Farewell Innovators – new members

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Following on from yesterday’s very successful, and well received, post about my Farewell Innovator friends, I have some new members and their services to mention to you and I hope you will take the time to check out their websites and consider their services, thanks.

  1. Firstly, My Last Song – Paul Hensby and his colleagues have put together a wonderful musical service.  If you want the funeral to be memorable because of the choice of music, look no further than Paul’s site.  In fact it has all aspects of funeral planning and comprehensive advice on other later life issues such as writing a will, care choices and living longer, healthier lives. Don’t take my word for it though, My Last Song topped the list of the 10 best funeral websites in the world.  It also offers a safe digital storage area called the Lifebox in which people’s memories can be accessed by loved ones now and in the future. As founder Paul Hensby says: “If you live on in the hearts and minds of those who love you, you don’t really die at all.”
  2. Based in Wales, Lovingly Managed offer a very comprehensive range of both private and professional client services. including end of life planning; funeral co-ordination and organisation; post death assistance and even provision of escorts for lone elderly clients so that they do not have to visit doctors and hospital alone.  There are so many different services that I would recommend you visit the site and see how Denise, Sharon (a Welsh speaker) and Catherine can help you.
  3. A Giving Tribute‘The Caring alternative to funeral flowers’ is launching very soon. Following a donation to the chosen charity, friends and family create online their very personal tribute to the deceased (with words and a photo) to celebrate the life that’s been lost. These Tribute Cards are printed out and displayed in a ‘wreath’ at the funeral that can easily be taken on to the wake and enjoyed by all.  The Giving Tribute Cards are kept by the next of kin and may be beautifully displayed as a treasured keepsake in the special commemorative book. This is a beautiful service and will be offered by Liz in the near future via her website.

So, three more wonderful and innovative funeral services.  It’s amazing how so many different ideas and businesses can come out of such a niche market.  As I said yesterday, it’s likely you’ll have to be firm with your funeral director if you want to choose one of these companies – they tend to be unaware of all the new ideas that are out there.  I’m sure though that each and every one of the providers listed on this blog will be more than happy to talk to your funeral director and explain all about their services and how they can benefit their clients.

Farewell Innovators – a new type of funeral service provider

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Does this outline sound like a funeral you’ve been to in the last few years?

  • The coffin in the usual black hearse adorned with flowers and wreaths
  • One or two stately black limousines
  • Mourners wearing black, black and more black
  • Quick trip to the local church – Vicar said a few words about someone he barely knew (if at all)
  • Sing Psalm 23 and Abide with Me
  • Load up the coffin into the hearse and off to the Crematorium
  • Unload, Vicar says a few more words at committal – coffin disappears behind a curtain
  • Mourners crying (understandably) leave chapel and gather in huddles sharing memories of the deceased
  • Off to the local pub or club for a few sandwiches and a pint of beer or a cup of tea

This all sounds very cynical, but it would appear to be the ‘standard British funeral’ that, we would say, 85 to 90% of the population have.

BUT, did you know that it doesn’t have to be like that.  You can have this if you wish, no problem – just tell your funeral director to do this standard job and he’ll carry it out, no hassle, no pressure.

On the other hand, you could choose to send your loved one ‘out with a bang’, put some cremated remains (ashes) in some fireworks which are launched to the heavens at a celebratory party.

What, a celebration?  Yes, there are moves afoot now that funerals should be called ‘Life Celebrations’ and why not?  Surely Uncle Fred did something in his 76 years that could be celebrated.  Maybe he was in the war, captain of his local cricket team, had 8 children etc. etc.  Why all the dour and miserable faces at a funeral?   Get together, wear colourful clothes, have a party and celebrate his life.

This could all seem a bit much for us ‘stiff upper lip’ Britons but times are a changing and apart from sending Uncle Fred’s ashes skywards in a firework, you could have a video presentation or display of photographs from his life; why not send the money you were going to use for flowers to a charity such as cancer support or research?

There are so many different ways that a life can be celebrated and funerals can be made more special, more personal.

How?

A group of progressive and extremely enthusiastic funeral service providers have joined up and will be launching Farewell Innovators – offering innovative and imaginative ways to send off Uncle Fred.  We are currently active on Facebook and will be having our official launch very soon.  In the meantime, here are some of the members, why not check out their websites – you will be pleasantly surprised just what’s on offer these days:

  1. Don’t fancy being buried in a churchyard or cemetery?  Have a look at woodland or natural burials.  FI member Native Woodland Ltd offer beautiful sites in England, Wales and Scotland.
  2. How about a heartfelt Eulogy from someone who cares?  Laurra and Maria of One Life Ceremonies specialise in writing personal funeral ceremonies and life tributes that reflect the life, personality and beliefs of the person who has died.  The funeral service can be fully non-religious or one which contains elements of religion such as a favourite hymn or prayer.
  3. A beautiful alternative to standard black hearses – Volkswagen Funerals have a wonderful selection of gleaming white VW hearses – I’d recommend you check out their site which has lots of photographs and information.
  4. Much Loved offer  memorial websites on behalf of over 12,000 families.  Founded following the death of his brother and mother, Jon Davies has created a stunning site and service. You can create sites in memory of your loved one; visit any, or all, of the twelve online Remembrance Gardens.  There are also various funeral and grief resources.
  5. Want to take the pressure off the funeral planning and organisation?  Why not visit The Fantastic Funerals Company.  Liz and her colleagues will help you arrange a fantastic send-off!  The website also has extra features including information about children’s funerals and legal and financial services.
  6. Janice and Richard at Gateway Funeral Services Ltd offer funeral services in Yorkshire. This is a sensitive, caring and professional firm of funeral directors and they will always help you however they can.  They are forward thinking so don’t be afraid to ask for something different!
  7. The Natural Burial Company are based in Oregon and also has offices in Brighton, UK. distributes biodegradable coffins, urns and natural funeral goods throughout the US and into Canada.  They sell via funeral directors or direct to the public.  Lots and lots of information about natural burial on their site.
  8. The doyen of the Farewell Innovators is Charles Cowling author of The Good Funeral Guide.  I highly recommend Charles’ site to you – it’s full of informative and no nonsense information about everything funerial.  The Good Funeral Guide is also available as a paperback book via Amazon here.  Charles says it like it is and is respected for this.  The guide is invaluable when planning a funeral.
  9. Liz of A Giving Tribute has a wonderful blog and memories and tributes to  many well known people who have recently passed away.
  10. Sentiment Limited is a production company which specialises in end-of-life tribute photo & video montages, filmed life biographies and memory books.  Please visit their site to see the wonderful tributes that they can produce.  Louise will be more than happy to assist you.
  11. What a wonderful way to remember a loved one, have some of their ashes made into diamonds!  Phoenix Diamonds can do this for you.  Using carbon derived from your loved-ones ashes or hair/nails in a process that takes weeks rather than millions of years.  The end results are spectacular – check out the site.
  12. A new word Funeography – watch out for this in future, it’s the funeral photograph service offered by Priscilla.  She will produce some of the most emotive and beautiful photographs you’ve seen.  They will be treasured and enable you to remember that special day.  With years of funeral photography experience, her images are moving and memorable. Her company is based on the belief that her clients’ needs are of the utmost importance
  13. Last but not least, yours truly!  Linda, The Funeral Lady and owner of The Funeral Company.  My services include Wishes Documents which pre-plan funerals; Funeral Concierge (TM) a new and unique service which helps bereaved families with the mountains of administration and paperwork following a death; The Funeral Lady Blog; burial plots for sale and, education/talks/workshops for those interested in joining the funeral profession.

Now, I should warn you, your regular High Street funeral director may try to dissuade you from using either these services or similar ones.  We have had comments recently that it is, apparently, illegal to photograph or video a funeral – of course it isn’t!  Many funeral directors will be so stuck in their ways that they do the standard funeral as a matter of course, the only variation may be that the church may or may not be involved.

Please don’t be mislead or fobbed off by them.  A lot of the professionals are stuck in the 19th Century and the Victorian way of doing things.  Times move on and options change. Farewell Innovators are here to start the ball rolling and tell the public what is out there in the funeral marketplace.

If you have any queries, please email me at thefunerallady@gmail.com or leave a comment here and I’ll be in touch.

 

 

Twitter Posts

Just to let you know that I post on Twitter under two guises:

http://twitter.com/#!/thefuneralco and, and as “thefunerallady”

The Funeral Lady account has been dormant for a while but will be active in the near future along with the main Funeral Company one.

I’d love to have you as a follower so please add me to your list and I will reciprocate.

I have lots of followers on both accounts who will, no doubt, be of interest to you – many are in the funeral sector.  Please mention The Funeral Lady when you contact them so that they know where you found their links etc.  Thanks.

 

Plots For Sale

I have recently been approached by two families asking whether they can sell on unused burial plots that are no longer required.

The answer seems to be ‘yes’, provided you can prove ownership, it is  possible to advertise plots for sale.

A quick search on a well known auction site shows that, at the moment, there are no plots available.

However, The Funeral Company will be providing services which will enable families to receive advice and assistance to sell plots.

If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at thefunerallady@gmail.com or call 07775430016.

Pre-planning your funeral

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... Just some thoughts.

You may have a few ideas in your head such as ‘I don’t want flowers’ or ‘I’d like to have hymns not pop music’ – you get the idea?

But, how do your loved ones know what you’d like – have you told anyone?

Nowadays we hear on the grapevine that there are more choices but do we really know what they are?

My company can certainly give you information and advise you of the many options.  You might go down the traditional funeral route – church service; local priest; two hymns; flowers and either burial or cremation afterwards.  Thereagain, there is nothing  stopping you from having the church service I mentioned but then being buried in your own back garden!  I don’t want to appear flippant here but, what I say is perfectly legal and possible provided your loved ones take care of a couple of things with house deeds and service companies.

Choices, choices and more endless choices!

I will be blogging and discussing various options – some traditional, some contemporary.  Also, the old burial v cremation topic; green v non-green funerals etc.

If you’ve got topics you’d like to learn or find more out about, email me or add them to the comment box on this blog and I’ll certainly do what I can to assist you.

Welcome

… to The Funeral Lady’s Blog.

So, what’s this all about?

Well, as death and dying is often avoided in conversation, I thought it would be helpful and informative to write about it here so that you can, at your leisure, take a look and ‘gen’ up a bit.

Death is something that none of us can avoid.  It’s important that we do try to think about it and often this isn’t until we reach our later years.  But, even youngsters can learn something about the topic and it will help them to deal with the life (and death) experiences that they will no doubt come across – such as the death of a grandparent or parent.

Just by thinking and talking about death it doesn’t mean that you will suddenly invite it to knock at your door.  On the contrary, it means you are going to be prepared a little more and more able to cope in the future.

The Funeral Lady can help you with answers to queries and questions.  I can also offer suggestions for different types of funerals, remembrance or memorial.  Feel that you would like something ‘different’ or ‘alternative’ for your farewell?  I have a whole load of contacts and suggestions that you will enjoy taking a look at.  From motorcycle funerals to having some of your ashes being launched into space in a dedicated rocket.

So, please consider joining me on this Blog and learning and sharing – death isn’t just for the dying, it’s for the living too.

TFL