30th June 2021I had the honour of officiating at the service of the late Ruth Lauretta Badger last week. It was a beautiful service, full of laughter and tears, song and poetry – she loved literature, music, politics and was fiercely protective of her family. She lived life completely, wholly and passionately. Her humour was
Empathetic, individual, unique
My name is Jessika Hulbert.
I am an independent Funeral Celebrant based on the Kent and Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells. It is a privilege to work with the bereaved and I am passionate about what I do. I am mother of four (two at home) and wife to Peter (an architect).
Empathetic, individual & unique
My name is Jessika Hulbert. I am an independent Funeral Celebrant based on the Kent and Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells.
What I Do
As a Funeral Celebrant, I create a service to include whatever elements are important to the family and friends concerned. I carefully listen to what is required from a service, and through detailed discussion learn about the deceased. An order of service is then created, which may include readings, poems, music, memories and prayers and only when all concerned are happy, will the final draft be agreed.
All elements of the funeral service are organised with sensitivity and the utmost attention to detail. I collaborate closely with family and friends of the deceased and funeral directors to ensure that a unique and beautiful final tribute can be created, which conveys the essence of the life that was lived.
Fees - £220 + travel expenses
Where do I start…..?
A week has passed since mum’s service, and it will stay in our memories forever.
We cannot thank you enough for how you conducted the whole service and put us all at ease when we all paid tribute to an extraordinary person. Your reading of my sister’s poem was just so moving.
Everyone who attended, including those who attended virtually, commented on how beautiful and personal the service was. Even the people who had not had the privilege to meet mum said they got to know her on the day.
We all feel privileged to have met you, and I know mum would have loved to have met you in person. It felt like you were a member of our family!
Thank you again.
Thank you so much for a beautiful, meaningful and dignified service. Everyone who attended was moved; what a spiritual experience for us all. M texted me yesterday evening to say he was 'bowled over' by how well it all went.
As I already mentioned, I truly believe it was meant to be that you conducted R's service because I believe all things happen for a reason. You blessed our lives yesterday.
Our grateful thanks and loving warm wishes.
"Jessika showed nothing but the utmost understanding, compassion and consideration in the planning and preparation of our service. Her dedication and thoughtfulness shone through from our first meeting to the funeral service.
She gave me a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold when required and knew how to manage an emotional day. Through our words and memories Jessika came to know XXX and I believe this is why friends and family all commented on her professionalism and the grace of the service.
Jessika will always hold a special place with our family and our eternal gratitude for her exemplary care of all aspects of the work required on the day."
"Jessika conducted the ceremony in the most beautiful and fluid way, her communication and involvement with the family was beyond par. She managed to collate, mould & deliver a service which personified my Uncle to the T.
It was the first spiritual but non religious funeral I had been to and she really did not miss a beat, I would have her as the conclusion for every family member and friend. Thank you Jessika. You make your vocation shimmer akin to an Art-form.
Bless you Pete"
I just wanted to write and say on behalf of our family that we are so grateful that you led the celebration today. So many people thought you were a friend of the family and knew mum; such was the warmth with which you delivered the eulogy. To say you made the service is honestly not an understatement. You really did. It was perfect.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank you for every extra touch - from directing comments to camera at the appropriate time, to the humour of the step! Thank you for your gifts for Ford and kind words in the card You really were outstanding and made it the very special celebration we hoped for.
"From our first meeting with Jessika, my brother and I knew we were in safe hands. You have to feel relaxed with someone to be confident to discuss something as precious as your deceased mother's life. Jessika instantly put us at ease. She spent a lot of time making sure she had all the facts to produce the perfect eulogy. She also guided us through the difficult choices involved with choosing music, poems and photographic tributes. The result was a beautiful service, which was in all aspects personal, intimate and dignified. Despite the constrictions of Covid 19, we were very pleased that our Mum had the send-off she deserved. Thank you so much."
"Dear Jessika, We really cannot thank you enough for yesterday.
You delivered the service beautifully and with such kindness and compassion. My Mum said the moment she first met you to discuss arrangements she immediately felt at ease with you. She also said that Dad would have got on very well with you too.
All of the people who attended both in person and on-line all commented how professionally you worked and that you made what could have been a very traumatic event a special celebration of my Dad's life. Your attention to detail and your constant eye contact kept us all engaged.
Many of those who attended said that it was one of the loveliest services they had ever been to.
We now have to rebuild our lives and make new memories, but we are so grateful that we can be proud that we gave Dad a send off that he would have loved.
Thank you again for all your support."
"We feel so blessed that Jessika was the celebrant for our brother’s funeral. She took so much trouble to find out about him and understand the person he was underneath his troubled life. She is a brilliant guide through the decisions you have to make at such a difficult time and she was so kind and thoughtful about everything.
She made the funeral itself really special, both because of her great ideas for the service and her lovely presence.
I feel like the process of working with her has helped me in my grief in a way I never thought it would, and my sister feels the same."
Dear Jess, Thank you very much for everything you did yesterday and over the past two weeks to make it such a special and appropriate occasion. I really am very grateful to you.
I very much it appreciated the care and sensitivity that you showed us. You knew exactly when to provide us with the guidance we needed and exactly when to step back and let us make our own choices. You also made a huge effort to understand Dad and what he meant to us, and that came out very clearly during the service. It made a great difference to us all to feel that you were with us, and part of our family, at such a significant time. It can’t be at all easy when you haven’t known the person whose funeral it is and the first time you meet the family is at the service.
We feel that we gave Dad exactly the send-off that he would have wanted, and that we wanted. You were a very important part of us being able to do so.
I don’t know if we will be in touch again, but I really do want you to know that the connection that we have had with you over the last two weeks has made a huge difference to us and is something that I will remember and cherish for a very long time.
With every good wish.
"Dear Jess, I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness, love, compassion and warmth you gave me and my family upon the passing of my dad. You helped at the most impossibly difficult time and I am so very grateful to you. I am so happy that I found you at this time.
You warmed my heart by wanting to get to know my dad - my real dear dad, the very essence of him, this made the heartbreaking job of arranging his funeral much easier for me to deal with. It also allowed me to open up completely and not hide in any way how I felt and thus it freed me somehow. I also know that my dad would have instantly liked you too and that gave me much comfort.
You made it clear that you were there for me any time before the funeral and nothing was too much. Again, so grateful for this. Along with the above, on the day your professionalism shone through for all to see. You did my dad and my family proud. Again, thank you so very much Jess.
So much love always, Lara”
"I wanted to thank you for doing your job so perfectly for us yesterday and conducting our service for Dad so beautifully. We felt in safe hands with you and we knew you would do your very best to make it run smoothly. Your advice to us about the service was invaluable. It was a very sad and tough day, but very necessary for us all to go through. All of us are faced with such difficult restrictions at times like this due to the virus, but somehow I think we managed to give Dad a service he would have been proud of. As said in my words yesterday, going forward without him now feels impossible, but somehow we must and we will. I am so glad you have chosen to be a Celebrant, as you do it so well, with such care and respect."
Jess – “Asante Sana” – Thank you very much!
Your kind, considerate, professionalism made what seemed a totally uphill task at the start, a completely “painless” process. In spite of the current Covid restrictions, everything went extremely well on the day and so far we have had glowing reports from Auckland, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Holland, the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Great Barrier Reef, who all thought that you did an excellent job and gave a fitting goodbye to a much loved sister, mother, aunt and grandmother.
"Jessika, just to say a huge thank you for such a lovely service today. It was very emotional for us watching, but very special. Thank you for your guidance, patience and understanding. You can't imagine how much it helped."
"Thank you so very much for taking Dad’s service. It was very personal and moving, but also dignified and really captured his essence."
"Jess was a fantastic celebrant for my fathers funeral. She was poised and professional throughout, made sure that she kept in contact throughout the planning process and was such a lovely, kind person to see on such a sad day. I am in no doubt that my father would have loved the service she conducted. We picked the right person for the job! Jess made the whole process so easy and what she said on the day summed him up perfectly. She’d made sure everything she said was correct, treated us all with such kindness and nothing was too much trouble. All I can say is, thank you Jess for being the celebrant for my fathers funeral, it was absolutely beautiful.
Thank you so much."
"I wanted to email you to say a massive thank you for the most beautiful service today, everyone thought it was lovely and you were lovely. I had a few people come up to me and say that you did the best service they have ever been to. My children thought you were adorable. It was so uplifting to meet you today, you have such an aura of gracefulness and pure sophistication, a pleasure to be around. I am going through a divorce and to meet inspiring people like yourself brings back the true essence of life."
by Anni Townend...
In this episode of 'Leaders in Conversation' I talk with the wonderful Jessika Hulbert. Jessika is a Celebrant, she is passionate about ceremony, about creating spaces and places in which people can celebrate important events in their lives from birth through to death and ‘everything in between’.
Tap the image to be taken to Anni's page where you can listen to the podcast.
Kent, Sussex, Surrey, London
- further afield if required
Close To Tears
I take a deep breath and lead you in, Carried by strong arms, the pain dented on their shoulders relieving pain.You are placed reverently onto the stand that will take you to your final release,But not until I have stood in front of all your people Those you have loved and borne and wept and
A Ceremony to Remember
I had the honour of conducting a service for a gentleman who had been a very big part of many people’s lives. He was the owner and head chef of a Thai restaurant. His family wanted a ceremony that would include his Buddhist belief system and be accessible to the rest of his family, including
Say it with Hops
Say it with Flowers is perhaps an overused phrase nowadays; in the funeral world flowers really do speak words. I read (in Creative Review) that the Say it with Flowers slogan was created in the US back in 1917 by the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Association (FTD). “As the FTD went global (the UK equivalent, Interflora,
Reflections of a Celebrant
As we approach a new school year, I thought it was time to look back over the last. I started work as a Celebrant over a year ago and I’m relieved to note that I no longer have that first funeral feeling – like a new pupil turning up wearing the wrong uniform, wondering if
The Final Journey
I took two funerals in June, where the deceased’s final journey was by horse-drawn hearse. The horses were so calm, controlled and seemingly ‘bomb-proof’ with their elegant ostrich plumes. The hearse itself was so finely polished and beautifully maintained. It is a stately way to arrive at one’s final destination. This is a brief post