19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Life, Death, Rebirth

“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” – Robert Frost.

In the past seven months I have learned that.  It goes on regardless of how you are feeling.  I didn’t want it to, I miss Ben, my son, so much.  Nothing made sense any more.  I fell into a darkness that no one should experience and I had to learn to negotiate it or fall even deeper.  This is singly the most difficult and challenging thing I have ever had to do. The tsunami of grief hit and it hit hard, destroying everything I had, everything I believed in and everything I hoped for in the future.

I was expected to “get back to normal” and “be my old self again” but that is impossible because you can’t go back.  Going back would mean Ben still being alive and that is impossible as is a future with Ben in it.  I have to process a new normal and that will be an ongoing process.  Just as we all have to create a new normal with Covid-19 and lockdown; there will be no going back.

I had to find a way to move forward within my grief.  Going back to my job became more daunting with every day that passed and I took the decision to resign.  Tomorrow is my leaving day but I have not worked since Ben died seven months ago today.  I had a choice to make, stop living or start living a new life.  I choose the latter.

Most of my working life has been supporting people to live, to have a good life but my passion was to help people have a good death but I always felt that we didn’t do enough, we are not good at having these conversations.

We plan for births, engagements, marriages, but never death.  Planning Ben’s funeral was hard, some days I felt it to be impossible.  Choosing a funeral director sent me into a tailspin, trying to second guess what he would have wanted made me anxious and even choosing what to dress him in caused me to panic.

Seven months on and I still ask myself if I got it right, was it what Ben would have wanted.  It shouldn’t be that way and it doesn’t need to be.  That is where my path is leading me.

I am now building a business as an Independent Family Celebrant.  As well as supporting the bereaved to plan a funeral for their loved one I am also providing Future Planning.  This can be simply leaving funeral instructions for your loved one to having your Eulogy prepared while you are alive or even having a Living Funeral Celebration!  This is Ben’s Legacy.

However, if you are interested in Future Planning, please email me at isabel@legacycelebrant.org.uk,  Let me help and guide you through creating an end of life and funeral plan… contact me, Isabel Addison

Benjamin Franklin said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

I say “Be as prepared for your death as you are for your taxes.”  I am