One of the ironies of losing a family member is that, in addition to wrestling with the grief istelf, you’re deluged with an overwhelming volume of administrative and organisational work at the moment you feel least capable. When even stringing together a coherent sentence is onerous, the notion of coordinating a service commemorating a loved one at such short notice can seem daunting, paralysing. Such was the case with the untimely and tragic death of my brother. I don’t know what we would have done without our celebrant, Daphne Wood.
With less than 24 hours’ notice. Daphne had organised a convenient time to visit me and my brother’s friend at my house. She talked with us extensively about his life, a process that elicited copious happy memories and was cathartic in and of itself. She helped us structure the service accordingly, suggesting appropriate moments to place chosen readings and music, alongside setting a tone befitting my brother’s life. She applied the necessary sensitivity when interacting with other friends and members of the family, all of whom were dealing with their grief in myriad ways, whether over the telephone or in person. On the day itself, everything went extremely smoothly – no surprise given how well Daphne had prepared us for the various machinations of the service – which came as a huge relief given the traumatic nature of such an event.
Dealing with death, its impact and aftermath, is a horrible inevitability of life. It’s a moment when we’re at our weakest. Daphne made the process as pain-free as was realistically possible. Amidst the sadness, she even helped us peer back into an extraordinary life with great fondness and allowed us to smile. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her to anyone.
My mother passed recently and unfortunately left very little for us as a family to put together for her ceremony and funeral. However we had a few ideas but with Daphne's guidance, support and
understanding we were able to produce a beautiful ceremony to celebrate her life. From start to finish, she got to know us as a family but more importantly to listen, observe and discover the person
who we had all lost. My mother had Pagan beliefs and Daphne helped us accommodate these views and portray to others paying their respects, I quite honestly could not have done as much without her
assistance, a truly blessed person, thank you so much Daphne.
Tracey Alison Thain, in memory of the beautiful person who was my mother, Alison.
Daphne guided us, the whole family, with tact, appreciation and the utmost efficiency, way beyond our expectations, and we have no hesitation whatsoever in
recommending her and are willing to give a personal reference if anyone wishes to contact us.
The Brown Family
Thank you Daphne for your incredible patience, superb attention to detail and wonderful respect for our unique way of celebrating Astra, our mum. We wanted the funeral to be as authentic and true to mum's personality and ethos and you helped us achieve that. You understood the essence of Astra right away and guided us through the funeral arrangement process with a sensitivity and kindness, we shall never forget.
Adam & Greg Blaug
Just a quick line to say thank you for your delightful service on behalf of us and Bob. It was totally in keeping with the memory of Bob, simple, understated and delivered with grace. Everybody left with good memories and the wake was a real celebration. Gary Lawson.
Daphne was sensitive and responsive; she gave clear ideas of what might be inappropriate or not, with sound reasoning, delivered in a positive kind manner. She was supportive of decisions made with rational related to the deceased Geraldine, so she was caring for the deceased as well as the living!
She did a grand job!
It was lovely to have someone else who was in 'charge' when one was so splintered and fragmented, offering down to earth direction...I appreciated this so much. (AL)
There is one word for Daphne Wood - Outstanding. From the first time we met with Daphne nothing was too much trouble to her, she was sympathetic calming and very professional from the very start to the very end and conducted the service for Sally, our young daughter/sisters funeral in a very professional manner. Positive comments came flowing from people who attended Sally's funeral, regarding the tribute to Sally from Daphne and together with these comments we cannot thank you enough. We would recommend this celebrant with no hesitation whatsoever - Daphne made a very sad day run very smoothly for both family & friends.
Kindest regards Jane (Sally's Sister) & Terry (Sally's Dad)
Daphne led the funeral ceremony for my late husband in May 2013. I am full of praise and thanks to her for the amazing way in which she prepared for the ceremony and conducted it on the day. All my family and friends who attended have said so many really positive things about the ceremony and in particular what she said about my husband’s life in her tribute.
I was struck from my meeting with Daphne at my home by her empathy and ability to listen and ask questions so that she was able to form a picture of the person about whom she would be talking. Following that visit we exchanged several e-mails and phone calls to fine tune the order of service and in particular her tribute. Nothing seemed too much trouble and nothing was left to chance – she sent me drafts of everything and welcomed my feedback at all times and she liaised with my brother-in-law who was also going to give a personal reflection about his older brother.
The funeral was obviously a very sad occasion but I can only end my comments by saying that I and my family and friends are so very grateful to Daphne for giving us such a wonderfully moving yet vivid occasion by which we will be able to remember my husband.