When we were told we “must stay at home” in March, like many of us I had no idea what lockdown really meant and how it would change my life.

My 30 years in the airline industry would come to an abrupt end, and when Boris broadcast his announcement I didn’t know I had crewed my last flight – luckily it was on my favourite aircraft, the Boeing 747 and returning from one of my favourite destinations – New York. I still wonder whether I would have preferred to have realised at the time…. but I will never know !  Consequently, it was time to look forward and embrace a new beginning. Luckily, the time was right for me to embark on pastures new.

Change took place for me at a rapid rate whilst lockdown enforced me to be static – a very strange pairing. Seizing my newly found spare time, I took the plunge to study online for a career which I had thought about for a while but wasn’t expecting to start for a few years. I studied with the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants and I am now a fully trained Independent Celebrant.   I specialise in wedding celebrations, handfastings, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies, funerals and life memorial services.   I also do pet funerals and house blessings.

It has been so interesting to use transferable skills, some I didn’t realise I had and how they helped me to drive forward a totally new direction in my working life. With weddings being mostly postponed currently, the majority of my bookings have been funeral services. I’ve found it an honour and a privilege to help the families and friends during their most difficult times with the loss of their loved one, often in challenging circumstances due to the current crisis. 

Studying someone’s life and their effect on those they have left behind has been such a positive experience in my life and reaffirmed to me the value of grasping every opportunity you can. We will never forget 2020. For me, the paths it has taken me down have shown me some good, new and exciting times ahead.  I loved my airline career and couldn’t imagine anything better but with this new direction I haven’t looked back. 



Emma Jane Reed 07920 005629

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