“A Celebrant is a person who seeks to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. They serve by providing a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased.” - In-Sight Institute
Funeral celebrants offer a fresh approach to funeral service. This concept began in New Zealand and civil celebrants there and in Australia perform over 50% of funerals and marriages. Through In-Sight Institute Doug Manning, a long-time grief counselor and advocate of meaningful funerals, and Glenda Stansbury provide comprehensive and sensitive certification training for Celebrants. They travel the US and Canada facilitating this intense participant oriented program, and have certified over 1200 people in this new profession.
A recent returnee to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I am a former British Columbia native now living in Seattle after several years in California.
My earlier career in Canada was teaching elementary school. My more recent studies have afforded me a B.A. in Spiritual Studies, culminating a life-long fascination with the traditions of the world’s great religions and cultures. This has offered me insights valuable to my work as a Celebrant as I have learned to appreciate and respect the wisdom and beauty in all religions, spiritual paths, and worldviews.
While living in Los Angeles I trained and became licensed in the art of spiritual companioning, the process of accompanying people as they explore their relationship with the spiritual aspect of their human experience. My special focus became working with those moving through life transitions and losses.
My deep love and appreciation for the wonderful animal friends that have shared my life led naturally to companioning those grieving the loss of a pet. For almost eight years I headed up a pet bereavement support group. Here in Seattle I am still involved in this area, offering my services through local veterinarians.
For the past two years I have co-facilitated a bereavement support group in Magnolia, offering a supportive nurturing space where participants are free to talk about their journey through the loss of a beloved family member, friend or animal companion.
Personally I have experienced living with and moving through the long walk of grieving the deaths of my ex-husband (the father of my two daughters), very recently the deaths of both my parents, and many dear friends and cherished pets. As my heart has been broken open with the sadness of missing their presence I am able to hold a reverent and respectful space for those who too have lost a loved one.
And so, over the years, my education, trainings, intuition and passions have led me to this new pathway where I am able to offer my gifts and talents as a Celebrant. Since my initial certification through In-Sight Institute, I have recently attended an advanced training offered through In-Sight’s annual Celebrant Conference held in Oklahoma City. I am also a member of the Celebrant Community, a forum for support and education.
A little personal information…My life here in Seattle is rich in friendships, my relationship with my grown children, and my much loved cats. I hold an optimistic and buoyant outlook, appreciating the beauty of our world while taking very seriously my part in the stewardship of all we are so blessed to have. For fun you might find me in the vegetable garden, walking the Ballard Locks, searching for something new to read or learn, playing with friends, and simply appreciating the joy of being here. Life is precious indeed.