A Good Hug and a Yarn - James' Story

When I first met our Funeral Celebrant, we clicked straight away! We have now used him three times and he is like part of our family.

We lost our daughter a few years ago and our Funeral Celebrant was suggested to us by the Funeral Home. Our family had used the home before, but it was the first time we were introduced to this fella. I’m sure glad they did!

The thing I liked the most was that he was just himself. There were no ‘airs and graces’, he was just a really top bloke. He has a very deep voice and the calmness of his speech was very comforting for us. You just have to look at this guy to know he’s a really top bloke. He would have made a wonderful Dad telling stories at bedtime – I could have listened to him for hours!

The best thing about him was that it wasn’t a formal process. He just came to my house, sat in my shed and we had a chat. It was exactly what I needed after losing my daughter. He got to know me and vice versa before we went into any details. That meant a lot, because it made the process personal and easier to understand.

When I lost my parents, our Funeral Celebrant was the first person we thought of. He is a salt of the earth kind of person. An absolute superstar! With both Mum and Dad, we met at the State Cinema Café and he introduced himself to the rest of the family. He was very natural, and made us feel at ease. He made the effort to catch up with us afterwards and we have remained in touch. It is never a formal thing, but we meet and have a coffee (or a beer) and have a chat. He genuinely cares about people.

For me, it was really important to feel like I had a mate, like I was talking things through with my Dad. He was able to communicate with us all on our level, and understood we had different needs. I think he is rather like a chameleon–he would fit in anywhere and understand just what to say.

We are a pretty easy-going family. We didn’t need everything to go right and didn’t expect things to flow perfectly. He understood that and made us feel at ease. He made it personal, gave us the ‘mates touch’. He also has one heck of a handshake and gives a pretty mean cuddle! I don’t know how someone does what he does. It takes someone very special to do this job. He’s certainly one in a million.