The first thing many people say when I meet them is, ‘I’ve never done this before …. ‘ But usually once we start talking, people do have an idea about what they do (and don’t!) want when they’re organising a funeral–even if it’s only, ‘She didn’t want a fuss.’
I work with you to build on your ideas and offer suggestions or options. My style is flexible and open, allowing you as much space or support as you need. For example, you might want to write the life story, or you might want me to write it for you. You might want to speak on the day, or maybe you couldn’t think of anything worse.
Whatever your needs, I work with you to make sure the funeral, memorial, or ritual we create truly reflects the character and spirit of the person you are farewelling. From an elegant morning in your Mum’s garden, to a flamboyant afternoon at your partner’s favourite venue, or a traditional service at one of Adelaide’s best funeral directors I help you create the time and the space for your unique farewell.
My work is grounded in the events of my mother’s final day. Her unexpected death was a profound lesson in what it really means to live every day as if it is your last. Live each day being true to yourself and to your values.
I am proud to bring my mother’s values to my work as a funeral celebrant. She was a deeply compassionate person, committed to equality and social justice. She believed in dignity and respect for every person…that we all have strengths and flaws, quirks and vulnerabilities, and that our individuality should be celebrated. These values are the foundation of every funeral I help to organise, write or create.
You can read more about my mother’s story here. (This story and the quirky advice she gave me through my childhood formed the basis of my 2018 Adelaide Fringe show, Pearls. From time to time I stage Pearls at small theatres and venues throughout South Australia. I learn something new about my mother every time.)
How I got started
Ever since my mother’s early death nearly 30 years ago, I have been drawn to better understand grief and the factors that contribute to healthy grieving. I grew more curious about the role of funerals, and especially about the importance of sharing someone’s life story at this unique time.
A move overseas with my family delayed my start in funerals, but I have been working in funerals–first as an assistant then as an independent celebrant–since I returned to Adelaide in 2016. In that time I have written and presented over 100 funerals, with requests for work doubling every year.
In helping you to create and organise a funeral, I draw on my understanding of grief, my experience as a writer and a performer, and my studies in literature and psychology. The focus of my writing and performing has always been on telling people’s stories and on exploring how we grieve the people we love. You can read reviews about my writing and performance work on my other website.
How I work with you
I am an independent celebrant which means you can contact me directly or through a funeral director. Funeral directors will often recommend a celebrant, but you are always free to request the celebrant of your choice.