FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of questions that are often top of mind. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on 027 4371 063 or jennie@flourish.family if you have further queries or need more information.

MAY I CHOOSE MY OWN CELEBRANT?

Yes you may choose your own celebrant and inform the funeral director who that is to be. Your funeral director will have celebrants he / she will recommend but you are not obliged to use them.

HOW DO WE MAKE FIRST CONTACT?

Generally this is by phone. Whether you have contacted me directly or I have been given your phone number by a Funeral Director or a friend of yours, we will talk about the commitment involved and arrange our first meeting.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THAT FIRST MEETING?

Usually I will come to meet with you in your home or the home of your loved one. However I am also delighted to meet with you and your family in my home if this is easier.

This is a special time where I can hear from you about your loved one and together we can plan all the components of a ceremony that will honour your loved one and tell their story well.

HOW LONG WILL THAT FIRST MEETING TAKE?

I allow 2-3 hours and I commit to being present and available to your family during this tender planning time.

My key role is to help you and your family find and design a ceremony that is what you want and to ensure that this is successfully achieved.

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THAT?

I have listed a few things below that if you thought about prior to the meeting would really help give me an insight into the life of your loved one.

    • Any words that describe them as a person
    • The names of anyone that played a significant part in their life or were close to them
    • Significant Events – Date of Birth, where they were born, any marriage or children
    • Where they lived and worked
    • Their interests, hobbies and achievements
    • Any humorous stories or anecdotes, even if you choose not to use them in the service
    • What they will be most remembered for including any particular things they would say
    • Whether they had any beliefs, religious or not or held any opinions on life and death
    • Most importantly talk to me about them and their life story
    • Any poems, music, readings or prayers that you would like to include [I have a wide resource that I can help you with if you need]
WE DON’T WANT A RELIGIOUS FUNERAL

If you would still like to include hymns or prayers, of course, we can include those elements. My aim is to help you develop a ceremony that reflects the faith of you and your loved ones and brings hope to you and your community.

HOW LONG WILL THE SERVICE LAST?

If you have booked a Crematorium for an hour, for example, you will be constrained by that. However if you have a venue in the community with no time restrictions then I would advise you to take as long as you like and to be as creative as you like to honour the life of your loved one. Take your time, you only do this once for your loved one.

I'M WORRIED I'LL BE TOO UPSET ON THE DAY

If you would like to read a tribute but are worried you’ll be too upset, together we would create a contingency plan. It might be that someone close to you stands with you and is prepared to take over should you need. I am also able to help if you would like.

AFTER THE FIRST MEETING

By the end of our first meeting we should all have a clear overview of the ceremony from beginning to end:

  • readings
  • everyone’s roles and responsibilities
  • music
  • enactments

After our meeting, using my skills, creativity and understanding of ceremony, I will prepare a full written ceremony and a summarised order or events.

HOW WILL YOU COME BACK TO US?

This is a creative process that I will discuss with you via email / or phone to ensure that we create a service unique The day before the funeral I will confirm:

  • the full ceremony with you
  • all necessary details of organisation in liaison with the funeral director
  • ensure that those with responsibilities are prepared

I will reconfirm on the day of the ceremony.

THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL

I will arrive early to ensure all is in place so that, together with you and the funeral director, we can ensure that this sacred moment for you and your family is everything that you would hope for and more.

It will be a joy to officiate at your ceremony and to use my strength, compassion, skill and insight to help “hold” you and those who mourn, making space for everyone to grieve, give thanks, honour and acknowledge.

Once the ceremony is completed this is a special time for you and your family, friends and community to gather, to share food and memories, reconnect, make connections, renew bonds, laugh and cry together.

Once this is underway I will slip away.

MANAGING PEOPLE GOING OVER TIME

This so easily happens when someone is deeply loved and people want to speak in the moment. I feel this is important to discuss ahead of time, and to create a plan created that everyone agrees on, especially if you have a time restriction on the venue. This can then save embarrassment and upset on the day.

DO YOU FOLLOW US UP?

Shortly after the funeral I will be in touch with some brief reflections and would value any feedback from you. [Thank you for considering my for this precious and sacred task.]

HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?

I understand that this is a costly time in so many ways.

You may be charged for my services by the Funeral Director you are working with.

However if you have engaged me separately the value of my service is $500. There may be some additional costs for example if there is travel outside of the Auckland area.

However, if you feel this is more that you can afford the best thing to do is give me a call and we can talk.

Flourish Frequently Asked Questions
Need help? Contact me for more info

Please call me on the number below if you want to talk more about a ceremony, or alternatively you can email me on jennie@flourish.family

I have known Jennie Milne for nearly twenty years, and never fail to wonder at her particular gifts. She carries of sense of ‘presence’ that makes you know you are welcomed – an empathy, a listening, a caring, a desire to walk with you through the deepest experiences of life.
– Margaret Tooley