Hello, thank you so much for visiting my site. I know that the fact you are here, looking on my site means you may well have experienced a loss or are preparing to. You may not have any idea of what you need to or want to do. Be reassured that I will gently support, advise and guide you of all the possibilities that are available, most of which 99% of families are not aware of, and help you to create a loving, meaningful, personal and beautiful farewell for your relative.
I work in a unique way that puts YOUR needs at the heart of all I do, giving you as much time as you need, asking you what you feel would suit you and your families needs, starting with a blank piece of paper and creating something truly bespoke, not a one fits all package, but knowing how important a funeral is, how important it is to care for the person who has died in a gentle and loving way.
I live in the beautiful hamlet of Ebony, near Tenterden in Kent but often travel the length and breadth of the country supporting families, so if you would like a bespoke, beautiful and loving funeral, wherever you are I can help you.
So whether you are looking for a cremation or a burial, religious or non-religious I can help you create that goodbye you are looking for.
A bit about me:
I originally trained as a veterinary nurse before working as a sculptor for many years.
I set up my own business working as a holistic funeral director many years ago understanding that people needed not only more choice, but also more support than they had been, on the whole, from mainstream traditional funeral directors.
I am a multi-award winning Holistic Funeral Director, Specialist in Ceremonial Care of the Body, End of Life Doula for people and pets (PELS) and founded www.stagdirectcremations.co.uk to ensure that families are getting holistic support when choosing a direct cremation.
"Funerals are a sacred ceremony to honour &
celebrate the life of the person who has died.
This can only be created & carried out
with love, support & giving time"
Celebration of Life Ideas
Vision boards help you to share ideas with family & friends
Creating your own ceremony vision board can be immensely helpful for family and friends to share ideas.
Have a cuppa and take time to flick through magazines/pictures online
to get inspiration of the different aspects you'd like to bring.
Really consider what is important to you as a family, what feeling would you like to create - perhaps a formal and controlled ceremony or a more relaxed and spontaneous ceremony? Write down words, pick colours, anything that helps you connect with how best will support you all to say goodbye to this unique person.
What did they teach you?
What did they bring to this world?
How would you like to remember them?
Would you like a celebrant or vicar to lead the ceremony or would you like to do this with the help of friends and family - you can you know!
Instead of prayer would you like to bring in blessings of love that you create yourself?
Instead of traditional hymns are there other songs that you would like everyone to sing along to?
Maybe you would like to incorporate a guided meditation for people?
Are there any gifts you would like to share?
Instead of shop bought flowers, would you like guests to bring an offering from their garden or whilst out on a country walk? This could be foliage, flowers, a feather, a shell from the beach ... You could have space in the ceremony to invite guests to place their offering on the coffin
You could give guests an opportunity to write a farewell message on, say, a luggage label or other beautiful piece of paper, during the service to be placed on the coffin.
Would you like guests to bring a written memory that you can keep for yourselves and future generations in a beautiful book?
Do you want the ceremony to be laid out in a traditional way with chairs behind each other and the coffin at the front or would you like a circle around the coffin creating a circle of love and light around that person?
Maybe you don't want a ceremony at all and would prefer to have a relaxed walk, talk and share memories event where you can incorporate a beautiful meal at the end perhaps?
Would you like beautiful live music, singing or would you prefer recorded music?
And one of the most important pieces of information for families, that sadly most are unaware of is that you don't have to have a funeral at either a crematorium or a church, you can have it anywhere that is happy to have a coffin. I regularly use beautiful wedding venues where you can incorporate the ceremony and the wake taking out the need to travel to different locations, you get longer (normally 4 hours) and it can cost the same as for a 30 min service in a crematorium chapel.
Remember, a funeral is about honouring the person who died and helping those left behind process and adjust to the death so tear up the rule book of Victorian funerals gone by and really think about what it is that is going to help you and your family through this time. There is no fundamental right or wrong, it's what feels right to you that's important.
Below you will see a vision board I popped together using Canva
Download your free Holly Lyon-Hawk funeral wishes document
This is one of the kindest gifts you can leave those who love you. Why? Because you will be providing your family with a road map of what you would like, they won't have the stress of trying to second guess what you would have liked, they can create the celebration of your life with a lighter heart knowing for certain all they are doing is what you wanted. Download the document below, complete and give copies to those you love.
A funeral ceremony is for you and your family to be able to honour and say goodbye to your loved one in a way that reflects your beliefs and wishes whatever they may be. A ceremony with the coffin present can be held anywhere, not just at a crematorium of church. Starting with a blank sheet of paper I guide & support families to create a truly bespoke & personal funeral.
An Oak Tree for Future Generations
Loving, gentle & supportive
Includes everything AND:
a young oak tree
fingerprint mould for memorial jewellery
This is a non-attended cremation. You will be told the date, time and location of the cremation and then you are free to choose how you
honour the death in your own way at a later stage with just the ashes.
When someone dies we don't suddenly stop caring.
Holly can either care for your relative on your behalf or support you in lovingly honouring your relative shortly after death by gently washing, anointing, giving blessings and dressing.
This can be done at the place of death whether at home/care home or hospice, or with Holly in a beautiful setting.
Following completion of this ceremony your relative will be moved to Holly's professional mortuary space to care for them until the day of the funeral.
Animals can play a huge part in our lives and honouring them in a way that gives the family time to give thanks and care for them after death can be important aspect in people being able to grieve healthily. I can help support you through the process of having your pet 'put to sleep' and care thereafter including ceremonial care of their body & saying goodbye.
"Holly came to us when the family had been told our beloved Dad would not recover from a rapid decline in his health. She gave us the strength to face his death in the knowledge that we had her support when the time came, and Dad was taken in to her loving care whilst we made plans for his funeral."
"The funeral itself was tailor-made to fit the personality of Dad and gave every person attending the most heartfelt opportunity to spend time with him, to celebrate his life and to say goodbye.
It was a day we did not face with dread as we put our total trust in Holly's attention to detail and we knew how special it would be. We can honestly say it was a beautiful, restorative and uplifting time spent together with Dad at the very heart of family life one last time"
"I wanted to say a wholehearted thank you for everything you did for us. It felt like an old friend was popping over when you visited, as you made us feel so at ease and cared for"
Children & Babies
Holistic & loving care
Losing a child is one of the most devastating
experiences to happen to a family.
I can support you & your family
through this time by:
Offering advise & guidance.
Supporting you in caring for your child after they have died by gently washing, anointing & dressing them.
If your child has died at home I can support you with specialist equipment to care for them at home by keeping them cool with a non-invasive cooling blanket, alternatively I can take them into my loving care.
Organising a bespoke, truly personal funeral ceremony.
Miscarriages and abortions
The death of a baby that is born alive and dies shortly after birth at any stage of pregnancy is referred to by health professionals as a neonatal death. These babies will have their birth and death officially registered whatever stage of pregnancy they are born at.
Babies born showing no signs of life before 24 weeks of gestation cannot by law be officially registered as a stillbirth and are referred to as a miscarriage. These babies do not have their birth or death officially registered.
However, at whatever stage a baby dies his or her parents are well within their rights to hold a ceremony to honour this tiny beings existence, they can care for their baby at home until the day of the burial or cremation.
I can support you through this entire process.
"You gave us the space and confidence to create our own tribute to Colin and we were all so pleased with how it came together. I felt that we could trust you from the outset and we were so grateful for your listening ear and gentle guidance with our own personal experiences of grief."
"You opened our eyes to the choices we had and embraced our quirks with grace and humour. When you left with Dad on Monday I didn’t feel he was alone as you were with him.
I really am so very pleased that we had you there – you were just what we needed."
"Holly is the most beautiful and most gentle soul that I have had the pleasure meet. She did my Nicholle proud xxx"
"To gently wash, dry, anoint & dress your
loved one can be one of the most profound &
loving experiences of your life"
With gentle support & guidance from Holly, ceremonial care of the body after death can be a precious last act of love. It allows time to process the death as well as time to honour the body that carried your loved one's soul/energy/consciousness.
Collectable Ceramic Keepsake Urns
These beautiful and elegant pieces are all one off's from world renowned ceramists Kate Schuricht, hand made in her studio in Kent.
If you would like to send someone a gift card so they can choose their own beautiful piece, please head on over to my Gift Card page.