Planning a funeral: 7 ways to make a funeral service unique and personal to your loved one
PUBLISHED: 09:57 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57 11 September 2020
It’s important for families to feel comfortable to discuss what they want before they die. For those saying goodbye, it will give them the confidence to create a funeral service that truly reflects the wishes of the person whose life they are celebrating. For those who plan their farewell, there is peace of mind – they know their wishes will be honoured and their family reassured.
James Showers and Jane Diamond, directors of Family Tree Funeral Company, share seven ways you can personalise a funeral service.
1) Relax the dress code
Though many still prefer to dress in black, there is now less of a restriction and no ‘right way’ when it comes to the choice of dress at a funeral. Some families request ‘no black’, or ask people to wear bright colours.
2) No need for the ‘stiff upper lip’
In previous years, families would have hidden their emotions at a funeral, not letting themselves express any sadness during the service. There’s no need for constraint – both laughter and tears are acceptable and may, in fact, reflect your loved one’s wish for the funeral to be a ‘celebration’ of their life.
3) Become involved
Family participation can make all the difference. Any family members or friends can carry the coffin, light candles, deliver readings and poems, speak openly about their loved one, and reminisce on the good times (without pretending they were all good!). Family participation is the only sure way to create a funeral that is truly about the person who has passed.
4) Think outside the box
There’s more choice than the traditional wood-veneer coffin; a willow coffin with flowers woven in by the family on the day of service, or a plain brown cardboard coffin – which can be painted, or have messages or children’s handprints or drawings on them – are both respectable. Some coffins now have rounded edges for a softer and less intimidating shape.
5) Find a great venue
Church funerals can be wonderful, and the setting may be reassuringly familiar. However, you don’t have to hold the service in a church or a crematorium chapel. Village halls, a room in a favourite pub, a wedding venue, or outdoors in a garden are all perfectly acceptable choices for a funeral venue.
6) Ride in style
A Maserati or plum-coloured Daimler hearse, motorcycle sidecar hearse, VW campervan, classic Morris Traveller, horse and wagon, or even just the family estate car - your style of transport can add something extra, but nothing is too eccentric.
7) Find a flow of events that works for you
You can have a private family burial or cremation followed by a memorial (especially while numbers are restricted due to Covid); the funeral directors can take the coffin for cremation after the service, leaving family and friends to fully participate in the gathering afterwards; or have a ‘direct’ cremation with no-one in attendance. There are lots of ways of making a funeral right for you.
Visit www.familytreefunerals.co.uk for more information.
For help with a loved one’s service, or to discuss your own funeral plans, speak to James or Jane on 01453 767 769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.