I never knew what a celebrant was until I had I lost some important people in my life. Some of these funerals were okay, but some were very damaging.  At the time I did not know that I would have every right to have full involvement, that I could challenge certain decisions that were made for me by the professionals in the funeral industry, and that I, in fact, had ownership over this important moment in life.

Instead I was ignorant, I was directed rather than guided, and with the benefit of hindsight, now I ultimately feel robbed.

Of course at the time, I did’t know any different! Who does?!  BUT… it’s that last question that really got to me.  No one knows any different! No one has much knowledge and what they have to do when someone dies, or what they can do when someone dies.  Without this knowledge, we are vulnerable and none the wiser. And this my friends is not good.


The questions began to run through my mind – why don’t we talk about death? Why don’t we know the procedures? Why do we take the words from Funeral Directors to be gospel?

Now, don’t get me wrong, not all Funeral Directors are bad – in fact there are lots of wonderful FDs about – but equally there are a lot of FDs that do not prioritise a family’s well-being and right to autonomy in times of such confusion and dismay.  It’s business. Pure business.

So, here comes Roxanne, with a belly full of passion, a mind full of knowledge, a heart fierce and proud as she tries to spread awareness of the death industry – its faults, its wonders, and the many beautiful options available to people.


As a celebrant I’m able to take that first step with a bereft family. I’m able to see them through that journey, if they want me to, and take them to the moment that will hopefully bring some comfort and peace for their troubled hearts.  After all, is it really about what coffin we choose? What colour or make the hearse is? What the pall bearers are wearing?  OR…. is it about the words that are said about that beautiful life? About family participation and involvement? The tributes, readings, the laughter and tears? About building a moment that is reflective, capturing the essence of that wonderful life that has been lost?

I’ll leave you with that thought….