So who am I?
After numerous friends saying: ‘Gaye you’d be a wonderful celebrant, you’d bring warmth and life to any ceremony’, that is what I will endeavour to do.
I began my working life as a general and psychiatric nurse and during this nursing era I sat at many people’s bedside, as a Marie Curie nurse. This privileged time of being alongside a patient and their family, as another precious life came to an end, spurned an interest in all life’s major events.
In my late twenties, I retrained as an actor and performed as actors do, ‘on and off’, for thirty years; for example, I do regular role-play for the training of medical students, preferring the breaking bad news to anger - I am rubbish at being angry, brilliant at tears!
For the last ten years, I have also been a playwright and co-founded a company (Human Story Theatre) which uses theatre to explore health and social care issues and have written plays about dementia, alcoholism, domestic abuse, loneliness and suicide. Gradually, this combination of researching real lives and their subsequent portrayal made sense of my life at last!
And now in my own third act as a celebrant (i.e. I am a youthful early sixties), I can utilise these former experiences, namely: my curiosity and compassion for people at all stages of life, my talent as a writer to capture the uniqueness of each life and my acting skills to deliver these very special human stories.
My two sons - unbelievably - are very independent adults now and so my husband and I have relocated from Oxfordshire to the North Wales/Shropshire border to live life at a gentler pace. As if! With this new-found time, I am buying too much at garden centres, writing a novel and swimming ‘wildly’!
And to escape from the never-ending house renovations, I am available to ensure that those who entrust me with their own human stories, will experience that the particular life (either beginning, united or ended) will be truthfully and respectfully represented in a ceremony memorable for the extremely positive experience.
I am described as: genuine, warm, master of the glad game, hungry for life, kind, poetic, imaginative, professional, the possessor of an infectious laugh and (!) as I am honest: also, described as: gullible, without common sense or sense of direction, (roads not life!), impractical, emotional, boring about diets, a dreadful cook and intolerant of lateness.
If you wish to have someone who (despite her faults) can empathically attune to your needs, I would be delighted to have a conversation with you. Then, we can see if I am the right fit for you to form a relationship with, to guide you through your very important ceremony, whether it be for a funeral, wedding or a naming of a child.
How can I help you?
I hope to create services that are as accurate a reflection of the deceased, or a married couple’s love, as if I knew them familiarly. And to deliver them genuinely, as if I too knew these loved individuals.
I have a particular interest in grief and end of life and find preparing funeral ceremonies particularly rewarding, when the essence of a life and personality is truly captured. Thus, the words can touch hearts, as well as create knowing smiles and sometimes laughter.
For me this is not a ‘business’ as I wish to perform only a couple of ceremonies a month, just to remain involved with other’s stories. I am newly qualified, having achieved a UKSociety of Celebrants diploma in Family and Funeral Celebrancy at the end of 2020. Thus, if you engage me, I will bring a fresh approach and the luxury of time to create what you have in mind. And I will also suggest ideas to add to yours, that are a little bit different but would resonate with the people you wish to celebrate.