Like so many people in that first moment after you have lost a loved one, you are likely left feeling shocked and stunned.
At the same time you have a lot of practical things to organize: contacting family and friends, finding a funeral home, organising a service, etc. The whole prospect of this can be quite daunting.
It is quite easy to go into “auto-pilot” going through the motions to just “get it over with”…
However, great comfort can be found in having a special and meaningful goodbye that reflects the spirit of that unique person.
I can support you in making the decisions that are right for you in this difficult time. Please let me know how I can help make things easier.
Be it: helping you deal with your chosen funeral home, writing the eulogy, organising a wake or reading out the words during the memorial service.
Please contact me with your questions and I can give you an idea what I can do.
Down to earth Memorials started as an idea.
I have worked for 15 years as a special care worker for people with disabilities and their families. I enjoyed the ups and downs of leading a team and striving for the common goal of optimal quality of care.However, after several years I started to get itchy feet and wondered what other challenges life had in store for me. I started a teaching degree and completed a training course to be a certified stress and burnout coach. Then my father became terminally ill and in the course of 11 months we had many conversations about how he wanted his funeral arrangements. My parents had been separated for some years and my father struggled with arranging things so he wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, nor have a memorial service that was not true to who he was. When he eventually passed away, we couldn’t find anyone to help us write the eulogy and put together a service. The person assigned to us by the crematorium handed us some downloaded pages from Google and assured us she would “do her best” to read out any texts we had in English… In the end we ended up putting the entire service together ourselves. After talking to several family members I wrote the eulogy and found a family friend to read it out.
Writing a text for a memorial service is a little like walking on eggshells, especially in times where emotions are running high, every word has to be taken into consideration and everyone has an opinion about what should or should not be mentioned or emphasised.
The memorial service at the crematorium turned out to be a wonderful, personal and intimate moment, bringing the whole family together. In the afternoon we organised a wake in celebration of my fathers life with music, photos and poetry.
This is not a traditional custom in Belgium and many people remarked what a lovely idea it was. After this was over I realised how much I had actually enjoyed planning and organising the whole day.
Slowly but surely the idea of Down To Earth Memorials began to take shape. How great would it be to help people in their time of grief to put to words how they felt about there loved ones. How fulfilling it would be to help take away some of the stress of that first time after losing someone dear to you by having someone help you organising and planning the funeral, thinking outside the box if need be, working with the funeral director of your choice to have a service worthy of that person, honouring his/her wishes and at the same time finding the right words or rituals that warms the hearts of the people he/she leaves behind.
Setting up Down To Earth Memorials has been one of the most rewarding things I have done, combining all I have learned in previous work-experience, as well as my creative interests in Photography, poetry and music. It is true to who I am as a person.
In that first moment after you have lost a loved one, you are likely left feeling shocked and stunned.
I can support you in making the decisions that are right for you in this difficult time.