July 14, 2021 Monumental Muse

I heard the couple outside before I saw them through the glass of the showroom door.  Hesitating, not really wanting to come in.  Ours is the door that no one wants to open because opening it means you have lost a loved one and need to arrange a memorial. Smiling, I beckoned them to signal it was ok to come in.  Reluctantly, each looking to the other for strength and reassurance, they opened the door. They were an older couple. Their unease was palpable.  “How can I help you?” I asked.  A fleeting glance passed between them and immediately the…

June 26, 2021 Monumental Muse

Creative activities can be immensely helpful after any major changes in our lives, including bereavement. Being creative is mindful, absorbing and allows the unconscious release of emotions and feelings without the need to find the right words.   Grief is different for everyone  Grief isn’t just associated with death. We can also find ourselves overwhelmed by feelings of loss when important relationships end, if we move somewhere new and after a change in career or financial circumstances.  Simply growing older brings change, loss and new adventures.   The complex emotions involved can take us by surprise and everyone’s experience is very individual. Some people find it helpful to express how they are feeling…

June 23, 2021 Monumental Muse

Having been instrumental in the creation of hundreds of memorials the area that most people struggle with is the epitaph or in short, what to write on the inscription. For some families that is simple, and they write something along the lines of “In loving memory of Joan Rivers, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother” along with some kind of finishing sentiment such as “Forever in our hearts.” Others however want to say more, to not only pay homage to the person they are celebrating but also to give the reader a little inkling of what that person was…

May 30, 2021 Monumental Muse

Thank you to Sarah Jones from Full Circle Funerals for giving us this informative insight into green funerals.  Sarah and her team can be contacted by clicking here. At a time when the environment is influencing so many of our everyday choices, interest in green funerals has never been higher. Whether you are arranging someone’s funeral or leaving wishes for your own, there are plenty of simple ways to make it more environmentally friendly. What is a green funeral? Green funerals are those where the environment has been considered in the choices that have been made. You may want to…

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…