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  • Writer's pictureRuth Jewell


Autumn. A time for beautiful, colourful leaves carpeting the paths and roads.

I love all the seasons, each one has something special to offer. The glorious blue skies and warming sun on a July day, the hard frost in the Winter and the first daffodils of Spring. Each season marks the turning of the year, and nothing denotes the arrival of Autumn more for me than being able to walk through crisp dry leaves, carpeting the floor as I take a stroll with our dog.

I am often asked if we have busy times in my profession. Sadly there is always a rise in deaths as winter approaches. We have been fortunate in the UK this year, as Summer was absolutely beautiful, and despite the soaring temperatures people remained fit and well.

There was a frantic flurry of comments on the closed Facebook Groups that I belong too, when other Celebrants panicked that they weren't getting any work. It soon became apparent that this was the case Countrywide, and that some Crematoriums had moved to part time working.

In my past employed life I had the absolute privilege of working for a short time in a Paediatric High Dependency Unit, and was amazed to hear that at one point this Summer they only had one patient on the Ward, totally unheard of, but great news.

Now that the rain and colder weather is upon us we will begin to see vulnerable people affected by colds and flu. Sadly for those with compromised health this can involve long stays in hospital, and sometimes they aren't strong enough to fight back.

Whilst I need to be working, as do all my fellow Celebrants, our situation is a very difficult one. For us to have work someone has died. We always hope that it will be someone who has reached a great age, in good health, but sadly this isn't always the case. What we can do though, is be there to support the family whatever the circumstances, and ensure their loved one has a funeral that is fitting, and celebrates their life.

We can all do our bit though to help. Avoid going out if you are unwell. Often the children on our ward would be there not because they had been in direct contact with a poorly person, but because they picked up a bug when they were out and about, or it was passed to their main carers.

I always encourage everyone to share a smile with a stranger, especially on a dull, wet day, but please keep your colds and flu to yourselves, in their case sharing really isn't caring!!!


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