Photo | Funeral Celebrant, Emily Karp
Inverness Ridge Rd
PotomacMD 20854
United States
[email protected]

My ceremonies provide comfort & honor the truth of exactly who your loved one was, without referencing an afterlife. I've faced difficult losses (suicides, murder, estranged relative, and more) while being a non-believer. As a result, I have firsthand experience in navigating deaths that were devastating, "unfathomable", shocking, and difficult to talk about. I became certified as a Life-Cycle Celebrant® because I understand how vital it is that losses be processed at a Celebration of Life ceremony that brings (an often traumatized) community together and helps provide a small amount of comfort and to start a journey towards processing a loss, no matter what type of loss it is.

“The weird, weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on. When you're faced with a tragedy, a loss so huge that you have no idea how you can live through it, somehow, the world keeps turning, the seconds keep ticking.” ― James Patterson

Every non-religious client deserves the option to have a ceremony that fully honors and celebrates the life of their loved one without references to any beliefs they don’t hold. Many celebrants are highly spiritual, but I am not and my specialty is having emotionally poignant ceremonies that stay grounded in what non-religious clients actually believe about death. Thanks to the intensive training I underwent, I am skilled in using language in a soul-sketch that is poetic and lyrical without being spiritual, and captures the essence of who the person was within a brief eulogy. 

The family works closely with me. We come up with fitting readings, music the honoree loved and that works for the tone of the event. We discuss unique symbolism and invented rituals which are highly specific to your loved one's story. I interview as many family members and friends as necessary to get a complete picture of who your loved one was and then capture that essence in a short eulogy. As many loved ones as wish to are also welcome to speak at the event. A great privilege of this work is how I am given the chance to get to know your loved one's personality and life story, despite never having had the opportunity to meet them.

I also (as of 2022) have been editing videos for 16 years, and use that experience now towards editing Memorial Slideshows for clients. I am happy to edit a memorial slideshow for anyone regardless of geographic location. These Life Tribute Videos can be so much more time consuming and emotionally difficult to make in the short time frame between the death and some funeral ceremonies, even if there is a family member who is technologically savvy and willing to volunteer their time towards this cause. Sometimes, hiring someone else to put one together saves people staying up all night the night before the funeral. I offer options of many small, special touches to elevate these slideshows as well. See my website for the details.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ― Winnie the Pooh