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To have and to hold

As a green funeral director and civil funeral celebrant, I have written and guided many people through a simple personal unique farewell to someone they loved. It never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful privilege it is to help a family through one of the most important events of their life.
A celebration of someone’s life.

I have recently married and we decided we wanted something simple, meaningful & personal, so I wrote and we planned our wedding and ceremony.
I very quickly came to realise how similar it was to a funeral!
You plan a funeral for someone you love and want everything to be special, as you do a wedding. The more we planned, the more it became like one of my ‘funerals’.

We played lovely music that was special to us, we had written ‘our story’, how we met, why we loved each other, our thoughts on marriage, we even had reflection time to music (and we danced a little) while we all took in the beauty of the loch. Oh, and then there was ‘the tribute’ – our dear friends and witnesses said some lovely things about us! The vows we wrote were unique to us and very entertaining!

I encourage family involvement and the choice to use their own garden flowers, or even to do them themselves, including decorating the coffin. I also decorate the grave surround with hedgerow foliage.
All of these things we did, Rosemary & Lavender from the garden for my bouquet and the tables. The relevance was important to us, as we stated in our ceremony that the Rosemary was for remembrance the people we have loved and lost and the Lavender (healing) for all those we know who are having health problems. Rosemary and Lavender are my business logo!!
The giant daisies we took from the garden, of course were not around a grave, but decorated the fishing lodge where we were married. Added to this we collected greenery from the woods to make a wonderful natural effect. The finishing touch were water lilies from the loch for the table centre.

The day was perfect. With four friends and the celebrant who led the ceremony.
We were in our favourite place in the world - a private setting in the borders, in the middle of the moors, by an idyllic loch with a perfect fishing lodge for the B B Q and dancing which followed.
Our mode of transport was a landrover. We all wore ‘country clothes’ except me of course, I just wore a dress I had worn as Mum of the bride four years ago…… and the only extravagance (other than the champagne and lobster) were the aubergine wellies I bought to match my dress!

It was our day, it was perfect, just as we planned, but uncanny how similar everything we did, could have been altered slightly and been a funeral. It was so satisfying to have created it ourselves and I am now proud to be Mrs Wendy Clarkson.

published 10th Oct 2014, 6.36pm (about over 4 years ago)

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