Have you ever left a funeral wanting more? Tawnya often found that when attending funerals, personally, that most services were lackluster, at best. She’d often leave wondering, “whose funeral was I just at?”
Life-Cycle Celebrants pride themselves on stepping outside the cookie-cutter/insert-name-here ceremony box, and Tawnya is no exception.
She works hard to strike a balance in the attention given to the sorrow, the love, and yes, even the laughter shared in a ceremony.
She is strongly suited to tell real, raw stories.
So often our dead are put on a pedestal. Tawnya strives to convey legacies authentically, with candor, tact, and grace. It’s a true art form to be able to craft a ceremony that does not venerate the dead if it’s not deserved, while also being cautious to not outright vilify them, either.
For those whose relationship with the dead was complicated, and especially when trauma is a part the survivors’ past with the dead, it is critical to acknowledge the gravity of the situation in a way that gives voice to the survivors’ pain, by staying true to the narrative. Humans are fallible, after all.
“Do-over” memorials are for those who either never had a meaningful memorial for a loved one at all, or, if the one they did have was unsatisfactory. Whether your loved one has been gone for a year, or a decade, it’s never too late to create a meaningful tribute. This process can be therapeutic, especially as it relates to our past culture around miscarriages and/or infant deaths that weren’t given the acknowledgment that they deserved.
Living funerals are events where, when someone is nearing the end-of-life, they become the guest of honor at their own exit-party! More and more people are coming around the idea that, rather than have everyone sit around and tell stories about how great you were after you’re gone, it’s a much richer experience to be a part of that conversation while you’re still alive!
Living Funerals are also an opportunity for the dying person to share with others what an impact those people have made on their life.
Tawnya also offers guidance in eulogy writing, as well as in crafting your own obituary! Obituaries don’t have to be simple timelines of events. They can be fun, witty, reverent, and lush! One need not be dying to start writing an obituary. Getting a head start means that when the inevitable happens, (be it tomorrow or years from now,) the things that are important to YOU about your life’s story have been highlighted!
Last, but certainly not least, she offers pet-honoring ceremonies before, during, or after a pet death.
She’s even crafted send-offs for non-living beloveds, like vehicles lost to accidents, and homes lost to fire.
The sky is the limit in how we acknowledge and honor our grief. Grief is grief, and love is love.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Sharon Adler
Education & Affiliations
B.S. Human Services – Counseling & Mental Health, Metro State University, 2008
Sacred Passages End-of-Life Doula Certificate, 2018
Life-Cycle Celebrant Certificate, Specializing in Funerals, 2019
Denver Hospice Volunteer, 2019
National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA) Member
National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) Member