The Power of Celebrations

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit my brother for the first time in quite a while. Growing up, and with a brother and sister older than me, there was always something to celebrate. We gathered for birthdays, Christmas, weddings, christenings, and supported each other through illness, death and funerals.

As often happens, after our parents died, the contact diminished, and as my brother has been in a home for a little while, living with dementia, I believed that there was no point in going to see him. He wouldn’t know me, and it may upset him. The brother I loved and looked up to is gone and what remains is a shell of his former self.

I could not have been more wrong.

When my sister and I walked in and woke him up, his face lit up with joy, and he began to cry and laugh at the same time. Although I do not believe that he recognised me as his little sister, clearly there was something that he recognised in my face, voice, smile that touched him and spoke to the very real connection that exists between us, forged through a lifetime, and which is always there no matter how long we have been apart.

There is a connection between families that is so deep, so strong that even dementia cannot erase it.

All those family gatherings, all those memories, however locked away in his mind, left an indelible mark, and that is why being a celebrant is so special.

As a celebrant I am truly blessed in what I do. I get to share in some of the most precious, intimate moments in a family’s life. I am an outsider on the inside, helping them to create their special times, their precious memories; something to treasure and look back on years later with joy, affection and love.

To be able to help parents stand up with their family and friends and dedicate their lives to their child in a naming ceremony………

To share the excitement and anticipation of a shared life together in a wedding ceremony………..

To share in the joy of a vow renewal, looking back on how a couple have grown and will continue to grow together……

To celebrate a life well lived, and to conduct a funeral filled with love & sadness, tears and laughter…..

Above all to celebrate the precious connections between family members that are stronger than anything that life can throw at us…that is the real joy of being a Celebrant.

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