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Another Day, Another Black Dress

My life as an Australian Funeral Celebrant

Photo of Stephanie Longmuir
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Last month I led 20 end of life ceremonies here in Melbourne; last year I served 166 families as they tried to navigate life's most difficult crossroad. People ask me how I manage working with so much grief and loss but I believe I have the best job in the world.

Why? Because I hear stories and then get to retell them. I meet people whose paths I would never have crossed and for a short period of time become immersed in their family and their lives. I laugh with them, cry with them and am so enriched by them. I work with them to craft meaningful farewells and in the process provide a platform for their grief.

Every week my thoughts about death and dying are expanded as I collect the experiences of grieving families.  Every day I wonder at life and admire its complexities.

In 2015 I was invited to the National Funeral Directors Association Conference and Expo in Indianapolis to talk about my work.

I would like to share some of the inspirational stories of how my families navigate their journeys of grief through the ceremonies that we put together.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I would like others to consider how they want to be remembered and to plan an end of life ceremony that will best represent them and the life that they have led. If it is a non religious occasion then there is no strict format; perhaps a small family service on a beach or perhaps an event for 200 with eulogies, audiovisual tributes, live music and a golden casket - the options are vast.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a Funeral Celebrant and founder of my, Australia's first digital funeral planning service that puts the user in control of how their life will be remembered and celebrated.


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Photo of Stephanie Longmuir

Thanks Joanna.  I have now posted on the Ideas phase.  I hope you get a chance to look at my post.
Regards Stephanie

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