How to make your loved one’s funeral truly unique
Every funeral is unique and a chance to commemorate and celebrate the life that has passed is precious. The decisions needed and choices available can be overwhelming. In the difficult time following a death, families want to be sure to get it right and choose something fitting for their loved one.
There are many ways to personalise a funeral service, some traditional, and some more unusual but they don’t all have to have a large impact on the cost, the little touches can make all the difference.
We’ve asked our team of Funeral Directors and Funeral Arrangers for their advice, and some ideas from the many funerals they have conducted in the past.
A colourful life
Colour is a good place to start. A favourite colour or design can easily be incorporated in the service. Jenny, our Coventry Manager, says “we always like to provide the little touches where we can. Recently we conducted a funeral for a young girl whose family wanted as much colour as possible. We all wore a different coloured tie and the Funeral Director wore a rainbow tie. Alongside the beautiful flowers and colourfully dressed guests, it made an emotional sight.” This is something that costs nothing but makes a world of difference.
The same goes for flowers. There is plenty of opportunity to do something very personal. “One of our clients Michael, was chatting to us about how much his wife loved daisies. I showed him the choice available and he was made up that he could choose something so unique for her”.
You don’t have to say it with flowers
Flowers are a traditional accompaniment to a funeral, but there are other ways to pay your respects. Many families ask for donations to a loved one’s favourite cause or charity, or an organisation that supported them through an illness.
Recently, our Hinckley office organised a funeral where the daughter of the deceased made a tribute out of his favourite sweets. It was an unusual but fitting tribute.
Make the coffin a tribute in itself
Modern technology means that there is a great deal of choice to go alongside traditional coffins. Coffins can be specially made with an environmentally friendly, paper based wrap in any design or image, reflecting the deceased’s life or passions.
Jane, from our Earl Shilton branch, says “we had a family who had a wonderful coffin, printed with holiday photos from the Norfolk Broads. Another had a countryside scene with the gentleman standing beside his lorry”
Our Leamington branch went a stage further, “I had the privilege of arranging the funeral of an ex World Banger Champion. His daughter wanted something to match his non-conformist, cheeky, rebellious character. We arranged for the coffin to be painted in his racing colours, with his personal number and children’s names sprayed on the sides ‘banger car style’.
Arrive in style
The ceremonial part of the funeral begins as soon as the deceased leaves our funeral home on the day of the funeral. Each funeral is walked away from the branch or residence out of respect for the deceased a practice that is called ‘paging’.
Some people choose a traditional hearse whereas others like to go for something different. We have had a variety of vehicles, from horse drawn carriages, to tractors as well as motorcycle hearses, lorries, buses and even traction engines.
Follow their passions
We have clients who are keen to reflect the personality and passions of their loved one throughout the entire service.
Our Leamington office arranged a service for a football fanatic who ran a company that designed shirts for top clubs. We organised a picture coffin in his favourite team colours that included logos he’d designed. Everyone was invited to wear football shirts to the service, and music and flowers were all to be football themed. His family all felt it was a fitting tribute.
If a job’s worth doing
More and more, people want to arrange their own funeral. Not only does this spare a lot of heartache for the family, it also gives the chance for people to have some say in how they want to be remembered, and how they would like their life to be celebrated.
David, in our Leamington branch, arranges many funerals in this way and one sticks out in particular. “He wanted to organise it so that the burden of it was not left to his children. He wanted to tailor his service to celebrate his life. He chose a Triumph motorcycle hearse as he used to own a Triumph bike in his younger years and it ignited many fond memories. He also chose a rainbow floral display to make everyone smile and be happy. The mood and vibe were very important to him”
Every funeral is unique
Finally, don’t feel that you have to do something unusual or original to make a funeral special. Some of the most beautiful and poignant funerals are simple, but with love and care put into choices of music, readings or prayers. We work hard to make sure everyone receives the best and most fitting send-off we can give them.