Celebrant Steve spends February looking in-depth at his work as a funeral celebrant. As part of his continued professional development this year, he will be exploring the art of saying ‘thank you.’
During February every year, I spend a little time going over and reviewing the work that I do as a Funeral Celebrant.
This usually involves a series of events…
1. An appraisal with my mentor
2. A questionnaire sent to participating Funeral Directors asking for honest feedback
3. Further reading
4. Participating in a CPD course
5. Implementing agreed courses of action.
This year, as part of my ‘Continuing Professional Development,’ I will be looking closely at the importance of saying, “thank you,” within the context of grief and within the context of a funeral ceremony. Over the past few years, I have found that a lot of people find making gratitude the focus of a funeral ceremony extremely helpful. I suppose it adds a sense of hope and positivity to what is already a very difficult occasion. But it is also an opportunity to thank the person who has died for helping us in some special way when they were alive, or for making a unique contribution to our lives and the world around us.
“Your act of thanksgiving was a particularly apt and significant moment in the service, and we greatly appreciate how you personalised this for us.” Comments from a family I served at the turn of the New Year.
After losing my father recently, I found myself instinctively wanting to thank him for the sacrifices he made, and for giving us as a family the best with what was his to give and it was hugely important to me and my family that he was ‘formally’ thanked for his place in our lives during the service.
Saying thank you is much more than a polite exchange in my view, it serves a deeply meaningful purpose; it can be the difference between feeling accepted and valued and feeling somewhat discarded and forgotten.
I came across the following video on YouTube which gently explores the art of saying thank you and its significance in our lives. It’s worth watching if nothing more than to reiterate the implications of not offering a ‘thank you.’
Over the next 4 weeks, I will be looking very closely at how giving thanks can enhance the funeral experience and in doing so, offer long term support to those who are grieving. And then I will be looking at ways of making this a significant component within the funeral ceremony.