I get lots of cards and messages from families and friends after my funerals and it’s hard to know what to do with them.
Even though speaking about death is become a more accepted part of contemporary life, it doesn’t feel quite right to share them on social media, or at least I haven’t yet found an easy way to do so.
That’s why I thought I’d just compile a few (anonymised) recent messages here: they meant a lot to me, and I hope that they resonate with you.
The first comes from Dan, whose mother Joyce’s funeral I conducted last week (and about whom I wrote in my Scotsman article)
I just wanted to thank you for doing such a splendid job at Mum’s service. I think you really grasped who she was, and you helped us all to convey to others something of her essence. I remember you said that what you’d like is that folk leave having learned something new. That was the remark most made to me at the receptions afterwards, in fact, by everyone who spoke to me: that they did not know this or that aspect of Mum’s activities and character. She was indeed a remarkable woman, and the fact that so many were assembled for someone of her age is really a testament to that. Add to that her friends around the globe to whom I’ve been writing…
This one comes from the niece of a 92-year old lady.
Thank you for the lovely tribute to Betty. A lot of people commented that it summed her up to a tee and was a lovely farewell to her.
This is from Alex’s wife, Amanda
I want to thank you for delivering Alex’s tribute so beautifully – it achieved everything for me that you said it would and I received many compliments on your behalf following the service. There were also a few converts in the congregation so it was a job well done!
and this is from Nikki, whose mother’s funeral was last month.
After what seems like an eternity but in actual fact was only 4 days ago I wanted to personally thank you for was for me the ‘perfect send off’ you conducted for my beautiful Mum. You added something to our day that could not have been replicated by anyone else and for that I thank you so very much. I cannot tell you how many people complimented you afterwards and were so touched by your delivery and the fact that you were clearly touched by the words you were reading and for that my family are eternally grateful.
As I often say, I love my work, and messages like these remind me why it’s so important to do it well.