Funerals. Not an easy subject to discuss. I’m Tricia Bentley and I call myself Celebrant of Sussex. I am very proud to have been asked to conduct funerals for well over 400 families.
Funerals are taking place during these difficult times, but the rules are different, and they are constantly changing.
Many funerals are being livestreamed so that they can be watched at home by people who are unable to be present because they are shielding. We are wearing masks (except at the lectern) and attendance at funerals is limited.
Family members, too, who want to remember a loved one by recalling memories or reciting a poem at the lectern, wear their masks until they go to the front of the crematorium to speak.
You can’t hear a smile. Of course you can’t. And that is why I am full of admiration for family members and friends who want to publicly remember somebody special.
For those sitting in the crematorium, wearing masks, occasionally there’s an opportunity to laugh out loud as a family member or friend’s memories are recalled, but most familiar stories attract a wry smile or a knowing grin – but the person who is speaking can’t see the smile.
Smiles are quiet, and masks hide emotions.
Those amazing people who get up to speak at funerals deserve to know that they are appreciated but a sea of masked faces is what they see.
That’s why I wanted to highlight what wonderful people they are. If you are listening to them at a funeral, laugh if it’s funny, applaud if you like, or just thank them afterwards for the wonderful job they are doing.
Celebrants have adapted to all of these challenges, and will always do their very best to help you honour the person you have lost.
As a Celebrant, I can include just about anything – spiritual or otherwise – that you wish for the person you are remembering.
You can choose the Celebrant, based on their personality, compassion and ability to listen and understand exactly what you want for the person who is special to you.