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TESTIMONIALS

I wanted to let you know that Pacino passed on this evening in my arms. I am so glad he was blessed by you. Your blessings were his final rites before his flight from this beautiful Earth. He lived such a beautiful life and we are very grateful that he chose to spend his time here with us. Blessings to you,
— Claudine, Brooklyn, NY

 

Thanks, dear Donna, for making the ceremony for Judith's life so memorable. Your description of Judy's unique personality, her sense of humor, her wit, her compassion, her optimism, moved me and a lot of others to tears.Your talk about life and death, the cycles of nature, the Goddess, the need to relish everyday, to live in the present revitalized me. The ritual part, the burning of various plants, the sprinkling of a combination of waters from sacred sites all over the world was soothing. Everything you said and did in that beautiful white chapel designed by Louise Nevelson was so perfect that I will remember it forever. And, as I told you, I hereby engage you to do my memorial when I too go to the Goddess.
— Cristina, Palisades, NY

 

The service you conducted was extremely spiritual and uplifting. You incorporated beautiful poems and proverbs into Judith's memorial service in such a perfect and meaningful way. I know that all in attendance were moved and comforted. It was my pleasure to speak to you at the end of the service.
— Diane, Westchester, NY

 

Thank you for the private ceremony to celebrate my dad’s life, Mama Donna. My family had never done anything like that before. They really appreciated it and that made me feel good. Thanks so much.
— Kristin, Chatham, NJ

 

Families who work with Donna at the end of a loved one's life are so blessed. Her presence and her ceremonies turn a death into an event that is light-infused and healing.
— Amy Cunningham, Director Fitting Tribute Funeral Services

 

Thank you so much for the beautiful service you provided in honor of Michele and John. Everyone absolutely loved it... and you. I was very touched and moved by what you said, and in looking around the room, I could tell others were also. You truly are a gifted and giving soul.
— Michael, Sparta, NJ

 

Thanks again SO much for what you did, Donna. EVERYONE commented on how wonderful it was and how special, and that it was a beautiful way to remember both of my parents. I'm sure that my Mom and Dad would have totally approved of what we did and would have very much enjoyed the whole gathering, too. Thanks again so much for your contribution. It made the event truly special and memorable.
— Dr. Lorraine, France

 

I am so pleased with how the service went. You were really amazing. I loved the ceremony you created and the offerings, especially the corn. They were such perfect symbols of Jon’s spirituality. Many friends and family members commented that you did a great job of connecting everything for both the religious and nonreligious folk, which would be hard thing to do. I have been reading Care of the Soul, which talks about how the dark events of life can really shape and strengthen a person. I have been trying to understand this in the context of my life and Jon’s death. So your talk was especially appropriate and helpful. You inspired us all and I am very grateful.

— Carol, Brooklyn, NY

 

I never thought that a funeral could be so personal and meaningful. The ceremony that you created was completely respectful of Josine’s beliefs and aesthetics. You told the story of her life with such vivid compassion that it was almost as if she were there with us. Thank you for offering your uplifting and comforting wisdom to those of us who loved her.

— William and Cynthia, West Orange, NJ

 

I want to thank you for the ritual you performed for us at Susan's memorial. It was very moving and just perfect for what Susan would have wanted. I felt Susan's presence with us the whole time.

— Patty, New York, NY

 

Thank you for your wonderful, warm, nurturing, gritty, NYC presence at the memorial for my mom. It was a ceremony exactly as my mother would have wanted it. Your service did such a beautiful job of honoring Michele's spirit and doing it in a way that was particular to her quirkiness while being embracing to people from all faiths and we had many faiths represented. This is also how she would have wanted it.

— Elizabeth, New York, NY

 

Thank you for making the burial ritual for our precious dog so special. Seeing Bud on that bed of roses, placing the glowing angels on his body, lovingly covering him with dirt had enormous resonance. They were perfect actions that expressed our love for him and reflected how truly remarkable you are. Life and death are equally sacred to you. Somehow you make the latter less scary to people like me.

— Daile, Brooklyn, NY

 

Our mission at Maple Grove Cemetery is to expand the role of the Cemetery in the 21st Century as a place that not only stores the remains of the deceased, but also invokes the sacred through intentions of comfort, inspiration and remembrance. For the past nine years Donna Henes has been our resident ceremonialist and a partner in this mission to create a living experience. Donna’s rituals transcend all cultures and beliefs, which is important for us as a non-sectarian cemetery whose gates are open to all. People arrive at the cemetery spiritually and emotionally depleted from the rigors of the secular world. Donna’s inspiring rituals captivate them with her spellbinding stories, indigenous cultural traditions, and humorous adaptations. She sets people at ease so that they might benefit from the funeral and cemetery experience and they depart feeling reinvigorated, spiritually nourished, and loved.

Linda Mayo-Perez, President/CEO
  Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens, NY

 

 
 

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