I LOVE MY JOB …. BUT
I love being a family celebrant. It’s the best career move I have made in recent times, and I often think back to the day that started it all.
I was shopping in Canterbury when I bumped into a former colleague, who told me that when she retired from the police force she became a Registrar. I had been contemplating setting up my own business for about two years but everything I gravitated towards, didn’t gravitate towards me.
When my former colleague spoke about her new lease of life a light bulb went off in my head. I thought I could do that. When I got home I searched the internet, found James Convery and phoned him. About an hour later I was booked onto a UKSOC course to train as a family celebrant and the rest, as they say, is history.
I have never looked back. I love working from home. I love the freedom and independence celebrancy gives me – I decide how many jobs I take on, when I do them and how far I’m prepared to travel. I truly am my own boss. I adore the people I’ve met along the way and just love writing.
My new career path coincided with the most gorgeous golden Labrador Retriever puppy becoming part of the family, so working from home was perfect – when I could focus on my writing and not the ball of cuteness I was, and still am, obsessed with.
I love my job as much now as I did when I became a family celebrant back in 2014, although in recent times I’ve focused exclusively on funerals. That is unless a family member or friend asks me to do the honours at a wedding, vow renewal or naming ceremony.
The other great thing is that I’m a career writer so celebrancy fits brilliantly into my life. We are a perfect match.
My work has also brought me closer to the wonderful people who share my village with me. Ringwould is a tiny little place sandwiched between Deal and Dover in Kent. It’s easy to miss.
I have performed many funerals for my fellow villagers and each had a unique story to tell – just one more reason I love what I do.
One of my neighbours had been a model in Paris, back in the day, as well as a body double for Sophia Loren. Who would believe that you could find such interesting people in sleepy Ringwould? But they are everywhere and we are so privileged to be able to tell their story at a crucial time in their life and the lives of their loved ones.
Back to I Love My Job. You’re thinking, she clearly adores what she does for a living so why has she got a ‘but’ in the title?
The but comes from, but the celebrancy landscape is changing and I know I have to adjust if I am to continue making a living from being a celebrant.
There has been a gradual increase in direct cremations over the past few years which means fewer families are opting to have a funeral service when a loved one dies.
We experienced the start of this national trend during the pandemic. Now we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis and people can’t tighten their belts anymore. Something has to give or go and for many, that means a funeral. The cost savings can’t be ignored.
For me, this has all come about at a time when my personal life has been turned upside down and inside out. I’ve undergone a massive transformation that led to what I describe as a spiritual awakening, after suffering years of traumatic events. The details are in my book which, I hasten to add, is uplifting and comforting, not at all sorrowful.
Yes, I’ve written a book and I very much hope that it will sit alongside my celebrancy work, or be a successful side hussle as we navigate a new and strange landscape.
Finding Happiness When It Hurts may just contain the formula for long lasting happiness. At least I like to think so. It’s been part of my healing journey and I want to share it with the world.
There are nuggets of wisdom, guidance on how to think about adversity and real-life stories from people around the world who, in the darkest of places, found hidden blessings that led them to feel at peace, happy and fulfilled again.
Whilst I’ve written about blessings in disguise, it’s no secret that being a celebrant is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had and I can’t imagine doing anything else.