From the moment of birth, our lives are filled with threshold, life-changing experiences. Some threshold moments are marked by the gathering of family and friends, rituals and ceremonies, and, of course, food!
Other threshold, rites of passage moments, often experienced quietly and privately, are equally significant and equally life changing. Think about the course of our lives—our first steps, the first time we ride a bike without training wheels, the loss of our first tooth, the day we begin our educational journey—preschool, kindergarten or first grade. Religious observances and coming of age rituals, team sporting events, recitals, our first love and that first breakup, graduations, leaving home, the sweet beginnings and the searing ends of relationships through mutual decision, death or divorce, the arrival of children or the loss of a child, the loss of a job or a home, major illness, children leaving home to embark on their own journeys, retirement, the losses of loved ones and friends, our own aging and impending death….just to name a few rites of passage that we experience privately and often cross without acknowledging their importance and consequence.
As a trained Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, I work collaboratively with individuals, couples and families to create and provide ceremonies that acknowledge and commemorate those public and private thresholds that change us and mark our coming of age and the passage of our lives. As I look back over the arc of my professional training and career, the phrases “family life cycle” and “thresholds” and “rites of passage” have gained significance as I have evolved from a Home Economics/Consumer and Family Studies teacher into a practicing Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®. My entire professional life has involved educating, encouraging and offering support to children, teenagers and adults as they prepare for the next phase of their lives. Too often, I believe, we silently and privately grieve the most challenging rites of passage and losses alone. Those experiences change us and are just as important as the public celebrations we participate in. Ceremony and rituals help us process loss and help us move forward in our lives.
As I approached retirement from my career as an educator, I ran across a magazine ad from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in Montclair, New Jersey. I am trained and certified through the Foundation in Weddings and Funerals. After my husband’s death in 2012, I earned a certification in “Grief and Death Studies” from the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins. And now I work as a trained Life-Cycle Celebrant® and ordained non-denominational minister or officiant, supporting those who figuratively and literally stand at thresholds—mostly marriage and mourning following the loss of a family member or friend. I am truly privileged to be with individuals, couples and families as they share their elation and hopes and dreams for the future as well as their deep sadness, shock and loss following a death. I am privileged to listen and I am profoundly touched by each story and, in turn, dedicated to writing tributes and love stories and creating public and private ceremonies designed to express respect and hope and forward movement.
Years of work as a classroom teacher and later as a Student Achievement Coach responsible for on-site staff development at my school has firmly instilled in me a dedication for ceremony design and writing. Nothing is left unscripted and I never go off-script unless something unexpected happens in the ceremony. I pay meticulous attention to detail as I write, design cue sheets and rehearsals and present ceremonies.
Unless couples or families live out of town and are coming to Colorado for a ceremony I will design and present, I generally meet them in person to hear stories and create a rough draft of the order of the ceremony. After the draft of the ceremony is written, I share it with the couple or the family for their edits and final approval. I work closely with mortuary staff and wedding coordinators to present the ceremony we’ve designed together.
A proud Colorado native raised on a farm in northeastern Colorado and Colorado State University alumna, I’m a mom, a mother-in-law and grandmother. My children and granddaughter live in neighboring communities in the Denver metro area and I love spending time with them. My siblings and their families live out of state and I enjoy visiting and traveling with them. I share my home with a hilarious and energetic Miniature Schnauzer named KC who arrived as a 10-week old puppy on Christmas Day, 2018. She’s great companionship; she keeps me entertained and out and about in our neighborhood.
For information about my Celebrant services, please click on the links below….
- End-of-life tributes and celebrations
- Wedding ceremonies from private elopements to fully customized ceremonies
For more information, contact me by email or give me a call. I love my work and am always happy to chat about ceremonies and answer any questions you have.