Planning a funeral for a loved one is one of the most difficult tasks there is. There are so many choices to make, often rushed. Sometimes the memorial service, although lovely, does not feel personal enough. It does not feel like it truly reflects the person you love, the life they lived, and the way everyone feels about them. Although going through rites and rituals is often comforting and soothing, they don't always feel exactly right.
To me, a funeral does not need to be cookie cutter and follow a sort of prescription. A funeral or memorial service can be a beautiful send-off, a celebration of your loved one's life, their personality, their story, their relationships. It doesn't have to be gray and somber, unless that's the way they wanted it to be. It can be colorful and joyous. It doesn't necessarily need to be religious. It can be spiritual, artistic, or simply peaceful. It can be full of meaning for you, for your family and friends, for your loved one.
I have created customized ceremonies for gatherings of various sizes: from a family of four to over 100 people. In these ceremonies we have planted trees, told stories, visualized and meditated, prayed, read poetry, and even danced. One was in a son's backyard, another at a train station, another in a botanical garden. All were beautiful, meaningful, and joyful within the sadness. All were full of love.
Here is a review from a client:
"Reverend Ibarra is one of a kind. When we knew my mother was nearing end of life after her long journey with a terminal illness, we reached out to her for counsel and support. When she died, we asked Rev. Ibarra to officiate her memorial. With her generosity of spirit and old soul’s insight, she was able to comfort us through very difficult moments. And with her creativity, energy, attentiveness, and artist’s flair, she was able to bring magic and texture to what so many described as the most beautiful and touching celebration of life memorial they had ever attended. Rev. Ibarra took the time to draw out what my family hoped for and needed from my mother’s memorial, and then she brought it to life. She wrote and conducted a ceremony that was pitch perfect and so thoroughly thought out. She created space for people to laugh, grieve, remember, and say goodbye, and also infused the event with ritual and layers of meaning. Having chosen to hold the memorial in a historic train station, we embraced the theme of going on a journey. Rev. Ibarra wove the theme into the ceremony beautifully by designing the most touching bon voyage that brought out the sweetest tears. She is at once a spiritual counselor, facilitator, and coordinator—and she does this all with arte."--Jamie Padilla
If this feels more like the type of life celebration you would want for yourself or a loved one, contact me at: