Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Dad and the Mysterious Case of Roof-Rabits

Dad had a stroke a couple of years ago, since which time he has been able to ‘see things’. It’s not exactly the Sixth Sense (as in the film), although it does sound grisly when he tells me “I can see severed heads” floating around or even shouting at him. When this phenomenon began he [...]

January 13th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: My Family and Other Accidents

Mum and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but if we could share a laugh, there was a greater chance of harmony. She once checked that I was not upset with her because I had not been rude to her in three days! I had been trying to follow the advice of a church-sermon [...]

December 19th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Santa Baby

​Just saw a Facebook post where a little boy died, in Santa’s arms, as he’d dreamed of doing, the magic elder having reassured him of his importance in this life and that he will be accepted in the next. Sadly Santa is so traumatised by the event that he’s considering retirement, but as a reader, [...]

December 13th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Keeping A Wake

I realised a few days ago that I have never slept well, since birth. Hunger, fear of the dark - and colic! - kept me awake when I was a baby. Over the years, depression and worrying about getting things right, be they work or relationship-related have also featured highly. Once or twice I have [...]

December 5th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Last Laughs

Although I try to make folk laugh in the services I take, I am very aware at times that they need to make their own jokes in order to stay afloat emotionally. It was interesting to hear a young man paying tribute to his father recently and really being very funny as he related how [...]

November 28th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Many Happy Returns of the Day

I am a year older. When my friends have birthdays I say that it’s generous of them to admit to being a year older just so that the rest of us get to enjoy cake, but when it’s my annual celebration I get to thinking about mortality - after all, I spend my working days [...]

November 22nd, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Diary of a Funeral Celebrant: Where It All Begins

It is Hallowe’en, my sister’s birthday. She has been gone 21 years now, and would have been 50 today. It is a long time to be without someone and yet my emotions were as powerful as I wept this morning as they were back then - it’s just that tears are less frequent these days. [...]

November 1st, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Karen Steel: A Funeral Celebrant on Humour and Laughter in Funerals

​I remember Jenni Murray “corpsing” on Woman’s Hour one morning as a young Scottish comedienne pointed out that “real fun” is an anagram of “funeral”! It may not seem that way to the mourners, but I have always felt that a funeral is a place to laugh as well as cry, as we remember a [...]

October 24th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

When Breath Becomes Air: Making Light of Death

“The good news is, I’ve already outlived two Brontës, Keats, and Stephen Crane. The bad news is that I haven’t written anything.” Dr. Paul Kalanithi The runaway best seller by Dr. Paul Kalanithi, 'When Breath Becomes Air' (Feb 2016), published posthumously by his wife, is a chillingly sobering look at death and the process of dying. In [...]

April 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments