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Family Comment

Personalising Funerals

While we are involved with funerals on a daily basis, we never forget that completing all the arrangements of a funeral service is a task most families face only a few times.Our intention is to help make every service personal and meaningful, and truly reflective of the life that was lived.

While there are many different ways to personalise the service, here are some ideas and ways in which we can help:

Write a letter to the person who has passed away and express all of the feelings you ever wanted to say, but were afraid to or just never got around to expressing. Seal the letter in an envelope for us to place in the coffin. Your written thoughts will go with your loved one to his or her final resting-place.

Bring in the favourite song of the person who has passed away on compact disc or cassette to be played as part of the funeral service.

Flowers can be handed out to be placed on the coffin at the graveside after the service or at the church or crematorium before.

If your loved one had a hobby of building things or was involved in the arts, crafts or photography, bring some of their works in to be displayed at the funeral. We can even take quilt work and drape it over the coffin for example.

Balloons can be released after the service. Everyone can be given one and some brief words can be said before releasing them in the air.

Bring in photographs spanning the life of the person who has passed away and we will incorporate them into a memory board to be present at the funeral service. These can be photos with family, friends at work, fishing, golfing, knitting, baking, serious and comical.

If you have favourite scripture readings, let the minister know what they are and see if they they can be incorporated into the service.

The person who has passed away has likely touched the lives of many people. For those who knew the deceased, it is often viewed as quite an honor to be asked to speak at the funeral. The speaker need not have a professionally written eulogy but rather may write something personal or select a favorite poem or scripture verse.

If your loved one composed poetry or essays, let us have a copy, they could be recited as a part of the remembering ritual of the funeral.

Place cherished items in the coffin like pictures of the grandchildren and other family members, a photo of the family pet, a well worn cap, or a religious item. We are happy to advise on items which will be suitable.

If a husband always drove his wife everywhere or a wife drove her husband everywhere, consider having the spouse ride in the hearse with our staff member. It is a very personal way of accompanying your loved one to their final resting-place.

A selection of books can be found on amazon.co.uk which you may find useful when planning a funeral.