Non-Denominational Minister & Officiant
Celebrate this Journey
Who knows why life unfolds the way it does;
Why we chose one path or another,
Share the way for a while or a day,
Then say goodbye.
There is no predictability here, and less control than we might wish.
But there is the quiet urging of the heart,
The knowing in the soul,
The wisdom that’s beneath the mind,
Accessible if we breathe and turn inside.
When the tide of change rolls in,
We can resist or be at peace,
Struggle or release.
The stuff of life may not be ours to understand.
It’s enough to offer love,
To receive the best and worst,
To embrace and say farewell.
What matters most is to celebrate
Each moment of the Journey!
A View on Compassionate Memorials
with Irene Swain
When the time has come for a loved one to leave this physical life, those who are close and important to them want to honor their life in some way. In today's world, not all belong to a particular religion. Some practice a spiritual path, and some see life and its experiences as their path. Many say they are spiritual but not religious. And some have no inner affinity with a higher concept of life at all. We all honor within us beliefs that just “work” for us and our lives. Therefore, rather than honoring the loved one through a funeral service in a traditional place of worship, an alternative memorial or celebration is desired and sought.
In my years of helping to create and officiate memorials, this has been the circumstance that has brought the family, or the one with a terminal illness, to use my services of helping to create a memorial, a celebration of Life.
Of course, this is a very personal endeavor and creation. I listen to family members and help create a eulogy that honors the truth of the life of their loved one. I also help plan the service with those speaking, the music, and the timing for a sweet flow of the memorial. And of course, I also officiate this service if wanted.
When times of serving the person that is terminally ill, I listen to their wishes of what they would like said in order for their heartfelt sentiments to be expressed—how they would like their memorial to “be.” We create their memorial together. This is done in conjunction with the family in order for all to be agreed upon before their loved one’s departure.
And, I have even created and officiated beautiful memorials for pets. They too are part of a loving family.
As you can imagine, this is a very personal and individual experience. In my opinion and experience, it is of utmost importance to always honor the departed one’s true beliefs, as well as all facets of their life, in joyful love and sincere “real” expression. In my view this is the foundation of a Compassionate Memory of the departed.
If You Are Interested in My Services
If you or your loved one feel I may be of service in this way, please feel free to contact me either in person or by phone or email, and we can talk about how my service may assist you. My fee is dependent on the scope of service and therefore varies. I am happy to go over this with you during our consultation. No obligation to hire me, of course. Your comfort with how you honor a life is important to me.
“All life is precious. All life is meaningful. All life is to be celebrated. Sometimes as humans we do not see this until looking 'back' … which we realize is a beautiful scene to behold!”
A Note of Gratitude
Thank you so much, Irene, for all you did in helping to make my mother Margaret's memorial Spiritually relevant and uplifting to all in attendance. The Love was amplified through the service and luncheon and for me beyond it. I felt the atmosphere was palpably elevated and experienced by everyone there in ways unique to each one. I could go on but will contain myself. You are a beautiful lady and channeled the essence of Love in honoring my Mother with grace and power. Thank you so much from the height of my soul heart.
... All [humankind] is of one author, and is one volume; when one [person] dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated ...
~ John Donne, 16th Century Thinker