Please could you tell me a bit about Joanne?
Our wonderful Joanne was truly the best Mum, Wife, Sister, Aunty, Grandmother, Daughter and friend we could have ever hoped for, in every single way and nothing is the same without her. She was so incredibly kind-hearted, always put others first and cared so deeply for everyone - she really had a heart of gold, like no other. Everyone who ever met her would always say she was the best cook, baker, host and created the most amazing family and friends events, dinners, celebrations, and everything else in between. She always knew what to say, gave us the best advice and guidance throughout our lives, that we will always carry with us, and loved us all unconditionally and so deeply. She was adored and loved by everyone who met her and the world was definitely a brighter place with her in it.
How did you find out about Hand in Hand?
We found Hand in Hand by conducting a google search for natural burials and natural funerals in the York area. We were not disappointed and chose Hand in Hand almost as soon as we had found them. We knew right away that Hand in Hand were the right people for our darling mum and wife.
Why did you choose Hand in Hand?
We chose Hand in Hand as their care and compassion was evident from the moment we opened their website. Hand in Hand’s ethos, person-centred, and holistic approach to the end of an individual’s life is none that we had come across previously. We felt instantly connected to Kerry before we even had chance to meet her and we knew she/Hand in Hand, were the perfect people to help us say farewell to our mum and wife.
What choices did you make to personalise Joanne's ceremony?
From the very first contact with Kerry, she did everything she could to make our mum and wife’s day perfect, and to capture the true essence of the wife, mum, grandma, daughter, sister, aunty and friend she was.
Kerry helped us to arrange a natural burial for our Joanne in the most beautiful English, wildflower meadow and she helped us to pick a wicker casket for mum to rest in.
Kerry put us in touch with a beautiful, local florist who created a stunning posy of wildflowers and David Austin roses.
Kerry arranged for the celebration of our mum and wife to be led by us rather than a formal funeral celebrant who didn’t know our Joanne.
Kerry put us in touch with a local catering business who were able to create a delicious High Tea in memory of our mum and wife.
Even though this was the most heartbreaking and difficult day of our lives, Kerry enabled us to celebrate our Mum and Wife with all the things our Joanne loved the most. We couldn’t have had a more perfect farewell. Even the weather was beautiful, although we suspect mum may have had something to do with that! On top of all of this, Kerry goes out of her way to support local and small businesses which shows another aspect of the wonderful person Kerry is.
Regarding Joanne’s day, we held the ceremony at the Southfield Lane Natural Burial Ground in Rufforth. Kerry brought our Joanne with her in a traditional hearse, and we ran the ceremony ourselves, sharing tributes and memories, reflecting, and playing Joanne’s favourite music. We bought wildflower seeds and bee bombs for everyone to sprinkle around Joanne, and everyone was able to take a flower from Joanne’s posy and place it on her casket as we said our final goodbyes.
We held the High Tea, to continue the celebration of Joanne’s life, in our garden – Joanne’s happy place. We decorated the area with warm fairy lights, photo boards of our happy memories together, gazeboes, table and chairs, and together we planted three Silver Birches with wildflower seeds, in honour and memory of our mum and wife.
Please could you say a little about the support Kerry provided during the process?
Kerry is an incredible person. The love, care and support she has shown us, our mum and wife, and all our family, is beyond anything we could ever have imagined. Kerry supported us through the most difficult time and she cared for our mum as if she was her own. Kerry is such a special person, a person filled with warmth, compassion, kindness and love. We feel so very lucky to have met Kerry, and to have had her care for our Joanne. We cannot recommend Kerry highly enough.
Kerry will be in our hearts forever and she made the day we all dreaded, one that was filled with celebration and love. Thank you, Kerry, from the bottom of our hearts. You are one in a billion.
What 3 words would you choose to describe your experience of Hand in Hand?
Describing Hand in Hand in three words seems impossible as we could not have imagined a more perfect day for our mum and wife, Joanne. Hand in Hand provided the most personal, and loving celebration for us. The total costs, we are sure, are the most reasonable in the industry, without any compromise on quality. There are a huge variety of choices based on personal wants/needs (not based on standard/premium packages like most others!); there are no hidden costs; and transparency is provided throughout. Furthermore, Hand in Hand support local businesses and people, and thrive to make the end of an individual’s life just as perfect as the life they lived. They are ethical, fair, loving, compassionate, and supportive. What more could one want for their loved one?
In an attempt to describe Hand in Hand in three words, we would have to go with (*):
(*) There are so many additional, positive words to describe Hand in Hand! We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us and our family. Hand in Hand and Kerry, have been rays of hope and sunshine in our darkest days.
With all our love and hugs to you Kerry,
Georgie, Tony, and Sarah