Hi Everyone, my name is Sharon Keenan and I have a deep wish to become a Celebrant, specialising in end of life, grief support and funerals.
What is a Celebrant?
A Celebrant is someone who carries our ceremonies such as weddings, baby-namings, vow renewals, funerals and memorial services.
Why do I wish to be a Celebrant?
As many of you who know me are aware, I have experienced great loss over the years, the loss of my Sister Lily, My Brothers Ally & Gerry and my Soul Mate Jake, as well as my parents and friends.
These losses have shaped me and made me supremely grateful for Life.
In May of 2019 the latest of these losses, my Big Bruv Gerry, was compounded by the pandemic, which meant we could not have a funeral for him.
Having dealt with so much loss before this, I was 'used to' if that's the right term, the grieving process.
Not being able to have a funeral for him at the time of his death has affected me deeply.
Not only have I, and we as a family had to cope with the loss of him and his wonderful self, but it also made me even more acutely aware of how vital it is to us as individuals, and as a collective, to be able to mourn in ways which meet the times we're in.
I feel that dealing with death in an open-hearted way is vital to help us all live our own lives to the fullest.
I wish to help ease others through the process of dealing with loss in the form of ritual and in helping them access the emotional and physical support they require.
Another aspect of doing this my surname, Keenan, means 'ancient'. I am of Northern Irish descent and in Ireland, up until very recently, there was a tradition of 'Keening'.
This was a vocal ritual artform, performed at the wake or graveside in mourning of the dead.
Keens are said to have contained raw, unearthly emotion, spontaneous word, repeated motifs, crying and elements of song.
The word keening originates from the Gaelic caoineadh meaning 'crying'. The keening women (mnàthan-tuirim), paid respects to the deceased and expressed grief on behalf of the bereaved family.
There is a thread of this ancient artform which runs through me, and I feel this training will help me access it for myself and my community.
Which Celebrant Training Course do I want to study?
After researching various training courses to allow me to qualify to become a Celebrant, I have chosen the International College of Professional Celebrants .
They offer a 5 day Residential training which covers:
- Funeral Ceremonies
- Wedding and Naming Ceremonies
- The Uk Funeral Industry
- Planning and Delivery
- Legal Aspects of Ceremonies
- Working with the bereaved
- Equality & Diversity
- Health & Safety
Successful completion of the course and course requirements will lead to a NOCN Accredited Qualification.
Why am I asking for help with this?
I have worked as Self Employed Holistic Therapist for over 25 years, specialising in Recovery from Burn Out and Trauma and more recently grief. I use the Regenerative Power of Nature in this work, specifically through the use of Flower Essences to support Emotional Wellbeing and personal empowerment.
Up until now, all of my professional training has been Self -Funded.
I am feeling the call to do this training in Celebrancy with the ICPC this autumn and I don't currently have the training budget to do so.
Over the years, I have given a lot of time, love and care to my community, whole-heartedly and simply for the love of bringing more harmony to the world.
Now I feel it is time for me to humbly ask and receive some practical, financial support, to help me deepen my capacity to support others in this very important area..
I have helped many people in their grief journey over the years, holding a space for them, and have been involved with end of life care in various capacities.
These include working as an Aromatherapist in a nursing home, being a Soul Midwife to my brother Ally, and supporting individuals and families after the loss of their loved ones.
It is very important to me that the process of grief and loss is normalised in our society, not something to be swept under the carpet.
Also, it feels important that for those for whom access to a conventional funeral is not an option, either due to distance, lock-downs or other circumstances, an individualised ritual can be accessed instead.
For me it is vital that, when a person leaves this life, they are celebrated in a way which reflects them and their identity as truly as possible, and which helps their loved ones adapt to life without them in as healthy and whole way as possible.
What will you receive if you fund me?
Firstly, you will receive my heart felt thanks.
Secondly, you will receive updates on my progress. .
And finally once I am fully qualified and insured I will contact you to offer you a discount on my services, if you would like to use them.