Can a woman with pink hair be a good funeral celebrant?
Spoiler alert ….
….YES THEY CAN
In fact, in recent scientific studies it was proven that hair colour has absolutely no bearing on a persons ability to effectively do their job.
Actually, I made that up. There hasn’t actually been a scientific study, but I bet my career on it
In fact if a Funeral Director, Crematorium, Burial Ground or any other professional dealing with comforting and supporting a grieving family, acts on this, I’m sure it says more about them than it does us (of a none conformist appearance). The only person/people deciding if I’m the right celebrant for them, based on my appearance alone, should be the family. They’re grieving for Christs sake, if they want to judge me as not for them (for whatever reason), then I’m fine with that.
With any potential client I ALWAYS suggest we have a chat first, even if the FD (etc) has recommended me, (even if they found me directly) because, if they don’t click with me, they should have the opportunity to go elsewhere. This moment isn’t about me. Its also not about the FD (etc). Its solely about them, the grieving family.
If I’m a fit for them, it should be their choice. If the FD if limiting their choice based on my hair colour that is not cool. Apart from the obvious discrimination(!) it is preventing the family having a choice.
If they are judging me, what are they thinking about the family? Are they just deciding on their behalf that a pink haired lady would not be for them, or are they judging the family too?
Based on feedback, reviews and recommendations I KNOW I’m really good at being a funeral celebrant.
In fact, I’m an excellent end of life celebrant, and yes, I feel really uncomfortable shouting that out, its not very BRITISH to blow ones own trumpet (but, fuck me, this job is the best job I’ve ever chosen and I’ve loved and been good at all my jobs).
As a celebrant who’s whole ethos is based on respectful authenticity and non-judgement, I am even more defiant at not changing my appearance to suit the (perceived) market, than I was before. And shame on any professional who has thought it or suggested it on my behalf.
I aim to be my true and authentic self. That includes my empathy and compassion; my patience with families; my genuine interest in them and their loved one. It includes my sincerest desire to offer help and support. My inability to clock watch and be formulaic. My proven ability to hear both what is said and what is not. My track record in writing beautiful poignant, sincere, authentic, very personal and relevant scripts , starting with a blank page, for every family I work with. My obsessive desire to empower families with choice and facts; to demystify the funeral process and allow them to go with or break with tradition ( or any mix of both in between).
Celebrants work tirelessly and for very little financial recompense, as part of the funeral process. Most celebrants charge (substantially) less than £300 in Wales at this moment in time.
The average funeral in Wales costs £3586 (source ITV 2019 report), in the UK as a whole its £4056 (source, over50schoice.co.uk ). Our fees are about 1/15th of the total funeral cost, yet we are the ones who work closely with the family, listening to their stories, creating a bespoke life celebration/ceremony and stand in front of a grieving crowd to tell the story of someone’s life (usually in a way that truly and completely represents them and their family). I’m the one who happily goes along to the wake if invited to raise a glass and hug the family.
My aim (our aim) is to help a grieving family take the first step on a long and rocky road through grief. There are no short cuts. But being able to truly remember a life and share stories, sometimes the bad as well as the good, is a fine and comforting starting point.
Sharing stories with a celebrant, with no judgement. Being fully heard, not just having to ‘say the right thing’; being understood and supported by someone who will use their voice and writing talent to truly help you embrace your grief and assist you in carrying it forward. That’s what we do for our 15th of the total. I bet it costs more for the average beige buffet at a wake! And, as a celebrant who happens to have pink hair, a darned sight more appetising too 😜
So.. can a woman with pink hair be a good funeral celebrant? Hell yes. Does pink hair make me good at it, probably not, but I’m yet to find a scientific study to debunk it …