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Planning Your Own Funeral: Online Innovation by a South Wales Humanist Celebrant

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Julia Page from Newport, a former head of English at a South Wales comprehensive school, has launched a new website and business aimed at helping people plan their own funeral. She has identified a gap in the market and was surprised that nobody else had even thought of it.

The website, called My Way To Go, creates a space where people can write down their funeral requests, including music choices, favourite verses to be read, poems etc.. It’s aim is to ease the emotional stress of organizing a funeral when a loved one dies. By stipulating exactly their final wishes, it makes it much easier on the surviving relatives. Some people really enjoy planning their big send off and detailing their final arrangements.

While still working as a teacher, Julia trained as a funeral celebrant with Humanists UK, a non-religious organisation that provides funeral ceremonies for people across the UK. The training taught Julia how to officiate at funerals, as well as supporting the families of the deceased to help them work out what they want from the day.

Julia said;

” I remember asking a friend what songs she’d like played at her funeral, because it was something I often mulled over. She was freaked out, but it seemed natural to me. At school, my students would often ask me tricky questions about what happens when we die. I never shied away from the subject and found having conversations about it really interesting. “

So far the site has been a great success with hundreds of people of all sorts of faiths signing up to record their wishes for music, flowers and creating a mood board. There is a  £10 per year charge for the service. However, the website is not something she is trying to make money from, the motivation is making grief easier for people. The site also ensures that 10% of the profits made are donated to end-of-life charities.

Julia went on to say;

“Thanks to my new career, I’ve seen first-hand how short and precious life is, so don’t ever be afraid to take risks and follow your gut.”