Nicola Johnston - Independent Funeral Celebrant

“Everyone has a story to be told no matter if they are with us for a brief time or a lifetime”

Custom Funerals and Memorials Uniquely Celebrating Your Loved One’s Life

Hello, I'm Nicola Johnston

This is so much more than just a job, this was my calling and the title does not reflect how blessed I feel every time I am asked to help a family.

I am the voice on the day. Meeting families and working together to capture their beautiful memories about loved ones.

It will then be my honour to write a bespoke service, and only once families are completely comfortable with what is being said it will be my pleasure to tell the story of a loved one on such an important day. 

Celebrate your loved one’s life with a bespoke ceremony.

Having someone you don't know turn up at your home can be extremely daunting at such sad times, this is something I'll never take for granted as you put your trust in me to listen to you share your most personal memories of your loved one and for me this is an absolute privilege.

I'll visit your home or neutral venue and we'll chat about your loved one. There's no set template. Memories and stories start to flow when you start remembering, so i'll capture everything you say and write the service with everything you have spoken about.

I'll then send an email with the first draft where I ask you read through and amend, delete, or add further information to make sure it's what you want said about your loved one as we remember them on the day.

Family and friends can take part and say goodbye in their own way. This can be through readings, poems, live music, or personal tributes and we'll to work together until you're completely happy with the service.

Some frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a Celebrant and a Humanist?

I get asked this question a lot, a Funeral Celebrant gives a family the choice, which is so important, I'm there to help you celebrate your loved ones life to write and deliver a meaningful and personal service which can be non-religious, or partly religious, you may want a hymn, a reading from the bible or a prayer or even a spiritual element, all of which a Funeral Celebrant can help you with. A humanist can be very similar, but they will live by their humanist beliefs, so they may not want to offer any religious element to the service.

What is a living Eulogy?

This is something that people may find uncomfortable but it can become a comfort to the individual who knows their time is limited as they have no control on when, but they can take charge of how they want their service to be, and we can sit together and write their service, and it can be very empowering for the person, and it can also take a lot of the burden from their loved ones as it is never easy preparing for someone to leave us, as it can be hard to speak about someone dying, with a living Eulogy there is comfort for the person and the family when that times comes.

How do you prepare your services?

There is no right or wrong way to write a service to celebrate someone’s life as each of us are so unique, to help families, there is a layout I would start with below:

Opening Words
The persons story
Moment of Reflection
Word of Thanks
Closing Words

Options for Poems, Readings, Quotes, Hymns, Prayers.

But this may be completely different after we have had discussions which is absolutely fine as this has to be what the family want.

Can a family member or friend say something on the day?

Yes, and I would encourage this, as it is a very personal touch, but no one knows how they will feel on the actual day when they arrive, and I always say if they feel too emotional, not to worry as I will read their words on their behalf.

What is involved with the interment of ashes, does a Celebrant get involved?

When the cremation has been and you have collected the ashes of your loved ones, again there is no right or wrong way to handle this as some people just like to keep them close by, but others find comfort knowing a special place where they would like these to be scattered or they may have been left specific instructions on where. A Funeral Celebrant can work with you to create and deliver a lovely ceremony and
be with you at this special place as you release your loved one and say your final goodbye.

“Just wanted to thank you again for helping us with grandpa's funeral. It was a beautiful service and the time and care you took to make this personal to my grandpa by listening to his music and the beautifully written and spoken service.

When I read the poem I got nervous and stumbled over my words as it's nerve
wracking, and it was only my family! Whilst you said you are new to the role in the last year, you were fantastic. With funerals being so final this means a lot, It felt right to have you there saying bye with us as you had got to know him - or about him for this short time too"

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