Found a calling since losing a loved one?

Hi there,

This is my first time post so please bear with me.

Sadly, my Dad passed away suddenly nearly six weeks ago after suffering a massive hemorrhagic stroke due to a large bleed on the left hand side of his brain caused:/contributed by being on blood thinning medication. He was 70. I am an only child and have been trying to support my Mom with getting things done where possible as I know it is also hard for her becoming a widow.

Last Wednesday was my Dad’s funeral. It was at a local crematorium. I said I wanted to speak at his funeral and just share my own memories and funny things that people have told me about him. I do teach adults so used to standing up in front of people, so all I was worried about was actually being able to speak without breaking down in tears, which I managed to do. Aside from a little bit of nerves I was absolutely fine (but I purposely left out saying how much I loved and missed him as that is what gets me crying). I had so many remarks from people saying that my speech was good, I did well and how he would have been proud of me, so I felt proud too.

However, since the funeral it has got me wondering about what it would be like working in this industry. I don’t mean doing roles such as “back of house” but more the funeral celebrant side of things. My profession is a Lead Tutor and teach adults, so have had years of experience speaking in front of a group of people, and even did a speech at mine and my Husband’s wedding, so standing up to speak to others I am kind of used to. I have to plan lessons and prepare resources for work, so I am used to planning a lesson, so the skills there would be similar to planning a eulogy and/or a service, I talk to learners and colleagues, sometimes sensitive conversations and have compassion as well as being a good listener, so feel I have some skills that could be transferable.

I was just wondering if anyone has had experience in this area or found that they sort of found a calling like this? If anyone has done this kind of work how did you go about it, what is a day in the life and is it a good profession to go in to? What puts me off is that from research it appears that celebrants are generally self-employed so fear that it is a bit hit and miss earning a good, consistent wage. I am happy with my job but it was something that had kind of made me curious as to what it was like and then how feasible it would be to look into it for a career change.

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Hello there, @BeckyG86 - me again! I spotted this on a Linked In post yesterday - praise for David Willis at Acorn 2 Oak Ceremonies and the ‘Celebrant Training School’ . Apparently he is really good and his courses are rated really hightly. Might be worth getting in touch with him for a chat. Celebrants are often linked to Funeral Directors so work is pretty regular - without wanting to sound crass. Anyway, maybe this is something you could alongside your regular job for a while and see how it goes. If you build up a client base and feel ready for a complete change, you could it that way. Good luck with it - good Celebrants are essential.

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Thank you for this link. I have looked at it and it seems really good and interesting, and also more affordable than some courses I have seen. It is definitely something to look into. I do work full time Monday-Friday so it does make it difficult, but if it is all online it does make it easier, but I may send an email over because there are some practical elements and I don’t know what or how they work, and if it’s during the week it is difficult, but the first module is free to see if it is something that takes your interest and if it is the right path, so I might try that out as well.

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Just wanted to jump on here quickly and say thank you for your recommendation for David Willis’ Celebrant Training School. I enrolled a couple of weeks later after trying his free first unit and I finished on Wednesday, with my certificate arriving in the post today. I am not looking at changing my career for it but I can now say that I am a trained independent funeral celebrant.

Well done Becky.
You could always do this in the school holidays and lots of funerals take place on Saturdays.
Deborah x

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