Who Would You Be Hiring?

My name is Emily Karp, and I am the certified Life-Cycle Celebrant® and experienced video editor who founded Grief Pictured, LLC. I am qualified to craft a goodbye to your loved one that reflects who they were as a person, and I do so with the utmost care and respect.

My name is Emily Karp and I founded Grief Pictured, LLC because I know how important a well-done funeral is for processing grief and feeling some sense of closure. I would love to assist you in honoring the life of someone very dear to you. Through the personalized ceremonies I offer, I provide a safe space that allows mourners to cry, share memories, and authentically celebrate who their loved one was. 

I also draw upon my video editing expertise and knowledge of how to use artistic video effects in order to produce life tribute videos, which memorialize the individual through photographs and other media if desired (e.g. if you have video footage or recordings of their voice). These memorial videos emotionally resonate with a power beyond words alone. 

My experience spans over 17 years of video editing, as well as receiving formal education through a six-month intensive program at the Celebrant Foundation & Institute to become certified as a Life-Cycle Celebrant®.  I feel that I am well-equipped to assist you in creating a holistic, cohesive ceremony that accurately represents how loved this person was, captures what they brought to the world, and bids them farewell in a beautiful way. 

I also happen to identify with multiple LGBTQ+ identities. I myself am not straight, but I am a cis woman and my own pronouns are she/her. For nearly a decade, I have engaged in multiple types of activism about my own specific LGBTQ+ identities, including educational work, community organizing, and more, and I am still an active participant in these communities. I am extremely familiar with the importance of chosen names and using the correct pronouns for nonbinary and trans individuals. I know this can at times be very relevant when planning someone’s Celebration of Life event. 

I am also disability- and social justice-conscious and educated. If there are accommodations needed for any particular ceremony, I will work with you to ensure these considerations are prioritized.

My Story

I understand what it’s like to go through traumatic loss as a non-religious individual who does not believe I’ll be reunited with the person in an afterlife. I also know how important a well-crafted memorial ceremony is in providing comfort, connection with others mourning the same person, and insight into how to move forward while carrying this huge loss. 

My father’s side of the family is Jewish, and my mother raised me Catholic. I left behind my religious upbringing and started spending time in atheist community spaces when I was 20 years old. Through these communities, I learned about how secular celebrants are a non-religious option when one needs a wedding, funeral, or other type of ceremony crafted and officiated. 

It made perfect sense to me that for people who are non-religious, we needed an option for our significant life events—an option that doesn’t incorporate religious beliefs that we do not hold. Of course, for us, entirely secular ceremonies are more powerful, meaningful, and comforting than any ceremony tied to a religion would be, and if the person who died was non-religious, secular ceremonies would be the most authentic way to honor how they actually lived their life. 

As someone who has gone through the personal loss of friends and family members, I can relate to what you may be going through. My experiences have given me a better first-hand understanding of bereavement, as well as what is healing and comforting in the aftermath. 

I had attended eight funerals for the deaths of people in my life before I turned 30, most notably: the suicide of a very beloved uncle of mine; a horrific murder-suicide involving a close friend and colleague of mine; the death of my mother from whom I’d been estranged for years; and the loss of the grandmother who helped raise me. The first memorial slideshow video I edited was for my own mother after she passed away when I was 29 years old.

I have spent a lot of time in secular grief support spaces over the past decade. I observed a wide array of bereavement experiences, and began learning from these people and gaining wisdom secondhand through accounts from individuals grieving the deaths of their children, spouses, parents, siblings, close friends, and others in their lives.

I witnessed other people going through the intermingled grief and trauma of shocking deaths, as well as individuals experiencing the conclusions to their loved ones’ terminal illness journeys. I began to educate myself on anticipatory grief, disenfranchised grief, and clinical complicated grief. I became intimately familiar with grief and loss, full of insights and knowledge I never would have expected to possess while still only in my twenties.

My Mission

All of these deaths of people close to me influenced me deeply and led me to become passionate about helping others who have experienced loss. Becoming a secular funeral celebrant was the most fulfilling career I could imagine for myself, especially after realizing how much more difficult it was to process the losses in my life when the person was not properly honored and was not the focus of their own funeral. Funerals that are not about the life that was lived make it feel like the person’s life didn’t even matter. Conversely, I have felt how comforting it was to attend skillfully crafted events that truly celebrated the person’s life. I understand the weight of entrusting me with this responsibility. I always keep my focus on how important it is to do this person’s life story justice. 

I began the process of launching Grief Pictured as a way to pursue my dream career where I help ensure each life story is honored in the way the person deserved. I dedicate my life to providing comfort for others, and I want to do the same for you. I’m here to make the grieving process a bit easier through the closure of a ceremony.

I am committed to honoring people’s life stories authentically and powerfully. If you hire me as your celebrant, I will design a ceremony that highlights your loved one’s personality and what they would have wanted to be remembered for. 

It is a true privilege for me to get a glimpse into the life story of your loved one even after they are gone. The thorough family interview I conduct enables me to learn so much about this unique person. I also end up with an even deeper sense of who your loved one was when I’m hired to sift through cherished photographs and invest time and energy into editing the emotional memorial slideshow. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I feel fortunate to see this person’s smile throughout snapshots of their life.  

My Experience of Being A Memorial Slideshow Editor

If the only service of mine you need is to edit a memorial slideshow for you, that’s not a problem at all. I am here to assist where and how I am needed. I will be able to have a much faster turnaround time for the slideshow than if I were responsible for the entire ceremony, and it truly feels like my honor to create this life tribute video of photographs set to music. For years to come, you will be able to revisit and look back on so many memories and smiles contained within the slideshow. I know how often I personally have replayed the slideshow for one of my own loved ones, and I greatly appreciate how with just one click of a button I am afforded the opportunity to see the best photographs taken throughout this person’s entire life. 

When you entrust me to edit your loved one’s slideshow, I ensure the best possible visual experience by utilizing pacing and visual effects in a delicate and deliberate way, approaching it one photograph at a time, and considering heavily the tone and tempo of the music chosen. Additionally, it is so special for attendees of the Celebration of Life event to be introduced to sides of the person they may not have known. Friends and extended family may not have ever met each other before, and the memorial slideshow is able to elucidate aspects of the honoree’s life that otherwise would remain mysterious, especially when I am provided with captions to add into the video which explain who each person is to the deceased. 

The slideshow may only be a few minutes long in the end, but I dedicate hours of my time to each slideshow I edit, and approach each frame of the video with the care and the attention to detail it deserves. This event is important, and so is this slideshow. You always have opportunities with me to provide input and feedback until the final product is precisely as you envisioned and hoped it would be.

Hire Me For A Celebratory Funeral Experience

The celebration of life events I design and the memorial slideshows I create both foster positivity as they authentically honor who your loved one was and what they would have wanted, without you needing to handle the logistics, so that those grieving can find closure through shared memories. I compassionately approach each aspect of the task at hand with the intent of respecting and comforting all members of the audience while celebrating the life and uniqueness of this individual.

I plan and conduct secular funerals without religious overtones so that people can celebrate the life of their loved ones without worrying about feeling excluded, distracted, or uncomfortable at the event. I provide a comforting, safe space for the non-religious while maintaining respect for any religious beliefs held by other family members or friends in the audience.

I am honored to have the opportunity to provide comfort for you and your family, and I look forward to getting started with you. 

Please check out the My Services page for more information on pricing and the packages I can offer. You are also welcome to contact me and let me know you would like to schedule a no-fee consultation phone call with me.