Category: Advice on Headstones (page 1 of 2)

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.

What makes an eco-friendly funeral?

An eco-friendly funeral can be particularly fitting for those who loved the great outdoors or were passionate about looking after the environment.

Funerals come in all different shapes and sizes now, and many people choose a funeral type that fits with the deceased’s passions or lifestyle as a tribute to their life and memory.

One type of funeral that is gaining in popularity is the eco-friendly funeral. Green funerals incorporate natural processes, eco-friendly arrangements and sustainable materials into the service.

Here are a few of our favourite ideas for giving your loved one an environmentally-friendly send-off.

  • Choose burial over cremation – Cremating a body releases around 400kg of CO2 into the air, the same as a 500 mile car journey.

 

 

  • Choose a coffin made from eco-friendly, biodegradable materials – Eco-friendly coffin materials include those made from cardboard, rattan, bamboo and willow.

 

  • Have the body refrigerated not embalmed – Embalming a body requires the use of harmful chemicals, which can then seep into the ground and the environment when the body is buried.

 

  • Reduce travel requirements – Hold the funeral somewhere close to home and suggest that those attending lift share to the service. Some people even choose to transport the body to the funeral themselves rather than hiring a hearse.

 

  • Decline funeral flowers – Many woodland burial sites prefer to keep the area looking natural and free of memorial flowers and urns. Cut funeral flowers come at a high environmental price so many people organising an eco-friendly funeral ask attendees to donate to an eco-friendly charity instead of buying flowers.

 

  • Hold a meat-free wake – The meat industry has a hugely negative impact on the environment, so catering a meat-free wake is an excellent way to reduce the event’s environmental impact. This can be a particularly fitting tribute if the deceased was vegetarian or vegan.

Dealing with grief over the festive period

If you’ve lost a loved one, the festive season can feel like it’s lost its joy and meaning, becoming a particularly difficult time of year that is fraught with memories.

Christmas is meant to be a wonderful time of year, but if you’re coping with grief you may be feeling far from festive.

Whilst coping with a recent bereavement can be particularly difficult, even those that lost a loved one many years ago can find that their grief intensifies during the festive season.

Memories of past Christmases with those that have passed away can be very painful and leave you feeling little reason to celebrate.

We’ve put together a few ideas and advice about how to cope with grief over the festive season.

Only do as much as you’re comfortable with

Don’t feel pressured to do all the same things that you have in the past, or to attend big Christmas celebrations if you really don’t want to. Equally, if you still want to celebrate Christmas, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for doing so.

Create traditions to remember your loved one at Christmas

Creating new Christmas traditions that pay tribute to the person that has passed can be a wonderful way of still including them in the holiday season. Here are a few ideas for new traditions to remember those that have passed at Christmas:

  • Visit their grave and lay down flowers on a set day during the festive season each year.
  • Make it a tradition to visit a place that was special to you both during the Christmas period.
  • Light a candle in their memory during your Christmas dinner.
  • Visit a place of worship and light a candle in their memory.
  • Share favourite stories about the person with your loved ones.

Plan ahead

It can take some of the stress out of the festive season to discuss Christmas plans with friends and family in plenty of time of the big day.

Be kind to yourself

Listen to and accept your grief as it comes, if you need to cry, allow yourself the time to cry. Don’t beat yourself up over not being in the festive spirit.

Whatever your plans for Christmas day, make sure you leave time to treat yourself, whether that’s with your favourite festive film, a packet of indulgent biscuits, or a brisk walk on Christmas morning.

What is a humanist funeral?

If your loved one wasn’t religious, a humanist funeral may be a more fitting way to remember and celebrate their life.

A 2017 study found that 53% of the UK population identify as having no religion and as a result we are seeing a surge in the popularity of both non-religious weddings and funerals.

Traditionally, funerals have always been sombre affairs conducted in religious buildings by religious leaders. If your loved one was not religious though, a humanist funeral may be a more fitting and meaningful way of saying goodbye.

Who conducts the funeral?

Humanist funerals are usually led by funeral celebrants rather than priests, although they may also be led by a family member or friend if preferred.

What happens with the remains?

You can still choose either a cremation or burial, but a burial would need to take place at a natural or woodland burial site rather than a church.

Where are humanist funerals held?

Services for humanist funerals are usually held at either the crematorium or the natural burial ground. It is, however, possible to hold the funeral at any location you wish, providing that the relevant permissions have been granted.

The ceremony

The main purpose of a humanist ceremony is to celebrate the life of the deceased without hymns, prayers, or any other religious references.

The service for a humanist funeral doesn’t need to conform to any particular structure or order, but people often choose to incorporate many of the same elements used in traditional religious services including music, speeches, tributes, and a period of reflection.

The tone of a humanist ceremony can be light-hearted and celebratory or formal and sombre, depending on personal taste.

At Buckley Memorials our large range of attractive, high quality memorials act as an elegant and lasting tribute to your loved one. Browse our range of memorials online or get in touch with our team by calling us on 0800 093 6800 if you require help choosing a memorial.

5 popular flowers for laying on a memorial

Choosing memorial flowers that are a fitting tribute to your loved one’s memory can be difficult without some knowledge of the sentiments that flowers can express.

If you’re searching for a flower that not only looks beautiful, but that also carries a heartfelt message, then learning more about what the commonest memorial flowers symbolise may help to make your job a little easier.

Lilies

Elegant and fragrant lilies are popularly sent in sympathy and used as memorial flowers. Whilst lilies can be found in a whole spectrum of colours, white and pink are most traditionally lain on graves.

The lily is said represent purity and symbolises the soul of the deceased returning to a peaceful state of innocence.

Roses

Roses can be used to convey a variety of different messages when placed on a memorial depending on the colour chosen. White roses are said to represent innocence, yellow means strong ties and friendship, dark crimson is for deep grief and sorrow, and light pink signifies love and grace.

Adding a single red rose to a bouquet expresses your enduring love for the person who has passed away.

Chrysanthemums

The chrysanthemum has different meanings around the world, but in Europe it is commonly used as a memorial flower symbolising sympathy and honour. Available in a wide array of colours and varieties, red chrysanthemums are said to signify love, white mean loyalty, and yellow are for sorrow.

Carnations

Carnations make excellent memorial flowers as they are beautifully fragrant and tend to last a long time.

Different coloured carnations have different meanings; white for innocence, pink for remembrance, and red for affection or admiration.

Orchid

These exotic and delicate flowers can be a particularly special and poignant addition to a loved one’s memorial. Orchids are said to represent eternal love, and whilst they are beautiful in any colour, pink and white orchids are most commonly associated with mourning and sympathy.

 

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