Honouring Life – From Birth to Death


It’s Official! I am a Marriage Celebrant and it feels good!

I have been dipping my toe in the waters of ceremony for decades now, facilitating private and personal events and seeing it as a natural part of life. A few years ago a friend suggested to me that I become a Marriage Celebrant, however as a single parent to a young child I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do the weekend work that this vocation required so I put it on the back burner.

Fast forward to last August when someone new brought it to my attention once again and the penny finally dropped! It was time to make it official and so I began to study for my Certificate IV in Marriage Celebrancy and I have LOVED it!

What has surprised me the most about this journey though, is how much I have resonated with the Funeral Celebrancy. Perhaps my recent history, having to face my own mortality when diagnosed with breast cancer, has helped me see death in a different light.

I have been privileged to attend some beautiful services lately.  My quest was to make sure that being surrounded by those who have recently lost loved ones wouldn’t start to adversely effect my own life.

The exact opposite has happened! Funerals are about as real as it gets!

For a few hours, at the very least, most people put aside their painful history or past stories to come together to pay respect to someone they have loved. It is a time when people are being honest, vulnerable, compassionate and affectionate in ways they may not usually be in every day life. Death has a way of putting things into perspective and I have been amazed at the depth of love, connection and respect that I have observed at these end of life ceremonies.

For me, as someone who believes strongly in people recognising and celebrating the ‘rites of passage’ milestones that we each go through during our lifetimes, it makes perfect sense to hold space for this final ‘rite of passage’, to pay respect and celebrate the life of a precious human-being.

A Funeral or Memorial Service is usually one of our final opportunities to come together with family, friends and the wider community to acknowledge and honour the impact that this dear loved one has had in each of our lives. Therefore it is vital to have a ceremony that not only reflects the life of the deceased but one that also creates an opportunity for everyone to feel connected and recognised as we each move through our own personal grieving process.

When death takes us by surprise we can feel disconnected and traumatised, add to that the speed at which a funeral is generally held and this last goodbye can pass by too fast. I highly recommend finding a celebrant who can help hold and ground your service so that you have every opportunity to be present with yourself and your family as you celebrate a life and remember the joy of your time together.

In Beauty

Shekinah Leigh
‘Funeral & Marriage Celebrant’



Kahuna Massage Specialist * Civil Marriage Celebrant * Shamanic Practitioner * Rites of Passage Facilitator Shekinah Leigh runs her own business on the Gold Coast providing Kahuna Bodywork, Sacred Ceremonies, Shamanic Energy Healing and Rites of Passage programs. Integrating her chosen paths of Hawaiian Shamanism, Native American Medicine Teachings and the Ancient Yogic Traditions, Shekinah holds a strong and safe space for transformation & healing to take place at a deep & cellular level. “I have learned that it can be through embracing our darkest nights and greatest fears that we experience our greatest gifts…”

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