Life is about beginnings and endings~ an ebb and flow of releasing & binding, letting go & holding close and transitions & transformations.

 

Each of us travels through life reaching milestones and moving through rites of passage. At one time communities gathered together to honour, celebrate or mourn these life events. It was a time to pause and reflect. This pause connected us to one another and gave life greater meaning. Our daily lives are filled with schedules to follow, appointments to attend and commitments to keep. It can be very difficult to give time and focus to the important moments. This is where I can help. As a Life-Cycle Celebrant®, I create personalized, one-of-a-kind ceremonies that celebrate and honour your most profound moments.

Milestones differ from person to person and there are thousands of reasons for ceremony and celebration. Some more obvious big moments include celebrating love whether by marriage, commitment or vow renewal ceremonies or to mark becoming a parent, welcoming a new baby or coming-of-age. Ceremony can also help in the healing process after a divorce or major loss.

And at the end of life, I use the sacred space of ceremony to help families and friends bid farewell to their loved one through funerals, memorials and life celebrations.

Let me help you make your life’s moments unforgettable and surrounded with meaning to add to your life’s story.

About Julie

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My professional career began in the early 90s in the field of social work. I always had a strong desire to work with people as they navigated through life and its various challenges. Eventually, I certified as a birth and postpartum doula (DONA International). I founded Mother Nurture Childbirth Services in 1998, assisting couples through the childbirth experience and the early weeks at home with a new baby.

My career path changed and evolved after becoming a mother myself in December 2003. While no longer a practicing doula, I continued to educate and support new parents as they navigated their parenting journey from prenatal to birth and postnatal. Seeing the need for specific support, I created a workshop for women who had experienced difficult or traumatic births and/or postnatal periods.

An avid writer, I published my first book, an extension of my essay What I Would Tell You, in May 2015. This book is a collection of hard earned wisdom gained in my adventures as a mother of a child with medical fragility. Although the lessons I have learned come from one particular path, this book resonates with anyone who has experienced an unexpected detour in their lives or anyone who is in a care giving role. It is a must read for those who work with families like ours.

I welcomed the opportunity to become a licensed marriage officiant for the province of Ontario in 2012 and expanded my services by graduating as a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant® in early 2013 from the Celebrant Foundation & Institute with a focus on funeral and end-of-life celebrations. As a result of this intensive celebrant training and designation, I specialize in the creation and implementation of ceremonies to mark life’s transitions and important events from the start of life to the end of life and everything in between. I apply “gold standard services,” a quality outlined by the Celebrant Foundation and Institute, to assure my clients that every ceremony I create will be meaningful and memorable.

As a recent (April 2016) graduate of the Beyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada, I aim to educate and support my  community in the reclamation of family-centred death care. Combining my education with my celebrant skills, I offer ceremony and rituals to help individuals, families and communities cope with loss, trauma, death and grief. I look forward to my new role as facilitator for the Beyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada and to offering a new end-of-life preparation course for members of the community in early 2017.

My interests include psychology, health, travel, cooking, writing, and staying vibrant and resilient while holding on to a sense of humour. I share my  life in the Ottawa valley with my husband, Tim, and our daughter, Meredith.

What is a Celebrant?

Celebrants are trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The Celebrant’s mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his or her beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality. The Celebrant comes to the table with no agenda; no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the Celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client.