“Thank you Christine for a beautiful service. There were many lovely comments, and some people wanted to know if you were a friend of R. That says it all, really!”
At the core of the funeral ceremonies that I offer is the knowledge that human beings are beings of body, soul and spirit. Our bodies carry us through life like a ship sailing over the ocean. The ship remains steadfast through all weather until the last voyage. When we ask who guides this ship we come to the experience of our soul and spirit. The following poem gives us a vivid image of the interplay between body, soul and spirit.
Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
If either your sails or your rudder be broken,
you can but toss and drift,
or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone is a force confining;
and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exult your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason,
that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection,
and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.
The captain of our ship is our human spirit. It is this human spirit that our friends and family know and love. The body is a temporary vehicle, the human spirit is eternal. The human soul is the warmth, the passion, sometimes light, sometimes dark – all those characteristics that make up our unique biography. Sometimes endearing us to others, sometimes annoying others but always making us lovable to them in our own special way. If you have looked at the body in the coffin at a funeral, you see the body you are familiar with but the personality is no longer animated; this is because the soul and spirit are no longer expressed through this body.
At death the soul and spirit, having discarded the physical body, has special needs. We can be of great assistance during this time. As babies it took us time to adapt to physical life, so now it takes the soul and spirit time to adjust to its new surroundings. Our continual love for our loved one at this time is vital. While we naturally feel the pain and sadness of the loss it is important that we put the needs of the departing soul first. If we grieve too much it is as if we bind the soul, making it difficult for it to assimilate into its new environment. One of the best things we can do is to give thanks for our loved ones contribution to life, and to our lives.
While it is a personal choice to bury or cremate the body, cremation liberates the soul more quickly.
With all this in mind I will assist you to craft a fitting farewell for your loved one. A farewell that will give comfort and assurance to relatives and friends. A farewell that will bring peace and strength to the departing soul. Please call me for a confidential conversation.
The greatest compliment I receive after a funeral service is when someone asks, “Did you know her/him?” To see the astonishment on their face when I say, “No” is quite something. It is almost as if they don’t believe me. The reason they are sure I knew the person is because I work so closely with the family, getting to know them, which enables me to personalise the service to the extent that I become part of family network.
Dealing with death Examining how we die in the 21st Century.
From The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte Exupery.
“What is a rite?” asked the Little Prince. “Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours.”
Have you thought of planning your own funeral ceremony? You will find some guidance here.