March 20, 2021 Monumental Muse

From The Inside Looking Out One of the first things I do as I arrive at my workplace is to make myself a cup of coffee before I start my day.  The kitchen window looks out over part of the cemetery.  When I first started there, I used to see an old gentleman every week visiting a grave, tenderly changing the flowers and I could see him talking as he knelt, carefully wiping the headstone keeping it in tip-top pristine condition. Over time, I got to know him and learnt some of the stories about his wife and the things…

March 19, 2021 Monumental Muse

David’s Career Switch from Music Teacher to Funeral Director Before becoming a funeral director with Full Circle Funerals in Harrogate, David Moon was a music teacher in South West London. He moved to Yorkshire with his wife and two young children to be closer to family. We caught up with him to find out more about his career change and discovered that there are more similarities between the two roles than you might think. Has music always been a big part of your life? I’ve been drawn to all things musical from a young age but it’s only been in…

March 7, 2021 Monumental Muse

As funerals, wakes and memorial services continue to be restricted the videoing and live streaming of the funeral service itself has increased in demand exponentially, enabling friends and family to share in the service albeit remotely.  Indeed most recently we have seen the nation join the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore as they said goodbye.  We have adopted different ways of saying goodbye but for those families experiencing the restricted funerals with very few family and friends in attendance, it has been and continues to be a hard pill to swallow. Is There A Place For Funeral Photography Today?…

February 6, 2021 Monumental Muse

Thank you to Sarah Jones of Full Circle Funerals, our Guest Writer for this most interesting and informative post. People often refer to locations or spaces as their “happy place”. Places can hold special memories and certain surroundings can make us feel good, even if we’re not entirely sure why. In fact, there is a lot more to the connection between physical environment and wellbeing than you might expect. Our physical environment has a significant impact on our mood. It is increasingly accepted that wellbeing can be improved by incorporating nature in our direct environment where possible. Where it was…

February 2, 2021 Monumental Muse

A few years ago, at a business networking meeting, I met David Billington from Full Circle Funerals who’s founder, Sarah Jones was offering a refreshingly different, more holistic approach to Funeral Directing.  I’ve been watching how Full Circle have developed in the interim years and the direction they have taken and also during that time recommended friends who have used their services and can’t speak too highly about Sarah and her team.  It is an absolute pleasure therefore to welcome Sarah as a future guest writer for A Monumental Muse.  First, we thought that we’d share a little insight into…

January 23, 2021 Monumental Muse

The sun was certainly shining on Karen and Ken Gallimore when they first met at an 18th birthday party on 5th July 1980 at the Ainsty Hotel in York.  There was an instant rapport between them and when Ken offered Karen a lift home there started a friendship which quickly became a lifelong love story. Just over a year later, in August 81, the couple married. Over the following years, they were blessed with 7 beautiful children but, sadly, tragedy struck when their son, Leigh was diagnosed with a brain tumour and passed away at only 4 years old. The…

August 26, 2020 Monumental Muse

Strolling Out and Scattering Ashes The TOLAD Way When a loved one dies there can be a longing for “one last…..”  Often this can be one last walk with them or visit to a favourite beauty or picnic spot.  Some families choose to do this in order to scatter ashes  and we are finding that an increasing number of families are preferring to scatter ashes in a more ecologically friendly way than they perhaps would have done in the past. Most people, unless they have done it before, expect when they scatter ashes that the ash will be fine, like…

August 23, 2020 Monumental Muse

GRIEF: ‘GO WITH THE FLOW WHILE MAKING SURE YOU SUPPORT YOUR BODY AS BEST YOU CAN’ Grief is hard to control, distressing and, at times, utterly overwhelming and painful. And the idea that there is a road map may be soothing and give us something to hang onto. However, it is an illusion.  Utter confusion The five stages of grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross are often used to try and explain the grieving process. However, they were “never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages” as she herself wrote in her last book ‘On Grief and Grieving’. All her…

August 17, 2020 Monumental Muse

Let’s Talk There’s no denying that this year and the last few months, especially, has been particularly hard for many of us.  We were thrust into a world which seemed almost surreal as we were told to “stay safe, stay at home” and the weekly norm was no longer a visit to Church, drink down the pub or day out to some beauty spot with the kids but Thursday evenings stood outside our house clapping for keyworkers. Those who lost loved ones during this period were especially affected with the introduction of very much reduced numbers of mourners permissible at…

July 25, 2020 Monumental Muse

Do you feel the need to let off steam?  One of our regular feature writers, Judith Morris, shares why this may not be such a bad thing to do. Why venting is good for you.  The last 4 months have been hard for everyone, with so many different pressures on us all, that we have never before experienced and sometimes we just need to let that out. The pressures of managing money, family, work deadlines and trying to fit in a personal life are bad enough in normal times but wow, add in Covid and the pressure gauge nearly bursts….