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Death and Dying to get it right

The only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes.


Death is not something we want to focus on, some see it as morbid, but it is a time to remember, reflect, and celebrate the life that has gone before us.


So it is important that we plan for them and have an understanding of each aspect and the options available to us so we are not dying to get it right.


How many times have you found yourself second guessing their wishes when you are in the height of grief?


Below I have given an overview of some of the more popular choices that are being used by families in the Isle of Man. There are so many variations which follow different religions and cultures in each country and I strongly recommend you gain an awareness of those which may apply to you.



White Stone round modern chapel in the Lawn Cemetery Grounds
Douglas Lawn Cemetery Chapel


This has become a more popular option in the last few years and provides a more cost-effective no frills alternative to the traditional cremation. It provides a dignified disposal of the body without any fuss celebration or committal at that time. The family and friends of the deceased may choose to have an End-of-Life Celebration or Memorial Service later, to have closure, bid farewell and celebrate the life of their loved one in a memorable way at a time when everyone can be together. They may choose to have the urn of ashes or a photograph of the loved one as the focal point to the celebration. An ideal option for those who don’t want any fuss or if most of the family live a distance away.


A time to celebrate the deceased life, share memories, through music poems, readings, themes, religious, symbolic, or cultural traditions.


It can be held at any time or place of your choice and can by organised and led by a family member or you may wish to employ the services of an independent Celebrant such as myself to curate a personalised and memorable ceremony to reflect the traits, character, and style of the deceased.


The End-of-life Celebration can also include the Internment or Scattering of Ashes if you wish.



This is an option after a direct or traditional cremation and can be as small as the immediate family or for as many people as you choose. It is a memorable and meaningful way to say a heartfelt goodbye and find closure at a difficult time.


With an Independent Funeral Celebrant, the ceremony can include music, a eulogy, religious, spiritual, or cultural traditions and any number of attendees can be involved in the ceremony.

Please note, it is legal for you to scatter ashes over land as long as you obtain the landowners permission.



Held in the chapel at the Crematorium and can be led by a religious or non-religious officiant of your choice or from a list suggested by the funeral director if you use one.


As an independent Celebrant I am happy to include any religious, spiritual, cultural, or symbolic elements, music, songs, poems, readings or themes which reflect the life of the deceased.



Traditional Church Service followed by a burial in churchyard or delegated ground.


Your minister, priest or church leader will guide you through the standard funeral service and what it will include. They will normally officiate the interment at the graveside too. This may be on the same day or at a later date.


This is an ideal choice for churchgoers and those who prefer traditional formal set ceremonies.

It Is possible to have burials with a service held in at the Lawn Cemetery in Douglas which can include religious references, readings, and music of your choice. Contact me for more details.



Traditional Church Service followed by a cremation with committal service.


You may choose to have the service/mass in the church or place of worship, followed by a cremation. This has been chosen in the past by families who wanted to scatter the ashes in several locations where the deceased lived.


The minister, or religious leader may choose not to attend the crematorium for the committal. However, an Independent Celebrant such as myself, will create a simple ceremony to include personal heartfelt reading/ poems etc that may have not been allowed in the church and to officiate the committal in a dignified manner.



You can contact me directly to discuss your options and ask any questions you may have, to enable you to make the right choice for your loved one.


Alternatively, if you would like to save your family the heartache of second guessing your wishes, likes and preferences, or you want to have last say, you can now arrange your own funeral. Contact me to find out more.


Andi Barker Celebrant

Independent Certified Funeral Celebrant for those who want to celebrate their live their way.


Dark Blue thick circle  with white writing  over the bluew and laurel garland across the bottom. The initials AMC  and 2023 written in blue inside the circle
Certification badge for the Funeral Celebrancy Course from the Academy of Modern Celebrancy

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