Testimonials – Funerals and Memorials

“Anna has a presence that is both calming and guiding.  Although we had a firm belief of how we wanted to celebrate Mum’s life, Anna had considerations and suggestions that both complemented and completed the day.  Anna made sure that Mum, her family and friends were not just part of a process.”

“Thank you once again for doing such a wonderful job. It helped me enormously to be able to focus on your clear voice and to really listen to the words. As I already knew what to expect, somehow it was calming. Your readings were excellent and everyone said how well you did and how meaningful it was – just the right amount of ceremony and light heartedness. There is a huge hole in my heart but you have helped enormously to get through a day I woke up dreading.”

“Anna Heriot performed my wedding ceremony… Several months later we called on Anna again, this time for a funeral. My mother died after a very long battle with cancer, she personally had asked Anna to conduct the funeral ceremony. Anna spent many hours sitting and talking to mum about what she wanted, the type of music played, who she wanted to do various readings and Anna again looked after everything. It was very important to Mum to have things just right and she trusted that Anna would see to every detail just the way she wanted it. The ceremony itself was beautiful and I think mum would have loved every minute of it.  Funerals, I imagine would be very hard to do, but Anna is empathic, she knows just the right things to say but equally as important she also knows when silence is right.”

“Anna has performed two ceremonies for my family. Firstly she wrote and delivered the marriage ceremony for my step daughter last year and this year she wrote and conducted the funeral ceremony for my late partner. On both occasions I was stuck by her most professional approach, her thorough research of background information and her subtle assistance for everybody in the protocols of ceremonies. When Anna commenced each ceremony, with that most beautiful and comforting smile, all knew that everything was going to be perfect as she has a very natural talent of putting everybody at ease and feeling the warmth of the occasion… For the funeral of my beloved Partner, Anna took instructions from my K, who was very clear about what she wanted. She and Anna discussed at great length the order of ceremony, the rearrangement of the Chapel, the placement of the painted and decorated casket. They formulated the handout, brilliantly arranged the order of speakers, of which there were five, and the words that K wanted to be spoken. Anna took it away and so brilliantly created the script. My partner had developed a very strong understanding and love toward Anna. She knew everything was being done according to her wishes and the family would be well cared for. If anyone could look forward to their own funeral, which seems doubtful, K did. She knew that all attention had been paid to detail and the knowledge people would acquire about K’s many achievements would be balanced and true. She would have known that the message was going to be gracefully conveyed, with the more than competent and graceful delivery of Anna. For myself, the funeral was not a sad event as we had spoken of it for so long, but a great relief and I trust thank Anna for her time, patience, care, thorough research and most importantly delivery and control of such a memorable event. In the future I could ask Anna to perform ceremonies for absolutely any service that requires professional planning, dignity and total enjoyment as befits the occasion, well knowing that the event will be an occasion to be remembered. I will refer her to friends and acquaintances for any events that require and want a quality outcome. In conclusion, if you have the ability to perform civil ceremony and that very special talent needed to make all feel at ease and really enjoy an occasion, whatever it be, and most importantly the personality to conduct it with sincerity, flare and a flashing smile, may I suggest Anna Heriot be the first person to be approached.”

“The ceremony far exceeded my expectations. Coordinated as well as it was, it had a real structure so it looked like we knew what we were doing. It was important that it was not chaotic, that it all flowed through. Good for the people who were there, not all over the place. Kept moving at a really good pace, no wasted time. Learned things I wasn’t expecting to learn: the talks that everyone gave. Came away wiser with very much a sense of completion which was what we were all after. And so did everyone else who came. A lot of favourable comments. Somehow you created an environment which supported the level of honesty that was delivered by all the speakers. I suspect that is not something you could really set out to do, a bi-product of how it all unfolded. Somehow you were the linchpin for all that. Coordinated, got people to write their stuff down, that alone was a pretty smart thing to do.  Johnathon (son) and John (former husband) were up to all hours to get it done, and Andrew (another son). Got the importance of it and put the time in, which surprised me. You turned up and made it happen. We needed a leader at that stage and you were the leader. Very much needed a leader, a coordinator to pull it all together. It was healing. A sense of completion; almost – move on – brought everything to an end. It was a new start – going to the beach afterwards, something very healthy (I had suggested they think about something enjoyable and simple to do afterwards). We all went down, it was almost like a fresh start with two car loads.”