My father passed away in March 2009. It was the first death in my immediate family, and my father had not left any specific instructions about his funeral arrangements. Although my father was conservative, my family never had any long-standing rituals or traditions. We needed someone to guide us through a memorial service that would be dignified, and reflect my family’s values, without the customary funeral parlour or church service.
Through a recommendation, I chose to meet with Stephanie Côté of Voluntas Commemoration Inc. When I first met Stephanie, I was immediately struck by her kindness, warmth and compassion. She listened patiently to our needs and helped us to create a memorial service that reflected perfectly who we are as a family, and how we felt about my father.
Voluntas Commemoration offered us services for all our needs, from the moment that my father died, through the closing of his estate, always taking into account our specific needs and wishes.
Stephanie gently guided my family to create a very personal and loving memorial ceremony for my father. We held his memorial at La Maison Tresler, a historic house in Vaudreuil that my father would have loved. Stephanie is extremely professional, down to the smallest detail. Stephanie also arranged to have Kerry-Anne Kutz preside at the memorial. Kerry-Anne read poetry and sang songs we had chosen. After the memorial, many people approached me to say how refreshing and enjoyable the service was; how they felt it was a true celebration of my father’s life.
My father’s burial at the National Field of Honour in Pointe-Claire was extremely reverent and moving. A bagpiper led the procession with traditional music from Nova Scotia, my father’s birth province. My sister carried my father’s urn during the procession, and at the graveside Stephanie read poetry that the family had selected. Then while the piper played, Stephanie invited my brother and me to lower my father’s urn into the ground. It was a beautiful ceremony that I think of regularly with fondness and pride.
I am deeply indebted to Stephanie for helping us successfully celebrate my father’s life. If you require Stephanie’s services, either traditional or uniquely tailored, I recommend that you meet with Stephanie and make up your mind for yourself.