Founder & Stag Guide
"I come with a wealth of experience as an End of Life Practitioner, serving my community for many years, and looking after families before, during and after death.
I live with my grown up family, and a host of pets in the countryside.
I truly believe that everyone should be given respect and dignity throughout their journey and that families are given clarity, time and support when making choices best suited to them.
Lizzie & Holly
Founders of Stag
with gentle hands"
"Hello, we are Lizzie & Holly, founders of Stag Direct Cremations Ltd. We are dear friends who decided to create 'Stag' out of an understanding that not everyone wishes to have a funeral but equally families may be uneasy about the care of the person who has died. Our wonderful team are all highly skilled and most of all are compassionate and genuinely care for each and every person we look after. We understand that not everyone chooses a direct cremation because of cost, although for many this is the driving force, and so we uniquely offer the opportunity to choose various options to make the cremation more personal. We are also only too aware of the need for compassionate bereavement support for people, and so our Stag Guides are all compassionate listeners too.
Holly & Lizzie"
Holly Lyon Hawk
Founder & Stag Guide
"I am a multi-award winning holistic funeral director as well as an end of life practitioner for both people and pets and author of A Gentle Goodbye with Cinnamon the Rabbit, a book for all to help through the difficult time of losing a pet.
I live in the beautiful Kent countryside with our young and energetic Border Collie Shep and my darling son.
I am passionate about supporting families with love and kindness. I believe strongly that families should be given all the options available to them to empower them to be able to choose what is right for them and their family, whatever that may look like.
Michelle - Stag Guide
Hello, my name is Michelle . I’m an End of Life Practitioner in training based in Kent, in the South East of England.
Following my own personal healing journey, I found a passion for holding space for others to feel valued and heard. I worked as a life coach until my experience of supporting family and friends at end of life led me to explore supporting other's at such a sacred time.
Whilst training, I noticed similarities between the End of Life practice and my holistic, person-centred coaching approach, as well as the relevance of my ability to create a real and respectful environment to listen without judgment.
I also found comfort in my own grief and, with a new awareness of the choices around end of life, I felt more at peace with dying and my own death.
In short, I fell in love with the role: amicus mortis – a friend in death.
As your friend in death, I’ll walk alongside you on your journey, as you choose the path that feels right for you, and aligns with your individual needs, values and beliefs. I’ll support and empower you to make your own informed decisions about both how you want to honour and celebrate the person who has died in whatever way you feel is right for you and your loved one.
With love Michelle
Bernadette - Stag Guide
I am Bernadette, Training as a Sacred Passage Death Doula and End of Life Coach a few years back fulfilled a long held wish to be present for people facing death, as well as friends and family dealing with death in any way I can be of service.
I was fortunate to be brought up in a family that had an open and positive way of dealing with death, so grew up being comfortable with this universal life event and transition.
As a founding member of Embracing Life Through Facing Death Collective– an East Kent group of Doula’s I’ve been part of a wonderful team that hold an annual event to explore aspects of death and dying.
I co -create rituals and ceremonies supporting people in marking all manner of significant milestones including death, anniversary of deaths, adoption of children, and other important life transitions. Through ritual and ceremony we can process changes to find meaning and comfort.
Formerly I spent thirty marvellous in Primary Education twelve as a headteacher. Working at the heart of communities with all manner of wonderful people with diverse experiences and views. I bring the love of people that inspired that work, to my work with death and dying, enabling people to feel heard and supported in making informed choices that feel right for them and those they love.
When not working I enjoy being a grandmother, walking my Bedlington Whippet Sam, swimming in cold water and running a meditation group.
Melissa - Stag Guide
Hello everyone, my name is Melissa, here is a short explanation of who I am and how I came to connect with the incredible work that Holly and Lizzie do.
The soul of my beautiful son Gabriel departed on his journey in September 2021, he was just 22. As you can imagine the shock of losing a child is immense and not expected in the normal pattern of a lifeline cut so short.
As a family, right from the start we were gently held in a safe space by Holly, as a mother I was desperate to see and touch my son and Holly made this possible. I spent time with Gabriel in a “bubble” of light and love, my husband and I said all we wanted to say to Gabriel, we put in gifts and tokens from all the family and beautiful prayers were said over him as he lay in eternal rest.
When all around us seemed like unimaginable pain, with Holly’s guidance and deeply authentic and bespoke care, we were able to walk this path of pain and be led to a place of peace and understanding.
I hope that my experience will provide the insight and support to others who have lost loved ones, especially children. I am so proud and deeply happy to join Holly’s team of compassionate individuals; and after deciding not to choose other direct cremation services, I feel immensely blessed to have the opportunity to be gently guided to a place of continuous healing. My working background is diverse, I have currently worked for 19 years as a lecturer in childcare in London,. I have two remaining children and a Goldendoodle called Bertie Bassett, I currently live in Hertfordshire where I can lose myself in the countryside.
With love Melissa
With more and more people choosing a direct cremation we want to ensure that both the people who have died as well as those left behind get the best care and support possible.
This means offering:
Option for a fingerprint
Guidance for ashes memorial
Same Stag Guide to see you through the process (as much as we possibly can - there will be occasions you may need to speak to one of the other three members of our team.)
Our promise to you is to provide gentle
guidance and support throughout your loved one's journey and you with your grief.
To provide clarity and openness
To guide and hold with kindness
To offer compassion and gentleness
To respect those who have died as well as those grieving
To embrace a heart centred approach to all
To have empathy in all that we do
To work as a united team