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Thank you in a cup of tea...

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

In this unique and amazing role as a Funeral Celebrant - where work is ever fascinating, often times challenging, and always rewarding and valued - gratitude appears in countless ways.

In life like in all kinds of work, thank you... is a gift.

Sometimes with a warm handshake or a hug, at others a brief written note - the deeper message of personal appreciation is carried between the lines, nothing more need be said. Mostly though it is unspoken – warm appreciation expressed through a glimmer of the eyes, a small nod, a gentle smile over a sandwich and a refreshing cup of tea.

So many names, people, faces among tears, speeches and tributes, songs laughter and emotions, and for you each week it is so many more.

It is always a delight to look into the letterbox to see a thank you card or note delivered by the 'Postie' laying in wait in its envelope - it's message, a warm thank you from the heart.

Though now days of course the ‘posts’ arrival is more often by the inbox with an email, quickly keeping in touch and inter-connecting us all.

“I wanted to touch base with you and thank you so much for everything yesterday. I got so overwhelmed with people chatting to me that I did not manage to acknowledge you, for that I apologise. You captured Dad’s life and story so beautifully. It was soft yet powerful J.”

Thinking of each service, each family, each passing, and glancing through messages received over these seven years to now, among them quite recently - the joyful gathering of family and friends for a Memorial held at Wattle Park Chalet in January – with 150 people plus and 35 degrees in the shade and every chair taken it was standing room only, with a group photo at the end to remember the celebration.

A mother, a dear friend, a partner, daughter, loving wife, a husband of decades, only son, our gran, pa, a favourite aunt, a colleague, an old mate, a lifelong friend. Gone.

Each family’s message prompting awareness of what we do and the knowledge of having made a small yet important and palpable difference.

“It was truly amazing, and the way you weaved everything together was brilliant.

Your warmth and compassion were clearly evident...

...but so too was your sense of humour and you certainly

“fitted the family mould” beautifully.

Robbie would have loved you!!”

Sometimes the words come with much pathos, at others brief, succinct….hard to write, but pleased to send.

“…just wanted to send a short note to thank you again.”

While from time to time there is a sense of relief carried on the page through humour and observation.

“…never seen so many young and older men rush to be pall bearers

– should’ve got an 8 handle!! …. was the best service they have ever been to,

exactly what she would have wanted.”

On hearing each word spoken or seeing the sentiments penned, added to the observant feedback of colleagues, brings a new insight into the deep appreciation and gratitude people have for what we do - messages never taken for granted - each a timely reminder to take stock and check how we are traveling.

How can one improve, what's needed, what did they hear and see, what was missed, what went really well…. well done, be right there - every time, they need us, they’re relying on us all to get them through.

"Thank-you very much for your

caring manner in conducting the service for dad today.

our guidance and support was very much needed and appreciated....

...sincere gratitude and thanks."

And with each thank you, whether on the day or afterwards, it is I believe a must to be shared with you - it is after all when the hearse has gone, and the last cup of tea finished, we pack up things, our work done, our roles complimentary, tuned to the family and the day.

The confidence Conductors and Arrangers place in me again and again - to work with and present services for the families and clients is a precious responsibility and duty. Thank you.

“Julian...once again,

I would like to thank you for your participation in Eric's "farewell" service.... I could not have found anyone who would have suited the occasion better. Scott was right saying he fits people to people, I am glad he chose you.”

These past few months - as things inevitably change, flat out one week less so the next - and then it changes again. Such is the way things are, impermanent and bound to change.

The reality of life, death and the uncertainty which every funeral service and memorial bring to the fore - for which in our roles be it conductor, arranger, driver or attendant, mortician, celebrant or minister, graphic artist, tea lady or Florist - we each face directly - these things are all good teachers.

And being the profession we are in it is good to be able to say ‘g-day' from time to time, to ask how you’re doing, let you know I’m here, and to say thank you.

So keep well, be happy and lets stay in touch, till the next family walks through the door - and the right fit see's your's and my role, skills and experience coming together once again, in this amazing work we do helping all who ask for our help to say farewell.

With kind wishes always.


Julian Bamford

Funeral Celebrant & Master of Ceremonies


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