A very different wedding!

11709695_1021446054540039_5054019559283117129_oI had the great pleasure of travelling down to Roe Green near Manchester this weekend to take a wedding ceremony for two wonderful ladies.

It was for me a first … because not only was I doing the “handfasting” and “jumping the broom” ceremonies, but in acknowledgement to their belief, they also had a Wiccan Priestess doing part of the ceremony… for the very first time I had to work alongside someone else!

It was a very interesting and lovely ceremony … made very special by two very lovely brides .. and the care and thought that they had put in for every single one of their guests.

They had a dancing group called Thieving Magpies .. who kept everyone enthralled and entertained .. and even had a pet SKUNK called Wilfred!  (I think I am a wee bit in love with Wilfred!).

The day was fantastic .. very memorable, for the laughter, tears (of happiness), friendship and just the great feeling of joy that seemed to be all around!

I hope you like the photos!

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A letter to you …

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I write on a couple of different blogs .. which I like to keep separate .. this is something I wrote a couple of years ago for a very good friend who was going through a rough time …  since then I have shared it with a couple of other people who deserve it ..

This pain you are feeling and the emptiness it leaves inside you will not last forever.

One day you will wake up and your first thought will not be painful or about her.

It is funny how the people that treat us badly are the people we want.   They have a pull on our emotions that make us suffer and love all at the same time.   It takes a long time to feel anything again because what we have felt we think we can only feel for that person.   Maybe that is true.   Maybe we do love different people in different ways.

A relationship that is emotionally unstable keeps us hooked, like a drug.. it is our addiction.  We hate the lows but love the highs and are prepared to put up with abuse of both the mental and sometimes the physical type for those few moments when we are told and feel we are loved.

This is not love.   This is power, control. Someone who truly loves you does so in a quiet way, an unassuming way.  There is little drama, little pain, no lies, just a quiet understanding and a peace.

It may not be wildly exciting and nor should it be, excitement and adrenalin cannot last forever.   What does last is the knowing, the comfort and the peace that comes from having someone hold you, not for sex, not for show but just because they want to hold you for you and the comfort it gives to both.

This is the person who will be there when your times are bad, who understands that sometimes you need space, quietness and time to be alone.   Not as a reflection of how you feel about them, but how you feel about yourself.

When you find yourself trying too hard, excusing the little lies and the things that are done to make you jealous, angry or upset it is time to stop trying, to walk away.

Everyone will hurt, everyone thinks they will never love again, everyone feels alone, useless, a failure and unwanted at sometime.    This is life, this is love.

We can love, and we can love wrongly, we can confuse our “need” with our “want” and some people know exactly how to make us feel as if we “need” them in our lives.   The truth is, we never “need” anyone and nor should we.   Need is about control.  Want is about love.

The people who eventually understand what love is are the people who have loved and lost, had a broken heart that they thought they would never recover from, a thought that they will never be able to move on and that they will be alone forever with an empty heart.

These are the lucky people, although they may not realise it at first.  The ones who know what capacity their heart has for love and who are willing to sit back, be honest and take time to recover.   To allow the healing of the heart to take it’s own time, to not rush, not push, not jump into something else that might mask the pain for a while.

These are the brave people.   The right people.   You.

A vow renewal with a difference!

On Saturday I had the very great honour of taking a vow renewal for a lovely couple, Steven and Susan … it was actually held at a “surprise” birthday party for Steven .. but he found out about it .. and decided to surprise Susan with a vow renewal after nearly 17 years of marriage.

There was a lot of secret phonecalls and messages … and a couple of meetings but in the end Steven managed to tell me the wonderful love story that the two shared .. and the pride that they both had in their daughter Megan …

There was one little hitch .. the “surprise party” was fancy dress … and it was agreed that I would turn up dressed as a Nun .. (Whoppee Goldberg!) … which I duly did!

It was very lovely … Steven read a beautiful poem out to Susan and then got onto one knee and reproposed to her … the surprise on her face .. and that of their daughter Megan (not to mention all their guests) was wonderful… a great day .. and one that I will remember for the lovely people who accepted a stranger (me!) into their midst in such a lovely and friendly way.

Thanks to all your friends Steven .. and my very, very best wishes for the future for you and Susan .. and of course Megan .. long may she continue her art!

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She tried ….

I hear some wonderful stories of people’s lives  that make me sit back in admiration at the things they have achieved or experienced in their lives.

Some stories are genuinely upsetting, tragic lives where someone’s greatest achievement has simply been to get through the next day.

What I have found is that is not the achievements or success in someone’s life that make people mourn them.  It is their personality and their character that leaves their family and friends missing them… and that is how it should be.

We all have different paths in life, sometimes we know what we want from it but sometimes what we want is very different to what we need from it.

Working with families and hearing the very personal stories that made them love someone does make me reflect on my own life at times.

I have achieved a lot, I have lost a lot and at times I have had no idea what I wanted from life but I have been lucky, somehow fate has always taken me in a surprising direction, and my work as a Celebrant is one of these.

It has taken me a long, long time with successes and failures on my route to find what I think I was meant to do with my life, I have found my peace (which is something I did not always have), and more importantly, I have found me.

Don’t get me wrong.. I still have worries.. being a single, self employed woman, I do still have to worry about paying bills .. and that in a way annoys me, I wish I didn’t… but the reality of life means that it is something that we all have to do…. you just have to pull your belt in at times!

The rewards of this job are huge … there is no better feeling than knowing that you have let a family say goodbye to someone they love in exactly the way they wanted to.. it is the final gift that the family can give to someone.  Beautiful tributes do not come from me .. they come from the memories and stories that people hold in their hearts …  I am simply their voice… and there to wrap up “their gift” as beautifully as I can.

When I die … I know that I will leave a smile in a few people’s hearts and my epitaph will probably read “she tried” … and that, for me, is enough!

CRY

Every year The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants supports a small charity.  This year it has been decided it will be CRY..

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New string to my bow ..

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I have decided to start selling unique wee gifts on my site … at the moment I have Glass Plaques that can be engraved with ANY message or poem that you wish .. and there is a space for you to add your own photo.

More details can be found under “Memory Gifts” on the title bar … or by clicking here Memory Gifts

There will be additional gifts being added to this soon … personalised memory boxes, slates that can have photos on etc … keep watching!

The little boy that was loved.

To me and to many others you are our heroines.

The love that you have in your hearts knows no bounds and what you do for others, who are much less fortunate, is really beyond words.

I know that right now you are both going through probably the toughest time in your lives and nothing that I or anyone else can say can ease that pain right now.

The next few days, weeks and months will be tough on you both .. life will not be the same but you gave love and happiness to a very special little boy who was always destined to be a visitor into your life and your hearts.

His visit, so tragically short, has meant something to you and all that knew him and I know that you will always remember him for the little personality he undoubted was.

Take your time right now, cry when you want to, but don’t forget to smile sometimes too .. nothing you could have done would have prevented this and I am just happy that for him, he had you both.

Talk together, cry together, laugh together, play with the 2 minions and the dogs, celebrate that you had him in your life .. celebrate that you knew him and loved him.. and helped him to enjoy the life that he had.

Take your time, grieve in your own way (which might be quite different from each other), but talk, remember and smile at the memories you have.   They are yours now, always, and that is a beautiful little tribute to him.

I know you both .. and I know you will open your home and hearts up to another little star that will receive all the love and attention that they deserve .. not as a replacement .. not to help you forget .. but in honour of the little boy that was loved.