Those Final Moments in Saying Goodbye
Preparing and saying goodbye to a person we have loved, cared for and have known can hold a myriad of emotions, feeling and thoughts on our time with them, what they meant to us, and what they brought to our life.
We go on the emotional roller coaster of feelings and ride them out in our own individual way, each unique to each person, with no right or wrong way. It just is.
Emotions run deep, pain can be raw, hurt can cause a pain in the heart.
We remember people in our own way and share our stories or keep them within our hearts. All our own way, all our own choice.
In sharing moments with families as a celebrant, we see the picture of this person in preparation for this last goodbye according to how those at our meetings are willing to share.
We sit with those who have chosen to have that time with us and search and build on who this person was and how we can best celebrate them in this last goodbye.
We are all unique individuals holding our own unique story.
Finding a Funeral Director that is Right for You
Each and every one of us deserve the perfect send of – please pardon the pun-and way to say goodbye and picking a Funeral Director is the last thing many of us want to think about but is infact just as important as choosing your Celebrant [ many folk do not realise they have a choice to pick their own Celebrant rather than be guided by the Director’s they chose].
Ask people for recommendations before you visit a Funeral Director. Do they have a compassionate, caring and attentive manner? Do they treat you with utmost respect and not the third one in for the day before they go to lunch? Are they clear and concise on what costs what and help you look at your best options? Are they happy to listen to your ideas and go with these?
I have found in my experience that the Independent Directors I have worked with have fitted all of the above. Two which stand out for me in Eastern and Central Scotland have been https://porteousfunerals.com/ which are a family run Director who go that extra mile and beyond and are members of the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors) and NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors]
Another is https://www.williampurves.co.uk/ who are again a family run Funeral Director which started in the Borders with William Purvis in 1888! They are also members of the National Association of Funeral Directors.
Both have really stood out for me in knowing their role and doing their job with the utmost respect and attention.
There is a growing field of interest in having woodland burials and even having our loved ones kept at home until the time of their burial. Excellent sites to find a mass of information on this are http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/ .They are a charity founded in 1991 who have been forerunners in changing the face of empowering and informing people on their choices.
A lovely lady Kate in the North of Scotland started a charity a few years ago called https://pushingupthedaisies.org.uk. She and her team have a wealth of knowledge and experience in death and dying. Her charity run workshops, event and take part in conferences educating people on what their rights are in keeping a person at home after death and how to look after them through this time until they are taken for burial or cremation. Again, their site has a wealth of information on this delicate subject. I admire their bravery in leading the way and have a great respect for both charities.
Those Who Have Left Their Mark
We all leave a mark and all have a story and imprint.
The stories and laughter of the mother who left children behind whose love shone from them and who were proud to have called her mother. The mother they celebrated with pride was celebrated indeed for all her talents, her ways and her personality.
The graveside goodbye which left pain in all directions for the few of the family who attended but the hope they understood that person’s ways that little bit more when you share a poem which does not excuse them but may bring understanding to those who hurt.
For the person you knew who departed too soon but who was a person that had left behind such a legacy of love in all he brought to his family and friends. All his antic’s, jokes, humour and character shining though the ceremony with laughs along the way.
The family man who joked almost to the end, who left behind so many of his characteristics which are all to be valued and worn with pride. All his passion for his favourite team and place on earth shining through for those who attended.
For the lady who had loved a few and angered a few more but whose strength of character and determination shone through the half hour that was had to show all her many facets and her big personality.
For the man who was described as the big friendly giant but had very few at his service but included the Funeral Directors who attended specially to give this man the send-off, he so deserved.
For the man who had so much talent in life but who was unable to hold on to this and suffered throughout his life quietly behind doors, remembering the achievements he had lost and let go and the people he had brought pain to. He still had his places where his humour shone through and love for those who did not know or realise just how much he truly cared for them.
When we say goodbye it holds so much impact and it is often so short a time to give that final send-off but as a celebrant we are there to make sure that final goodbye speaks with sincerity, compassion, individuality and respect for the person we are there to hold our service for that day. It is our last goodbye to them.
After death and saying goodbye we are left with an empty place in our hearts and in typical British style we ‘just get on with it’ a lot of the time but support is out there for those who feel they would like the help.
Maybe they feel they would like to join a group or speak individually to someone. I recommend looking at Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief who are an excellent charity changing the face of how we cope through death and bereavement and their site is packed with information, guidelines and advice. https://www.goodlifedeathgrief.org.uk/ .
They are rolling out Compassionate Community and Compassionate Workplaces groups throughout Scotland and hopefully beyond to help people cope through their emotional needs at a time when life can be intense and traumatic.
Compassion is good for the soul, compassion in groups could change the way we accept and cope through death.
Some find it comforting to write their emotions down on paper or even speak to the person they have left behind on paper. We all go through our own way of being. Some find it comforting to chat with a friend or a group. Other’s join forums online or join Absent Friends nights to share in stories and share pictures of who our loved one were and meant to us.
I am Margery Bambrick, a Celebrant who has a passion for helping people see there are choices and ways we get support in the way that is right for us. https://eternalsoullight.com/funerals/
Whatever way you chose to be, I wish you comfort and peace along the way.