Let me introduce myself
The past five years have led me towards feelings of completion after decades of wondering what it was I should be doing with my life! I have always been a get up and go type of woman, embracing everything with open minded enthusiasm, from milking cows in Israel, singing with a band in London, teaching conversational English in Rio to working in well paid administrative jobs then throwing it all in when I discovered the work of celebrants.
I often ask myself if it was by chance that I found myself in this world of ritual and ceremony or was it just meant to be. That out of the blue, one summer’s day, when I picked up the phone to the mother of a young boy who wanted someone to perform a replacement godmother ceremony because the church was unable to do, that I was initiated into a vocation that was meant for me.
Since 2011 I have performed many weddings for couples from all over the world and done so in English and Spanish with the occasional foray into other languages to keep guests happy even if they have laughed at my terrible German, Italian, Czech, Russian and Latvian! With the weddings I found myself doing the best job in the world! A day where everyone present is investing in happiness! However, I wanted to do more and whilst volunteering at a local hospice, I realised that the ritual of a funeral ceremony would be somewhere that I could be of service. With this, I realised that more study would be required to get it right.
In 2015 I trained with the UK Fellowship of Professional Celebrants as a funeral celebrant. I find immense satisfaction in being able to offer support and a listening ear in someone’s hour of need. Spending time with those who are in shock, feeling afraid and very sad, I know that the role of an empathetic celebrant can enable one’s subsequent grieving to be an important, healthy time. If I, the celebrant, can be there for family and friends in their time of mourning, I can help and I can serve and that is all I ever wanted to do with my life.
By using my skills of listening with empathy, I try to find out the essence of your loved one and their place in this world, then the story teller in me celebrates their lives with compassion and love so they are with us for just a little longer. The funeral ceremony is not the last stage of anyone’s life, but the first step of embracing what is and what will be. Holding your hand is the best I can offer to be able to let you go with confidence and faith in yourself that you will cope.
Since the end of 2015 I have also been facilitating the Mallorca Death Café, a monthly gathering in which the topics explored are about death and dying. Inspired by Jon Underwood’s Death Café movement, I started organising meet ups here in Mallorca in my town. I have facilitated nearly twenty encounters with people attending from all over the island and have three groups meeting now in different towns. I am inspired to attend as I discover what others have to say about a subject that is a mystery to all. I enjoy the conversations, the opportunities to practise deep listening and listen with my mind and heart open to what others have to say.
This year sees a new challenge for me as I embark on a training course – spiritual accompaniment in the process of dying. The course will give me more tools upon which I can build thus allowing me to further my depth and knowledge of such a sensitive truth. Whilst the roles of End of Life Doula and Soul Midwife are recognised in other parts of the world, here in Spain this is something as yet unknown. I hope to offer my services at a time when people need love, respect and compassion to help them through to the next stage of their lives – both the dying and their families and in an holistic manner.