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In honour of Claudia

Please could you tell me a bit about Claudia?

It’s difficult to know where to start, she was so many things to so many people. 

Colourful. An artist, a creative; ceramicist and teacher of ceramics by profession. Supporter of the underdog; she took great pride, and rightly so, in her work with countless individuals with learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries - quite literally changing lives.

As my mother I have known her to be vulnerable and lacking in confidence, damaged by childhood trauma; but in her studio she shone with kindness, compassion and a gentle authority. This was her home.

I miss her everyday, her unwavering fierce support.

How did you find out about Hand in Hand?

I think perhaps a Google search - I knew I needed an holistic approach and felt drawn towards looking for a wonderful strong woman to take us on our next steps.

Why did you choose Hand in Hand?

Because Kerry was everything I thought I was looking for and much, much more.

An angel sent to me when I needed one the most.

What choices did you make to personalise Claudia's ceremony?

Kerry gently led me through what at first seemed like a overwhelming number of choices; but we managed to get the things in that mum wanted (the blue car) as well as things that made it ‘mum’. Mum loved and celebrated enthusiastically the seasonal changes; and so it was important that her service in autumn reflected the colours and celebration of the changes at this time of year, from the natural wicker casket to the gourds, pumpkins and autumnal flowers and of course the rather splendid Chapel at York Cemetery was just perfect.

Please could you say a little about the support Kerry provided during the process?

Perfect, exactly what I needed. Gentle, tactile, human, and yet powerful and strong - a little like my mum :)

Kerry was there 24/7 always at the end of a text or email; never forcing anything just gently guiding.

What 3 words would you use to describe your experience of Hand in Hand?

An Angel sent.

Can I add that my only regret is that we didn't meet sooner, I would have loved to have known that an end-of-life doula was a ‘thing’. And you would have been just perfect. Mum would have really benefited from your strength and guidance as she crossed from this journey to the next