By Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020 Inspire Kindness,

Life Story


A life remembered

It doesn't seem enough to come away from a funeral ceremony for a person you have known and loved for years - maybe even the whole of your life - with nothing but a flimsy order of service booklet to remember them by. A photograph, a name and two dates. Is that really it? As Linda Ellis has written in her poem The Dash, what matters most is 'the dash between those years' - the precious memories and funny stories that can bring us so much comfort as we grieve. 

Your funeral ceremony there whenever you need it

As an independent funeral celebrant, I was told in training to always print out a copy of the full funeral script to give to my families as a record. I experimented with different ways to present and bind these scripts and I started to make paperback books for all my clients - trying to create unique designs to reflect the individual tastes of the people we were honouring.

I started to get wonderful feedback from my clients - who loved having the opportunity to go back to read through the eulogy, tributes and words of all the music and readings weeks or months after the funeral when they felt more able to take everything in. Many families also told me they'd given their spare copies of the books to family members who hadn't been able to attend the ceremony in person.


I still make these books for all my funeral clients but I've recently started to offer the service to other bereaved families too - for example those who live too far away to use me as their celebrant or chose to have a religious ceremony. 

A life story in miniature

Some clients don't want their book to contain a funeral script but rather they want an extended eulogy - like a mini biography. Indeed other families have asked me to create these books for beloved relatives who are still living - to meet them and gather their life stories when they are still alive so they can receive their life story book as a special present. The books can also include illustrations and photographs - and can create a wonderful memory aid for people living with dementia - either to recall their own life story or remember a loved one. 

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Life story book prices

I offer two different price options for life story books, depending on whether you'll be sending me the text ready for me to turn it into a book or whether you would like me to write your loved one's life story for you. 

Option A - £45

(a unique hand-bound book, made with your text)

A completely bespoke A5 paperback book containing the life story of your loved one - or the full script of their funeral/memorial ceremony. You provide the words; I provide a full editing and design service and then hand-bind the book using luxury card and paper.  Your finished book will arrive beautifully presented in a hand-finished kraft gift box and this price includes postage to anywhere in mainland UK.

Every book I make is a one-off design and when you order I'll gather detailed information about your tastes and preferences so that I can create something unique and beautiful just for you. 

You also need to send me across your text as a Word document. (It can be up to 5000 words long - so you'll have plenty of space to include song lyrics, poems, quotes and every detail that's important to you.) 

Additional copies after the first are £7.50 each 

(because the bulk of my work is in the design phase)

If you would like to include colour photos throughout your book (up to 25 images),

the price is £65 and £12.50 for each additional copy after the first.  

Option B - £285

(a full life story writing and artisan publishing service)

I will spend time with you and key members of your family - either through face-to-face meetings, if you're local to me, or otherwise through phone calls, video calls and/or emails - to gather all the information I need to tell your loved one's life story in just the way you want.


Through gentle interviewing and questionnaires, I'll find out the stories that matter the most to you and re-tell them in a way that captures the individuality of your loved one's character and the mood and style that reflects your family's quirks and preferences.


If your loved one is still alive, I will do all I can to involve them in the process and to help them to record their memories to share with you.  With professional experience both as a funeral celebrant and, previously, as a BBC Radio 4 producer, and with significant personal experience of my own family members living dementia, I will give your loved one the time they need to share their memories at their own pace and in their own way. 

Once I've written the first draft of your life story, I'll send it to you so that you and your family members can read through it to check for errors and suggest amendments. You'll be in control every step of the way. Finished life stories tend to range from 1000 to 5000 words - depending on your choices and how much information you're able to give me.


You'll receive five copies of your book once it's finished.

Additional copies are £7.50 each.

If you would like to include colour photos throughout your book (up to 25 images),

the price is £300 and £12.50 for each additional copy after the first five.  

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Order now

If you'd like to order a life story book, please give me a call on 07792 959586 so we can talk through your requirements.


Alternatively, you can email and I'll send you through an order form and information about how to pay.