Archive for the ‘Life’ category
Wednesday 15th December 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, No comments
2 Christmas poems for thoes of you who are facing the chrstams holidays without your loved one. We send Christmas blessings to you all xx
Here is a wonderful PDF on ‘why the holidays hurt’ by the fantastic Dr Bill Webster.
Christmas Without You
by Kaye Des’Ormeaux
It’s going to be a sad Christmas this year
without your laughter & without your cheer.
I’ll miss the sight of you with your Santa’s hat,
and the smile you shared from where you sat.
I’ll think about all the Christmas’s in the past,
and hold to the memories that slipped so fast.
For they’re all I have left to remember,
on this sad Christmas morning in December.
I’ll think about you and cherish each though;
I’ll think of your smile & the happiness it brought.
And as I listen to the church bells ring,
your voice will echo as the choirs sing.
I can never tell you, my love, how sad it will be
to spend Christmas without you here with me.
I just wish you’d touch my heart in such a way,
that I could live through the pain of Christmas Day.
And, help me to remember that your love
is still sent to me from the Heavens above.
And although you won’t decorate my Christmas tree,
Your spirit will light the lights for me to see.
Oh, I’ll hear your voice in each Christmas song.
I’ll see your face in each child that comes along.
And although my heart will be broken and torn…
I’ll know you’re with Jesus on this Christmas morn.
No, Christmas won’t be the same without your smiling face
but I’ll know you’re in a much better place.
I’ll think of my precious child in everything I do…
Cause, it just won’t be “Christmas Without You!”
My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can’t compare
with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear.
And be glad I’m spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do
For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.
Tuesday 19th October 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 16 comments
Looking back to April 2006 when I set up Sentiment Ltd, we were the only UK company on the web that was related to funeral event planning and tribute video production. At the time, Sentiment was being run from the website sentiment-farewells.co.uk with the business model of being funeral event planners and offering memorial video tributes and photo slide-shows.
To get any financial backing, we needed proof that there was a market, this meant researching other companies that offered the same service. In 2005 and 2006 there was nothing out there. The closest I could get was a company called Lights Enterprises in the USA.
In the UK there were some great funeral related businesses – Green Fuse (who back then, were celebrants offering training from a flower shop website). There was also a website offering online obituaries and of course there was the then fast growing Colourful Coffins and the trusty Natural Death Centre and its affiliates of radical funeral directors, woodland burial sites and Eco coffin manufacturers. The NDC was and still is very successful in promoting the green funeral movement as was Judith Pigeon who was at the time developing a network of holistic funeral and farewell affiliates.
I researched Lights Out and was excited to see that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world trying to make my way in what was essentially a ‘non-existent market’. I contacted Lynn of Lights Out and we had some good chats on email. She had done so well to get where she had. She was a real inspiration, something that kept me on the path of trying to kick holes out of the brick wall that is the UK’s funeral industry.
The past 4 years has been amazing, watching the change unfolding on the Internet today, seeing a growth of fantastic and inspirational memorial and funeral planning options and the media interest.
The idea of changing funerals was certainly not original to Sentiment or to all the other companies that have surfaced and set up over the past few years – It’s a natural progression, a natural change, a shift in attitudes that has created a demand. If anyone has ever read ‘The Tipping Point‘ you will understand that Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” The book seeks to explain and describe the “mysterious” sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do.“
I have found myself amongst very good company of some great ‘Farewell Innovators’ – The Fantastic Funeral Company, Phoenix Diamonds, Much Loved, The Good Funeral Guide, Colourful Coffins, Volkswagen Funerals, funeral celebrants, My Last Song, The Natural Death Centre, Heavens Above Fireworks and OneLife Ceremonies to name a few (sorry if I’ve forgotten you on here, feel free to reply to the blog and give me a cyber slap for forgetting you!)
There is now an abundance of resources available to the consumer there are so many new products available that there are books and even websites showing you just a handful of the products out on the market today such as Funeral Inspirations who have a clean website offering a choice of products. The Transitus Resource List have a PDF full of their network of funeral innovators, and then there is The Good Funeral Guide which offers not just a blog and websites full of information and advice and help but also a book too!!!
So signing off today, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who has taken the plunge and set up unique business in the farewell, funeral and memorial industry (both in the UK and to those of you in the USA) You are all the reason why this industry is now at a very positive Tipping Point.
Thursday 9th September 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 3 comments
I really want to enjoy the concept of this new interactive website that is here to change the way we think about death, BUT my life is busy and my attention span to websites is very limited when I have to wait for all this stuff to load . All the beautiful flash animations and graphics in the world don’t win me over if I can’t access the information I’m looking for in the short few minuets I have to spare…
Its ashame – because the bit of information I did managed to acess from the About Us page drew me in. I like the tone, I like what they are saying, I like the concept…” here’s an extract from their About Us page:
It’s no big secret that Death has a bad rep. It is after all the End-of-Life. Boo-hoo.
But now, Death is being re-branded with a new image and attitude.
All this to try and change your mind about this whole Death & Dying thing.
We’re not, of course, suggesting you hasten the process along in any way – let’s be clear about that.
Instead we’re talking about making every bit of your Life Before Death more meaningful to you and the people you hang around with.
Whatever way you choose to journey the years, months, weeks or days before the End, we’re here to open up a world of possibilities for you.
Carpe Diem. Grab the bull by the horns. Live Life. Get the picture?
So do me a favour – check this site out, let me know what you think… Let them know what you think
Friday 20th August 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 4 comments
I love this poem, its beautiful and simple and hard hitting. I’d like to share it with you so when you have time with your family this weekend you can remember to slow down and take a little more time… because when we are so consumed with being busy and stressed out we forget to appreciate the moments that really matter.
Have a lovely weekend everyone xx
If I Knew / Tomorrow never comes
by Norma Cornett Marek
If I knew it would be the last time
that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say “I love you,”
instead of assuming you would know I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
And we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say “I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our “Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day,
That you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
And you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you’ll always hold them dear
Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Thank you,”
“Please forgive me,” or “It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.
Thursday 19th August 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 5 comments
Once upon a time a wise old man asked me to do him a favour and my response was “I’ll do it tomorrow”, the wise old man responded in a low knowing tone “Louise, tomorrow never comes” …
OK, lets be honest. That old man was my old man! The conversation revolved around me tidying my bedroom and like most 15 year olds, I’d do anything other than tidy my bedroom!
At my wedding some 9 years later, my dad informed me (and the 150 guests in the room) that for years he used to pick all my underwear off my bedroom floor and throw it into a bin bag in the garages. He’d always planned on giving me the bin bag of underwear back, but he was bemused that after years I’d never asked where all my stuff was going! It seemed my diminishing wardrobe was something I just seemed to accept, maybe I just thought the washing machine had eaten them or maybe I just couldn’t be bothered to go looking for them!
So on my wedding day at the ripe old age of 24, my dad sent me on my way to a new life with a very good lesson… Procrastination has consequences. (and pick your shit up or you’ll lose it!!)
Come on then, own up, how many of you have got a pile of ‘stuff’ that needs sorting, a box of photos that are sat under the stairs, a box of old videos that you fully intend to sort out, a drawn full of ‘stuff’ and box’s of ‘things’ the kids made that you don’t really want but just cant throw away?
The art of procrastination is deep within most people, and its not just the mundane boring things like cleaning the cutlery drawer that we put off until tomorrow, It’s the important things too – things that if never done will have some very sad consequences (sorting and backing up photos, organising the old videos and documenting family history, etc).
We often only see the mountain, therefore we don’t even attempt to start chipping away – why not?
How many people do you know that say they’re going to do something important and meaningful such as…
- Calling an old friend
- Going to see Auntie Agatha (the last remaining relative on their Grandmothers side) to find out some family history.
- Sitting their mum down and getting her to write down all the people in the family photo from 1960
- Chasing an old friend for the video they took at their wedding
- Giving an old friend some photos they’ve been asking for for 5 years
- Getting a copy of a photo of their best friend from when they were 10 years old
- Organising their photos into albums
- Putting all their videos together and sending them off to be them edited and transferred into watchable digital footage.
- Writing letters and stories to their children
… but never quite get round to it! Then all of a sudden someone close dies and well, bugger.. now its too late!?
Even super women like myself *chuckle chukle* always have an excuse of why we’ve not done tasks, after all I’ve not updated my blog for nearly 2 weeks *tut tut tut* and my excuse is ” I’ve just had a baby and I’m still running a business” … But isn’t there always an excuse?
Today, please take away a bit of advise:
1) Imagine having done all those things you mean to have done – how would you feel?
2) Start a project - If you popped your clogs tomorrow at least your kids would have an idea of what those 100 photos are of even if they don’t know what the other 2,000 are!
3) Back up back up back up. It takes few seconds everyday to back up your files – if you don’t have an external hard dive buy one – from Amazon
4) Use digital photo sites like picasa
5) Share videos and photos from friends using dropbox
6) Start working on memory books and digital photo albums – if you want hassle free, high end, professionally organised, designed and printed memory books then on then come us Sentiment Ltd – or if you want to do it yourself then try photobox and snapfish
7) Send all your old video and cine film to be transfered - you can use digital copycat or come to us at Sentiment Ltd to edit all the best bits with music and interviews to make something truly special
9) Phone your aunt for that long awaited chat – you may learn somthing and make her very happy in the process.
10) Tell someone you love them.
So whats your plan? what are you going to do with all this ‘stuff’? Has tomorrow finally arrived?
Wednesday 7th July 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 2 comments
So I’m back down to earth and getting into the groove of juggling business, baby, family and everything else that we call ‘life!
Sentiment was busy while I was away, with funerals being filmed and memorial photo sideshows being edited to a superb standard. Also the Sentiment-Productions division was busy with show reels, wedding edits, birthday gifts and memory books. So I would like this opportunity to say thank you my team for holding the fort while I was away and thank you to those clients and well wishers for the cards, flowers and gifts.
So I’m back down to earth and in true tradition have a Spotify Play List to go with my ramblings!
With all thats being going on I think about how Lucky I am, some of you maybe aware that we actually thought we had lost Arabella when she was born, had it not been for something guiding us to being checked out by a midwife a few hours before I went into labour both myself and Arabella may well have died.
Awareness of death gives us a greater appreciation of living today and empathy for those who are suffering and struggling with their own grief and loss.
If you only really have trivial problems in life – smile and pivot those negative feelings and see the wonderful gift of life – for its it very very short and ever so precious.
here is my own personal ‘Celebration of Life play list‘ I listen to it a lot, it keeps me grateful.’
Tuesday 29th June 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 10 comments
We took a couple of weeks off from work after Arabella was born and headed to Glastonbury festival with my husband Harry, daughter Constance Avalon, and our new born baby daughter Arabella Leah. (not forgetting our 20 odd friends and my dad!) ‘mad’ most people called us, especially because I’d had a c-section 5 days before, but for me it was a chance to relax with my family, for Connie it was time to dance, have fun and be free, for my husband it was a chance to unwind and have a few beers with his friends and for baby Arabella, well a chance to feel the energy of the life we love .
We were featured on the orange Blog and on channel 5 as Arabella was the youngest festival goer at glastonbury (untill Saturday that is!!!) Another crazy mum came back on site after having her baby (Ruben) who was 2 days old… lets hope we see littel Ruben in the NCT tent in the Kidz field next year and meet his fab folks
We went to Arabellas Bridge, after all Arabella is named after the famous Arabella Churchill . We also took Connies ‘anual’ photo at the Avalon field (her middle name is Avalon after the Glastonbury fields of Avalon – Yes we love glasto that much that we name our kids after the fields!!! Next child is due to be called Arcadia or maybe Trash City !!!! :O)
The whole 5 days Arabella never cried, she just took it all in, slept and fed… she just seemed to kick back and enjoyed the energy of the best festival in the world.
I was well looked after by the Radical Midwives in the Healing fields, who would check my scar and check Arabella over. On our walks though the Greenfields I was always give a stern warning from Liz (The Greenfields co-ordinator) to take care and not walk too far :O)
The sun was hot hot hot hot, so we would have to get up early to ensure we found shade for the midday sun, this meant we had to miss a few bands, but it also meant we had no other option other than have time to relax (which was great for me after my operation) so we spent a few days in the Greenfields under the shade watching the world go by, chatting and hanging out with our friends, people watching, eating wonderful fresh organic food and drinking healthy smoothies and consuming a fair amount of ice-cream!!!
Tuesday 11th May 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, No comments
Here we go with this weeks installment of Music for the Soul part 6
This is part of 10 play lists compiled by Sentiment staff, Sentiment clients, our social network (twitter and facebook) and friends and family from all ages, generations and walks of life.
Perfect songs for everyone – be it funerals, bereavement, or just thinking about life.
If you would like to view the play lists 1- 6 please view the links through the Sentiment blog
for those who don’t have spotify here is a copy the track listing