Empathetic, individual & unique
My name is Jessika Hulbert. I am an independent Funeral Celebrant based on the Kent and Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells.
Meeting Jessika was the difference between becoming over whelmed with sorrow and things to do, but not knowing where to start, to arriving at the day of the Service with tears and sadness but also such confidence that 'it would all be ok".
Jessika has an ease alongside such tenacity to understand each unique and different requirement, offering gentle guidance where needed.
My mum asked to meet Jessica knowing she was never getting better. She wanted input into her own funeral. This was an unusual request but Jessica did not shy away and I feel so grateful that not only was the request accepted, Jessika listened with an open mind to deliver a service that was exactly as we hoped and more. It was a beautiful and accurate tribute.
Several people have since said it was one of the most beautiful services they had been to.
Using the words once again my mum quoted...With deep gratitude, I thank you Jessika
From our very first meeting, Jessika was warm and friendly and respectfully asked relevant questions so that she could fully understand our family, our dad, and what we wanted for his funeral.
Jessika offered us some lovely ideas and gently guided us in putting together a funeral service that fully reflected dad and his qualities. Her ideas such as asking the grandchildren to supply some of their childhood memories and incorporating that within the service particularly resonated with those who had joined us to celebrate dads life with us.
On the day itself, Jessika was friendly, calm and professional, delivering a poignant and touching service. At the funeral reception one lady told her husband that if she should pass soon, she would like Jessika to preside over her service and many others immediately agreed. Other people commented that “it was the nicest funeral (they) had ever attended”.
We were truly blessed to have Jessika with us on our journey.
With thanks from the family.
Hi Jess, Thank you so much for such a warm and emotional tribute to Dad yesterday.
Your guidance and time spent listening to us gave us a service that exceeded all expectations. So many people asked afterwards how you knew Vic, testament indeed to job exceedingly well done.
It was a pleasure to have crossed paths with you, I wish you well on behalf of all of the family.
How do you plan a funeral when you’re so consumed with grief that nothing stays in your brain?
Jess was an absolute rock , she guided my mum, sister and myself through the entire process. Jess got to know dad through our conversations, she was kind, supportive, creative and thoughtful at all times both in person and over the phone or email.
The day came and we had the best funeral for dad, he would have ( hopefully did) love it. It may not have been the most conventional send off but then we’re not the most conventional family.
Jess took our thoughts and turned something so difficult to deal with into the most wonderfully memorable day. Nothing was rushed or overlooked, everyone mattered.
Our friends and relatives all commented on how brilliant Jess had been and how much they’d enjoyed the ceremony, my aunt has even changed her own funeral plans as she was so impressed with the day.
Thanks Jess, this wouldn’t have happened without you, your ideas and your brilliant way with words and people. You gave dad the farewell he deserved.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my mums day so special.
You will always be in our hearts as the kind lady that spoke about mum with great love.
She would have been so proud of the way you spoke about her and would have had a tear or two, a few less than me.
Thank you for popping in yesterday, again mum would have loved that.
I hope you had a sherry last night.
With all our love and best wishes
Gillian and Mark"
Where do I start…..?
A week has passed since mum’s service, and it will stay in our memories forever.
We cannot thank you enough for how you conducted the whole service and put us all at ease when we all paid tribute to an extraordinary person. Your reading of my sister’s poem was just so moving.
Everyone who attended, including those who attended virtually, commented on how beautiful and personal the service was. Even the people who had not had the privilege to meet mum said they got to know her on the day.
We all feel privileged to have met you, and I know mum would have loved to have met you in person. It felt like you were a member of our family!
Thank you again.
On behalf of our family I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you very much for your kindness and empathy as you lead us through Dad's service.
It was exactly as we had hoped and your gentle approach made the day much more bearable. We all felt that you were able to reflect dad's desire to help others along with his rather unique sense of humour and your support both on and before the day was invaluable to us as a family.
We all came away feeling that dads send off was one that he would have approved of, whilst naturally hating the fact that he was the centre of attention! and in the words of his granddaughter, we only have happy memories.
Thank you once again
Nic, Bib, Val
Jessika was the celebrant for my father’s recent celebration before cremation.
From our first face to face conversation, to the conclusion of the event, my stepmother and I knew we were in safe hands.
Jessika’s compassion and kindness, good humour and attention to detail was exemplary. She took copious notes about my father and his life and was so careful to pitch her words and demeanour in just the right way.
I can pay her no higher compliment than to say that my father would have said, “ a job very well done”.
Thank you very much for guiding us as we said our “goodbye”’s.
Hey Jess, I hope you don’t mind me messaging you. I just wanted to wish you a 'Happy new year' and thank you for the service you gave at our wonderful mums funeral.
We were all thrilled that it all came together beautifully. You are amazing at your job, and a beautiful person inside, and out. Many thanks to you, and Boormans. for all you did for us, as a family.
Will always be grateful. Best wishes for 2022.
Thank you so much for a beautiful, meaningful and dignified service. Everyone who attended was moved; what a spiritual experience for us all. M texted me yesterday evening to say he was 'bowled over' by how well it all went.
As I already mentioned, I truly believe it was meant to be that you conducted R's service because I believe all things happen for a reason. You blessed our lives yesterday.
Our grateful thanks and loving warm wishes.
"Jessika showed nothing but the utmost understanding, compassion and consideration in the planning and preparation of our service. Her dedication and thoughtfulness shone through from our first meeting to the funeral service.
She gave me a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold when required and knew how to manage an emotional day. Through our words and memories Jessika came to know XXX and I believe this is why friends and family all commented on her professionalism and the grace of the service.
Jessika will always hold a special place with our family and our eternal gratitude for her exemplary care of all aspects of the work required on the day."
"Jessika conducted the ceremony in the most beautiful and fluid way, her communication and involvement with the family was beyond par. She managed to collate, mould & deliver a service which personified my Uncle to the T.
It was the first spiritual but non religious funeral I had been to and she really did not miss a beat, I would have her as the conclusion for every family member and friend. Thank you Jessika. You make your vocation shimmer akin to an Art-form.
Bless you Pete"
I just wanted to write and say on behalf of our family that we are so grateful that you led the celebration today. So many people thought you were a friend of the family and knew mum; such was the warmth with which you delivered the eulogy. To say you made the service is honestly not an understatement. You really did. It was perfect.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank you for every extra touch - from directing comments to camera at the appropriate time, to the humour of the step! Thank you for your gifts for Ford and kind words in the card You really were outstanding and made it the very special celebration we hoped for.
"From our first meeting with Jessika, my brother and I knew we were in safe hands. You have to feel relaxed with someone to be confident to discuss something as precious as your deceased mother's life. Jessika instantly put us at ease. She spent a lot of time making sure she had all the facts to produce the perfect eulogy. She also guided us through the difficult choices involved with choosing music, poems and photographic tributes. The result was a beautiful service, which was in all aspects personal, intimate and dignified. Despite the constrictions of Covid 19, we were very pleased that our Mum had the send-off she deserved. Thank you so much."
"Dear Jessika, We really cannot thank you enough for yesterday.
You delivered the service beautifully and with such kindness and compassion. My Mum said the moment she first met you to discuss arrangements she immediately felt at ease with you. She also said that Dad would have got on very well with you too.
All of the people who attended both in person and on-line all commented how professionally you worked and that you made what could have been a very traumatic event a special celebration of my Dad's life. Your attention to detail and your constant eye contact kept us all engaged.
Many of those who attended said that it was one of the loveliest services they had ever been to.
We now have to rebuild our lives and make new memories, but we are so grateful that we can be proud that we gave Dad a send off that he would have loved.
Thank you again for all your support."
"We feel so blessed that Jessika was the celebrant for our brother’s funeral. She took so much trouble to find out about him and understand the person he was underneath his troubled life. She is a brilliant guide through the decisions you have to make at such a difficult time and she was so kind and thoughtful about everything.
She made the funeral itself really special, both because of her great ideas for the service and her lovely presence.
I feel like the process of working with her has helped me in my grief in a way I never thought it would, and my sister feels the same."
Dear Jess, Thank you very much for everything you did yesterday and over the past two weeks to make it such a special and appropriate occasion. I really am very grateful to you.
I very much it appreciated the care and sensitivity that you showed us. You knew exactly when to provide us with the guidance we needed and exactly when to step back and let us make our own choices. You also made a huge effort to understand Dad and what he meant to us, and that came out very clearly during the service. It made a great difference to us all to feel that you were with us, and part of our family, at such a significant time. It can’t be at all easy when you haven’t known the person whose funeral it is and the first time you meet the family is at the service.
We feel that we gave Dad exactly the send-off that he would have wanted, and that we wanted. You were a very important part of us being able to do so.
I don’t know if we will be in touch again, but I really do want you to know that the connection that we have had with you over the last two weeks has made a huge difference to us and is something that I will remember and cherish for a very long time.
With every good wish.
"Dear Jess, I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness, love, compassion and warmth you gave me and my family upon the passing of my dad. You helped at the most impossibly difficult time and I am so very grateful to you. I am so happy that I found you at this time.
You warmed my heart by wanting to get to know my dad - my real dear dad, the very essence of him, this made the heartbreaking job of arranging his funeral much easier for me to deal with. It also allowed me to open up completely and not hide in any way how I felt and thus it freed me somehow. I also know that my dad would have instantly liked you too and that gave me much comfort.
You made it clear that you were there for me any time before the funeral and nothing was too much. Again, so grateful for this. Along with the above, on the day your professionalism shone through for all to see. You did my dad and my family proud. Again, thank you so very much Jess.
So much love always, Lara”
"I wanted to thank you for doing your job so perfectly for us yesterday and conducting our service for Dad so beautifully. We felt in safe hands with you and we knew you would do your very best to make it run smoothly. Your advice to us about the service was invaluable. It was a very sad and tough day, but very necessary for us all to go through. All of us are faced with such difficult restrictions at times like this due to the virus, but somehow I think we managed to give Dad a service he would have been proud of. As said in my words yesterday, going forward without him now feels impossible, but somehow we must and we will. I am so glad you have chosen to be a Celebrant, as you do it so well, with such care and respect."
Jess – “Asante Sana” – Thank you very much!
Your kind, considerate, professionalism made what seemed a totally uphill task at the start, a completely “painless” process. In spite of the current Covid restrictions, everything went extremely well on the day and so far we have had glowing reports from Auckland, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Holland, the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Great Barrier Reef, who all thought that you did an excellent job and gave a fitting goodbye to a much loved sister, mother, aunt and grandmother.
"Jessika, just to say a huge thank you for such a lovely service today. It was very emotional for us watching, but very special. Thank you for your guidance, patience and understanding. You can't imagine how much it helped."
"Thank you so very much for taking Dad’s service. It was very personal and moving, but also dignified and really captured his essence."
"Jess was a fantastic celebrant for my fathers funeral. She was poised and professional throughout, made sure that she kept in contact throughout the planning process and was such a lovely, kind person to see on such a sad day. I am in no doubt that my father would have loved the service she conducted. We picked the right person for the job! Jess made the whole process so easy and what she said on the day summed him up perfectly. She’d made sure everything she said was correct, treated us all with such kindness and nothing was too much trouble. All I can say is, thank you Jess for being the celebrant for my fathers funeral, it was absolutely beautiful.
Thank you so much."
"I wanted to email you to say a massive thank you for the most beautiful service today, everyone thought it was lovely and you were lovely. I had a few people come up to me and say that you did the best service they have ever been to. My children thought you were adorable. It was so uplifting to meet you today, you have such an aura of gracefulness and pure sophistication, a pleasure to be around. I am going through a divorce and to meet inspiring people like yourself brings back the true essence of life."
by Anni Townend...
In this episode of 'Leaders in Conversation' I talk with the wonderful Jessika Hulbert. Jessika is a Celebrant, she is passionate about ceremony, about creating spaces and places in which people can celebrate important events in their lives from birth through to death and ‘everything in between’.
Tap the image to be taken to Anni's page where you can listen to the podcast.