Services as Unique as You

By: Brittany DeMarco-Furman
Thursday, January 6, 2022

As humans, we are different. So, why are most funerals so unoriginal? The 23rd psalm is beautiful and traditional, but because it is popular shouldn’t be the only reason why we recite it at funerals.


Life is messy and imperfect; it’s energized with lessons, experiences, relationships, emotions, and an endless list of adjectives. You can’t simply read an obituary out loud at a funeral and walk away thinking you helped broken hearts. Life is like an onion, filled with layers. Creating a healthy good-bye begins with peeling back the layers of life through discovery. And, discovery begins with listening.


Have you heard of a Celebration of Life Service? The modern name coined to describe funeral services that tell the story of a person and celebrates their life versus traditional religious services where they say the word “God” more than the name of the deceased.


Funeral services at Church are beautiful, valued, and traditions need to be continued. However, as a millennial Roman Catholic Italian-American-Mutt, I understand that not everyone belongs to a church anymore. And in response, us, funeral directors, must serve all faiths and beliefs by placing an emphasis on individuality.


People question my choice of a profession all the time! As if I’m only surrounded by sadness. On the contrary, my days are fulfilled with laughter, wisdom, motivation and hope from learning a life’s story. I’ve encountered many impressive love stories that put Nicholas Sparks’ romance novels to shame.


You may ask, “What is a celebrant?” I’ll be honest and tell you how my husband thought he heard me say I was becoming celibate when I decided to go for my celebrant certification (he is cringing somewhere reading this!) No!!! And No, I’m didn’t get ordained online to conduct weddings. Instead, I have been inducted by the In-Sight Institute as a Certified Celebrant. The course not only challenges the way you acknowledge grief, but how you help survivors begin the healing process.


As devastating as reality is when a love ones dies, my job as a celebrant is to create peace in a shattered world, uncover the memories and put together the distinctive elements of who a person was and how he/she will be remembered into a service format. Since becoming a certified celebrant I have produced one-of-a-kind services as unique as the person we remember. Through music, poetry, photos, movie clips, inspirational quotes, take-home souvenirs, and so on, these services have opened people’s hearts to all 5 senses. Because let’s face it, life is not two dimensional.


No matter the amount of time we spend here on earth, we all make an impact. It is important to acknowledge the relationships we’ve made during that time, and what we leave behind….LOVE. I am here to go down memory lane and find the right things to say during life’s most difficult time.


Whether you are a devoted parishioner at your church, or your church is the open road and your motorcycle is your pew, at Glenville Funeral Home we honor life.


If you’d like to discuss your final wishes with a professional through an informative, and might I say enjoyable conversation please reach out to us at Glenville Funeral Home. Tell us your story, and allow us to capture who you are and how you want to be remembered. At Glenville Funeral Home, pre-planning your funeral is free. The only cost of admission is peace of mind.


Photo Credit: Zac Durant (unsplash)

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