Category: Advice on Headstones (page 1 of 2)

UK’s biggest headstone could be torn down

Britain’s “biggest headstone ” which features two life-sized models of the deceased and a solar-powered jukebox could be torn down after it emerged it breached planning rules.

Bare-knuckle boxer “Big” Willy Collins, dubbed the “King of Sheffield ” by the travelling community he came from, was aged just 49 when he died during a family holiday to Majorca in July 2020.

The huge grave stone – which is said to be made of 37 tonnes of fine Italian marble – has been branded an “eyesore” and “monstrosity” by some visitors to the cemetery in Sheffield who’ve taken issue with its extravagance.

Initially, the council said that the massive mausoleum, weighing 37-tonnes, had been constructed “without permission”.

But today, they released a new statement clarifying that while the Collins family did obtain permission for a headstone, it had failed to match the designs they had submitted.

The local authority rules that memorials must be under three inches thick and no taller than 4.4ft.

Cemeteries are a place where people can come, pay their respects and visit loved ones who are no longer with us. We understand memorials are deeply personal, however we must have rules in place to ensure fairness.

A spokesperson for the council in a new statement said: “Sheffield City Council approved plans for a memorial; however, the plans which were submitted and approved differ from the memorial now in place.

“This was not fully appreciated until after the structure was fully unveiled.

“We have reached out to the family and intend to discuss changes which need to be made in order to satisfy the cemetery rules and take into consideration other cemetery users.

The stone features imposing biblical carvings, a working jukebox playing Willy’s favourite tunes, and 24-hour surveillance which acts as a walkie-talkie for his family to converse with him whenever they need.

However, many other visitors have branded the stone an “eyesore” and a “monstrosity”.

How to decide whether to cremate or bury?

Direct cremation, in particular, is considered less costly since it lowers costs by saving on terrestrial space.

It is a very personal decision made by the individual or family members. In addition to taking into consideration the wishes, feelings and beliefs of the deceased loved one, there is also the fear in some people of being decomposed or buried alive.

Religious and cultural beliefs also play an important role in this decision. With the exception of Orthodox Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam, most religions accept the process of cremation.

In fact, this system has been practiced in Hinduism since time immemorial, believing that not only cremation serves as a means to get rid of the body but also helps the deceased soul on his journey to the next world. The burial ground, on the other hand, symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Christ.

Cremation is also being promoted for social, technological and philosophical reasons. There are concerns about public hygiene due to corpses buried near the surface of the earth.

In addition, technological advancement has led to the creation of modern cremation kits that can help reduce the body to its basic elements. However, there are environmental concerns associated with the emission of gases released during cremations.

Cremation or burial

Cremation reduces the body to cremated remains in a matter of hours, while traditional burial follows a slow and natural decomposition process.

Direct cremations are more cost effective than direct burials, as they do not require embalming. In addition, you have the option of keeping the body in an alternative container instead of a coffin.

Cremation is a simpler process that also helps save floor space, unlike in the case of a burial. However, both are considered safe ways of dealing with the corpse.

As people today live far from their family roots, cremation provides more flexibility in terms of commemoration compared to the method of burying in a graveyard.

The cremated remains can be stored in a cremation urn and displayed on a shelf or mantle at home, scattered in the ground, scattered from the air from an airplane, floating in water, placed in a columbarium, buried in a cemetery or buried in a crypt inside a mausoleum. You can carry with you the cremated remains of the deceased if you move to another city, which is not possible in case of burial.

However, since cremation is an irreversible process, it is essential to decide and be clear if cremation or burial is preferred.

In addition, it must be taken into account that cremation is not a substitute for the funeral since the final disposal of the remains is also required.

Other alternatives are to perform a funeral before cremation or a memorial service later. By choosing cremation, the ashes of the loved one can then be scattered, buried or buried.

What to wear to a funeral

Funerals are a time when we pay our respects to the dead. It’s important that you’re dressed appropriately and in black, though there is much flexibility with what color or style of clothing would suit your personal tastes best- bright colours can be very uplifting during this somber occasion!

This passage talks about how funerals have changed over recent years as more people look towards celebrations instead; traditionally reserved only for those who die young (or otherwise), these services allow everyone else also have their say so they do not feel left out leading up until an emotional goodbye afterwards where feelings may run high depending on circumstance.

If you are unsure of what to wear, it’s important to be respectful to the deceased. The family may set a specific dress code, or want you to wear a certain colour, so it’s always best to double check with them first.

Here is our guide for what to wear to a funeral:

What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?

Traditionally, funeral etiquette suggests men and women wear black clothing that’s conservative and respectful. Black or dark colours are most common, but some cultures expect mourners to wear a less traditional funeral colour. The weather and location of funeral services can also play a factor, so try and consider these elements before you decide what to wear.

If you are attending a celebration of life, woodland burial or a funeral in an alternative venue to a place of worship or crematorium, you may find that the family of the deceased are expecting a less formal attire for these occasions. They may request a less traditional dress or may have a personalised theme they would like you to adhere to.

What to wear to a funeral that is not black?

Wearing black to a funeral is generally acceptable across Western society. However, not all cultures consider black as the appropriate colour for a funeral. For instance, black is considered inappropriate at a Hindu funeral or Sikh funeral; instead, mourners (both male and female) are expected to wear white. Here are some other popular colours worn worldwide:

 

  • Red – in South Africa, red is sometimes worn as a colour of mourning. For a Ghanain funeral, it’s traditional for members of the community to wear black and white while the immediate family will wear red and black.
  • Purple – in Thailand, purple represents sorrow and is often worn by widows during the mourning period. Purple is also worn in Brazil alongside black.
  • Grey – in Papua New Guinea, a widow applies a stone-coloured clay to their skin while mourning their husband.
  • Bright colours – many African, Caribbean/West Indies, humanist and non-religious funerals in the UK and across the world will opt for more vibrant colours. Wearing bright colours to a funeral can reinforce the celebration of life.
  • Subdued colours like grey, maroon and navy blue can be a good alternative to black.

That being said, it’s best to speak to a family member regarding what they want you to wear.

How to plan the perfect funeral

When a loved one dies, it’s often difficult to know what to do. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to plan the perfect funeral. By following these simple steps, you can make the process easier for yourself and your family. First, decide what type of service you want. There are many different options available, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Then, select a burial or cremation site and make arrangements with the funeral home. Finally, gather together any important documents and ensure that the deceased’s estate is in order. Planning a funeral can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do it. By taking care of everything ahead of time

  • Plan the funeral in advance
  • Choose a location for the service
  • Find out what will happen during the ceremony
  • Write your eulogy to be read at the funeral
  • Select music that is appropriate for your loved one’s life and personality
  • Send invitations to friends and family members

Planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things someone can do in life. That’s why it’s important to take care of all the details so that loved ones are able to grieve without having prep too much on their plate for this final celebration of love. If you need help with your planning, contact us today! We have experts ready and waiting to help make sure every detail is perfect for your family member or friend who has passed away.

End of 2020 will see 1.6M funeral plans in force

By the end of 2020, it is estimated that there will be almost 1.6 million new funeral plans sold, according to recent research.

Market research consultancy, IRN Research, this week published the ‘Funeral Plans Consumer Research Report 2020’ which looks at the pre-paid funeral plan market and sets that into the context of how consumers pay for their funeral. It considers consumer use of funeral plans and other means they use to pay for their funeral, especially over50s insurance. It includes an assessment of the size of the market and its trends, and profiles of leading suppliers.

While the number has continued to rise in recent years, there has been a notable slowdown in growth in recent years. The number of new sales has declined steadily since 2016 mainly because of competition from over50s life insurance policies. Like the UK economy, the funeral plan market has faced a roller coaster year in 2020 because of COVID-19. As a result of COVID-19, net new sales in 2020 (gross sales less plans drawn down) are expected to be only around one-quarter of the number seen in 2019.

There are results from a nationally representative survey of 2,093 consumers exploring their understanding of funeral plans, and a survey of 196 consumers that have funeral plans. The funeral plan market is being reshaped today by a number of key factors, including:

  • COVID-19, leading to a significant rise in deaths in 2020 and possibly into 2021, thereby increasing the number of plans drawn down and making it harder for funeral directors to sell new plans.
  • Increasing competition from substitute products like over 50s life insurance and traditional life insurance.
  • The continued rise in funeral costs.
  • Proposed new FCA regulation of funeral plans, which will significantly raise costs for plan providers and possibly prevent some from selling new policies.

Only 15 mourners allowed at wakes under new Covid rules – yet 30 can go to funerals

A new limit has been put on the number of people allowed to attend gatherings after funerals as Boris Johnson unveiled a three-tier lockdown system for England.

Only 15 mourners can attend a wake under the latest coronavirus rules.

Boris Johnson unveiled a new three-tier lockdown system, where areas across England will be labelled as ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk of coronavirus.

The new rules are suppose to “simplify and standardise our local rules”, the Prime Minister said, as well as stamping out the spread of the virus in areas where it is spiralling out of control.

But the fine print of the rules reveals a number of quirks in the system.

Funerals are permitted to go ahead with up to 30 mourners regardless of the Covid-19 alert level.

A report from the Mirror advises that:

The number allowed to attend a wake has been cut to 15 in Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas.

Government guidance did not previously include a 15-person limit on gatherings after a funeral service.

The existing social distancing rules continue to apply, such as keeping two metres apart and wearing a face covering indoors.

Wedding ceremonies can go ahead as long as there are no more than 15 guests

But receptions will be completely banned in areas in the strictest ‘Tier 3’ lockdown.

Creative ideas for a special funeral

Remembering your loved ones in a unique and special way. Buckley Memorials have put a few ideas together to add something unusual and memorable together for the celebration of life.

Choose a personalised casket

People are becoming increasingly creative with coffin and casket choices as a way of celebrating a person’s life and their interests.

Some coffin-makers specialise in colourful and patterned coffins, with a vast range of designs, from flowers, butterflies and stars, to music-themed designs, national flags and animals. Some companies even allow you to custom design a coffin with a specific image.

Another option is choosing a plain coffin and inviting close friends and family members to decorate it with drawings or messages for their loved one. You could use permanent marker pens, paint, crayons or stickers. Some people find that being closely involved in such a way helps them understand the grief they are feeling and say goodbye to their loved one.

Personalise the order of service

Order of service booklets are often handed out at funerals. Most commonly they are quite plain, with perhaps one photograph on the front cover. However, these booklets are another opportunity to personalise the funeral.

The cover could be a collage of many different photographs of the person who has passed away. You might even add captions to each photo to explain where and when it was taken. Not only will this look colourful, it will also serve as a unique keepsake for the mourners to take away. Mourners who are not close friends or family may not have access to photographs of the person who has passed away, so this is a fitting way to share memories of them with everyone in the congregation.

Create a memory board

Use a freestanding noticeboard to create a collage of photographs to display at the funeral and wake. This creates a place for mourners to come together and share memories.

You could expand this idea by providing labels or cards for guests to write on and add to the board. They could leave memories, messages, or even write down their favourite things about the person who has passed away.

After the wake the family can save the photographs and messages in a photo album as a lasting memorial.

Don’t be afraid to be colourful

It is becoming more and more common for people to request ‘anything but black’ for a funeral, whether that’s the dress code, hearse or casket.

You can ask mourners to wear bright colours, or an item of a particular colour, if your loved one had a favourite. Alternatively, you could hand out flowers of their favourite colours at the entrance to the funeral service. These could then be placed onto the coffin before burial or mourners could take them home as a keepsake.

Supporting a grieving loved one from afar during the Coronavirus Lockdown

Knowing how to support a friend or family member through grief can be tough, but when you can’t be with them, it can make you feel useless. Making sure the person isn’t on their own is often the first thing we do when someone suffers a loss, but what can you do when you can’t be there in person to make them a cup of tea, listen to them and give them a hug?

In this blog, Buckley Memorials will look at some of the ways you can support grieving friend or family member when you can’t be by their side during this time.

Keep in regular contact 

Even when we can’t be close to our loved ones, after a loss, regular contact goes a long way – even if it’s just a text or a quick phone call. It’s so important to ensure that your friends and family know that you are there for them and that they are not alone.

Help out with errands where possible 

When someone is grieving, their day-to-day life can take a back seat. Things may need cleaning; bills might need paying and food might need buying. Although it is easier to help out in person, even from afar, there are still ways you can be of help. During the current Coronavirus Pandemic it may also be a massive help to somebody that is high risk and can’t just ‘pop’ to the shops. The little things could really help the person in need.

Send them a thoughtful gift

Sending a small but thoughtful git to let them know you are thinking of them may mean the world to someone who is feeling a little down. Whether you want to send them a little self-care hamper or a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a gift is the perfect way of showing how much you care. While you can’t give them a hug this could be the perfect alternative.

Talk to them and keep their loved one’s memory alive

When someone dies, they may no longer be here in person, but their memory is still alive. Although it’s tempting to avoid talking about the person that died as you feel you may upset the person, actually, it can really help those who are grieving to process their feelings especially when we cannot get out to talk to many people currently.

How exercise can help with grief

As we are currently locked down due to the current Coronavirus Pandemic we are being encourage to get outside and exercise as Gyms & Fitness Centres have been closed.

Exercising has many benefits, and for some, it even helped them coped through grief. In this guide, we look at how exercise can help people cope with loss.

The mixture of emotions you experience after losing a loved one can be extremely difficult to manage, and although exercise can’t take away what you’re going through, it can help ease the pain. It’s no secret that exercise brings mental benefits as well as physical, with it being an efficient way of boosting your mood, decreasing your stress levels and helping you sleep better, even a gentle stroll can help put you in a positive mindset.

Remember to do things at your own pace – this is all to help you.

When you think of exercising you may picture yourself in the gym doing an intense workout but remember there are plenty of less strenuous options. If you were an avid gym-goer before grieving, try to avoid putting pressure on yourself to keep up the standards that you once had, as your body is already trying to process enough. Even simply walking to your local shop and back, doing some gardening or stretches in the comfort of your own home, can help you feel more positive.

Here are some exercise ideas you can do to help with grief:

  • Going on a stroll or jog in your local nature spot.
  • Doing a simple at-home yoga routine.
  • Walking the dog.
  • Doing some gardening.
  • Going for a swim.

If you’ve recently lost someone and need advice picking memorial headstones or finding one that honours your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact our help team by phoning 0800 093 6800 or emailing contact@buckleymemorials.com.

How funerals have been affected by Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has presented an unprecedented set of challenges for bereaved families who are having to arrange funeral services for loved ones, as well as many mourners who wish to pay their final respects.

Whilst funerals are still able to go ahead, there have been some important changes. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), alongside several other funeral related organisations, have formed the Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG), which is regularly liaising with government officials and cabinet members on the sector’s response to Covid-19.

Things have now been adapted so that a lot of the legal requirements can be done online, minimising the need for actual contact. The certificate needed to register a death (MCCD) and medical certificates from the hospital, coroner or your doctor are now transferred by email. There are, of course, stringent codes to adhere to in all of this, but the system is working well. Registering a death now cannot be done in person by attending a registry office either, but is instead done by telephone, with the required documentation then emailed to the necessary authorities.

Though government directives are changing all the time, churches and chapels are currently closed, along with all buildings used by the public, such as clubs, pubs and hotels. Graveside services and services at the crematorium are however allowed, albeit with reduced numbers and with everyone strictly observing the two metre social distancing guidelines for the safety of everyone involved.

At present, up to 10 people can attend funerals, which should be only the closest members of the family. In many cases, it is not the way families would like to say farewell and it is especially difficult if the family have not been able to visit their loved one in hospital or a care home. Family members – or very close friends if no family – can attend the service even if they are in the vulnerable category or are self-isolating as long as they do not have symptoms of Covid-19 themselves and that they strictly observe the social distancing rules.

Many families are intending to hold memorial services or celebrations of their loved ones’ lives when the current restrictions are lifted, and there are certainly plans being considered for special services of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for those who have died during this crisis, by the crematoriums, churches and chapels.

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