Some words of advice, wisdom, and comfort from Aberdeen Celebrant, Karen Farquhar.
The most common expression I’ve heard from people I know, since qualifying as a Celebrant has been “I don’t know how you could do that, I couldn’t” …… And knowing your own ability and capability is a strength in itself.
Like most people, I had a fear of death, coffins and most things associated with it. I’d attend funerals, hear the opening chords of ‘Abide With Me’ and I’d be a blubbering wreck. So what changed?
I did. As I got older, I accepted that death was a natural part of life.
But what I couldn’t accept was how impersonal some of the services I attended were.
Sorry, who are we here to say farewell to?
You’d be lucky if your loved one was mentioned three times throughout the service. And why was the service all ‘doom and gloom’?
Yes, we were sad, of course we were, bereavement is undoubtedly one of the most distressing of human experiences, but during the final farewell, it shouldn’t be the death we focus on, it’s the life that the person lived.
And that’s why I decided to become a Celebrant.
It’s something I had wanted to pursue for years, but because of work and raising my family, it just never seemed the right time.
I knew I could make a difference. I knew I could help.
And I knew, more than anything else, that I could give the deceased the send-off they deserved. So, when things changed, and opportunity knocked, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and follow my dream.
My first ‘service’ per se, was my own dad’s funeral.
Being super organised, dad had a pre-paid funeral plan and had even chosen his minister!
I had just started my training with the Caledonian Humanist Association and although not qualified, I felt that there was nobody better to conduct his service than me.
However, respecting Dad’s wishes, we still had his chosen minister, but I wrote and conducted his tribute. During the service, people laughed and people cried. But, one thing everyone agreed on and left there thinking was, yes, that was my dad!
One of my cousins sent me a message afterwards saying that at the end, she wanted to stand up and applaud, but didn’t think it appropriate. To be honest, being exceptionally close to my Dad, I don’t know how I got through that service, but kept thinking that it was the last thing I could ever do for him. And I wanted to do him proud.
And the rest they say, is history. I finally qualified in July, and yesterday, I conducted my tenth service.
I’ve met with ten grieving families, and I have been able to empathise with each and every one, bringing a wee bit of comfort during their darkest hours.
I have my own unique style, and I want to do the best I possibly can for each and every one of them. I am so humbled, honoured and privileged to be invited to compose and conduct the service, giving their loved one the final farewell they deserve.
The service is all about them, their lives, trials and tribulations, a dignified but true reflection of the person they were. There will be tears and there is laughter, because that’s just how life is.
So, back to my initial statement, when people say ‘I don’t know how you can do that’ my response is always, ‘because I want to’.
I am a caring and nurturing person, a ‘hugger’ , very tactile always wanting to help and do my very best.
Yes, I get nervous before each and every service – if it wasn’t for the lectern, you’d probably see my knees shaking, and sometimes, afterwards, I sit in the car and have a right good cry – I am human.
But going home, knowing that I’ve made a difference, I’ve brought some small comfort to the family and that I’m doing something of value, makes it all worthwhile. I’ve finally found my place in life – my vocation.
We are a web design and internet marketing company who have achieved great results for a local Funeral Director.
To this end we decided that we could take this experience and offer a service designed to really help Funeral Directors to take control of their online presence by first of all creating you a website that will sell your services to the people who arrive at your website, and then by increasing the numbers of visitors your website gets.
If your new website can double your number of customers, and we can also double the number of people who visit your website, then that will equate to a 400% increase in turnover for you.
Best of all is that our prices for this service are very reasonable, starting from as low as £895 – contact us to learn more about what we can do for you and to discuss your requirements.
Sir Alan Meale, the MP for Mansfield has backed a national campaign for a Government fund to pay for the funerals of children to ease the emotional and financial burden their families face.
The proposal is that the £10 million fund will pay for cremation and burial fees and the proposal has also been backed by Labour MP Carolyn Harris who lost her 8 year old son in 1989.
The death of a child is clearly something emotionally devastating for parents, and we at funeraldirector.org.uk feel that this proposal is an excellent idea that should be supported by all politicians from all parties.
This article explains how we create a website that will sell, the aim being to convert as many visitors to your website as possible into customers.
It’s easy-ish if you know what you’re doing, but not so easy if you don’t. What you’re really doing is applying the principles of psychology.
Discover our shocking findings on our random sample of Funeral Directors websites – why people WILL NOT choose these Funeral Directors, andthey are simply throwing business away…
People use their mobile phones for everything these days, including searching online, and guess what – if you’re website won’t work properly on their phone, they will simply leave and look for one that does.
This means that anyone who finds you when using their phone (or tablet, etc) – and that’s if they can find you, since Google drops non -mobile friendly websites out of the results displayed to phones – then they almost certainly won’t use you (lots of details and studies below).
As part of our process to help Funeral Directors to achieve more sales through their websites we recently conducted a simple analysis of 258 randomly selected Funeral Directors websites.
It’s an easy question to answer once you cut through the nonsense – a good website design makes you money. Full stop.
That’s it, it’s all that counts.
It isn’t the bells or whistles, the scrolling images or facebook icons. It just needs to make as much money as possible.
Most web designers haven’t got a clue what sells, they don’t experiment, question, test, or even think.
They simply try to impress you with a website that “looks pretty” with probably a big image at the top, or maybe sliding images, bland messages such as “Welcome to ABC Funeral Directors”, followed by other meaningless generalisations, and little else.
How Positive Reviews will help you to get a lot more customers (and how to make sure you only get positive reviews)
Most Funeral Directors (and other companies for that matter) pay very little attention to testimonials and reviews (which largely serve the same purpose – giving people confidence in you, and removing their resistance to getting in touch with you) – so just how important are they?
Well the answer is that in a world where people can find almost any kind of information online at the click of a button – they are HUGELY important.