is a "vocation"--which carries the sense of being "called" to something. This is truly my calling in life.
From my own experience as both an officiant and one who's experienced loss, I have come to see just how much healing can come from someone hearing your stories and memories, then re-telling them on your behalf. That experience of being heard, understood and reminded provides a solid starting point from which to work through grief, and grow forward in a full life.
My goal in providing funeral and/or memorial services is twofold:
First, to be a compassionate listener and voice on behalf of survivors. I typically spend time with a family--preferably in person, but via phone when necessary--listening to their stories and memories. I then take that information and create a personal and heartfelt "eulogy" which captures, honors and celebrates their loved one's life.
Second, to be an extension of the professional courtesy and compassion of the funeral home which has called me to serve. I know that you--as a funeral director--put your very best into serving families, and I strive be another part of that excellence on your behalf. When you recommend me to a family, you can rest assured that I will do no less than show the same professionalism, courtesy and compassion which you would show.While my background is that of a Christian minister, my memorial and funeral services are not necessarily religious (unless, of course, the family specifically requests that). For me, the main focus is celebrating the life and memory of a loved one with empathy, humor (when appropriate), warmth, and a true connectedness with all attending guests. A memorial can be held at a funeral home, a church, a fraternal hall...even a city park. It can be formal, or informal. I am able to fit in and help in any and all situations from the traditional funeral to the informal gathering of family and friends which can use someone to keep things moving and focused. In my years of celebrant ministry, I've honored loved ones under fir trees, beneath the "moose" head of a local moose lodge, in living rooms and backyards, retirement homes and riversides, funeral homes and school gymnasiums. Any and all are appropriate.