Category: Choose Your Own Headstone (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.

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.

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.

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.

Coronavirus and Funerals: FAQs

Can I arrange a funeral during the pandemic?

Yes, you can still go ahead and arrange a funeral. Please be aware that while funeral homes will remain open, funerals should be arranged over the phone or via other electronic means, wherever possible.

Can I arrange a funeral if I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you or anyone else involved in arranging a funeral has symptoms of coronavirus, or has tested positive for the infection, please remain self-isolated and follow the government’s advice. You can still arrange a funeral online, or over the phone.

Can I attend a funeral during the pandemic?

The government has advised that funeral services should be restricted to the smallest possible number of attendees to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection. Numbers can be determined by the size and circumstance of the venue.

You should only consider attending a funeral if you are a member of the same household or immediate family member*. People who are clinically vulnerable can attend, with measures put in place to reduce their risk. Additionally, people self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they do not have symptoms themselves.

However, if you do attend, be sure to observe social distancing guidelines of two metres from other people, and do not make physical contact with anyone from outside of your household.

Any individual displaying symptoms of coronavirus should not attend.

*Immediate family is defined as:

  • Spouse/partner
  • Parents/carers
  • Brothers/sisters
  • Children (and partners)

How should I let people know about an upcoming funeral?

The government has advised that you do not publicly advertise the time or location of a funeral. This reduces the risk of others arriving unexpectedly.

If anyone unexpected does turn up, they may be turned away, which could be distressing for them and the bereaved family.

Is there any way that I can view a service online?

Yes, there are several ways that funeral services can be viewed over the internet. The most common way is via webcasting, or live streaming. Many funeral directors now offer this service which allows many people to attend a funeral, without putting anyone at risk.

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.

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