Category: Celebration Of Life (page 1 of 2)

Bereavement: How to navigate it

Bereavement is the state of sadness and mourning following the death of a family member. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotions we go through as we process the loss.

When we lose someone close to us it can be emotionally devastating, and it is therefore natural to go through a range of physical and emotional processes as we come to terms with the loss. This process is unique for every individual who experiences it.

Whilst there is no simple formula for getting through a deep loss, this article will provide you with some tips for dealing with grief.

Expect some loneliness

The feeling of loneliness is completely normal however it is important not to get too isolated. When you are experience loss and grief make sure you reach out to people and support groups who understand what you are going through.

Be gentle with yourself

Try not to put pressure on yourself to feel better. Do not judge yourself for not “doing better” or “keeping it together”. Getting over a big loss takes time, you need to allow yourself this time to heal.

Embrace all emotions

We tend to have little control over our feelings, and they come and go whether we like it or not. It is important that you let them move through, like waves in the ocean. It does not mean that you are weak or abnormal if you feel these waves of emotion. If they are overwhelming you can practice mindfulness (e.g. by meditating) as this will help with emotional self-regulation. It is also important to know when to seek professional help.

Keep structure in your day

Set your alarm, get up, shower and have breakfast – this will automatically make you feel better. You do not have to leave the house but having some structure will help you mentally and physically at this hard time. Also try to eat small, regular meals, even if you are not hungry.

If you have any questions please give us a call, we will be happy to help. Call us on Freephone 08000936800 or email contact@buckleymemorials.com.

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.

Most Popular Funeral Songs

Choosing funeral songs is often seen as an important part of personalising a funeral service for your loved one. It is a chance for you to pay tribute to their personality, their hobbies, or simply say farewell with one of their favourite songs.

Popular funeral songs

Some people choose live music for funerals, commemorating a person’s life with uplifting and happy songs. The choice is completely up to you, and depending on the rules of where the service is being held, there really is no right or wrong.

As funerals become more tailored to reflect the life of the person who has sadly passed away, families are opting for modern songs to be played at the service.

Here are some of the most popular funeral songs:

  • My Way – Frank Sinatra
  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • The Best – Tina Turner
  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle (Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’)
  • Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  • You Raise Me Up – Westlife
  • See You Again – Wiz Khalifa

Classical funeral music

Classical music remains a popular choice for funerals, setting the stage for an emotional and moving service. Many people opt for light classical music for funerals, whilst others may prefer a more dramatic piece which reflects the personality of their loved one.

Some of the most popular classical music for funerals include:

  • Canon in D – Paachelbel
  • Nimrod from Enigma Variations – Elgar
  • The Four Seasons – Vivaldi
  • Ave Maria – Schubert
  • Pie Jesu – Fauré
  • Adagio – Albinoni
  • Air on a G String – Bach

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.

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.

Books to help children deal with grief

Books can help you to find the right words to explain death and grief to children.

Talking to children about the loss of a loved one can be extremely hard, especially if you are struggling with your own grief.

Reading books about loss and grief with children can help them with understanding, processing and coping with what has happened. Reading about fictional characters experiencing the exact same thoughts and feelings that they’re having can help to normalise and validate their emotions and begin conversations about how they’re feeling.

Here are four children’s books that handle the topic of loss sensitively and eloquently.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book offers an honest and sincere look at grief and is beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake. Rosen wrote the book chronicling his own grief at the death of his son when he was just 19 years old. The book acknowledges how grief feels and explains that it’s ok to feel sad and all manner of other feelings. Rosen explains complex feelings in simple ways, normalising how grief feels and letting the reader know that they are not alone.

Goodbye Mog, Judith Kerr

Over the years many children have fallen in love with Kerr’s tales of Mog the cat and the Thomas family. In Goodbye Mog, Kerr tackles the difficult subject of dealing with the death of a much-loved pet. The book expresses Mog’s readiness to leave and her continued love for the family after she’s gone.

No Matter What, Debi Gliori

No Matter What sends a comforting message to youngsters about limitless love. This beautifully illustrated book focuses on the love between a fox cub and its mother, and explains that she will always love him forever, even when she’s gone. The warm words can help to quell anxieties and offer comfort to children who have lost someone close to them.

The Goodbye Book, Todd Parr

The Goodbye Book helps children to understand what it’s like to lose someone through the eyes of a goldfish. The message is matter-of-fact, simple to understand, and easy to relate to. The story addresses how losing someone feels, gives simple advice on how to deal with the loss, and reassures that there is “always someone to love”.

Organisations that offer support after a bereavement

No matter what the circumstances, dealing with the death of a loved one can be an excruciatingly painful, difficult, and confusing time.

Nobody should feel alone in their grief, and there are plenty of charities and organisations in the UK dedicated to supporting people after a bereavement.

Just some of the ways that these organisations may be able to help you include:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Telephone helpline.
  • Meet people going through the same thing.

We’ve put together some information about the top organisations.

Cruse Bereavement Care– The UK’s leading bereavement charity. Cruse provides advice and help to anyone in need of support after a bereavement. As well as a national helpline, Cruse also offer local services up and down the country including face-to-face support and groups.

Winston’s Wish– Helping children and young people to deal with the death of a parent or sibling.  Winston’s Wish offers children therapeutic help and support services to help them to deal with their grief. This includes professional support via a freephone helpline, online chat, email service and face-to-face.

Child Bereavement UK– Supports families when a baby or child passes away. As well as providing professional information and support to families, Child Bereavement UK also provide specialist support to bereaved children. Support can be gained via a telephone helpline, peer support groups, counselling, and online support.

Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity– Supporting anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby. Sands offer information, advice and support through their website, app, freephone helpline, and local and online support groups.

Speaking to someone about your bereavement can help you to work through your feelings, get advice about how to cope with your grief, and help with adjusting to life without the person who has died.

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