Tag: Advice on Headstones (page 1 of 2)

Reasons people choose cremation over burial

Whether you’re planning your own funeral or a loved one’s, deciding between a burial or a cremation is a very personal decision.

Currently, cremation is the UK’s most popular way of dealing with the body after someone has passed away, 75% of Brits are cremated compared to just 18% who are buried.

A poll carried out by YouGov also discovered that three times as many Brits say they wish to be cremated rather than buried after they pass away.

So, why are so many people choosing cremation over a burial?

Advantages of cremation

More affordable

Funerals are expensive and the cost of dying keeps rising year on year. With the average price of a funeral now totalling £4,417, many people are finding themselves forced to look for ways to push the price down. On average, a funeral involving a cremation costs £3,853, compared to £4,975 for a burial funeral.

Environmental benefits

Both cremation and burial have their disadvantages when it comes to looking after the environment. Some important environmental benefits of cremation though are that it saves land and doesn’t require the toxic embalming chemicals used during many burials.

Scattering ashes

Many people like the idea of having their ashes scattered in a beautiful area or a place that is meaningful to them.

Not tied to one place

With a burial, the body will remain in its final resting place, meaning that if loved ones move away it will make it difficult to visit the grave. Keeping a loved one’s ashes in an urn, means that you can always keep them close if you wish to.

If your loved one is cremated, but you would still like to have a memorial for them at your local church or cemetery, then this is usually still an option. Most churches and cemeteries have a separate area for cremated remains.

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.

Tips for making gravestone flowers last longer

Flowers are popularly laid on graves as a tribute to the deceased, to express a sentiment, or simply to add colour and beauty.

Whilst wreaths and bouquets arranged by a florist are treated to keep them looking fresher for longer, in most cases, they still only last a maximum of 7 to 10 days.

Use the tips and ideas in this blog to ensure that your floral tribute lasts longer.

Choose hardy, long-lasting flowers– Flowers that are currently in-season and sourced locally will last longer than those that have been imported from another country. Chrysanthemums and carnations are both known for being hardy and long-lasting, even in outdoor conditions.

Put them in floral foam or a vase– If you simply lay a bouquet over the grave then the flowers will not last long at all without any water. Instead, put the cut flowers in well-soaked floral foam, or a cemetery-approved vase with water to keep them looking beautiful for as long as possible.

Choose a potted plant– Whilst bouquets of cut flowers provide a large array of brightly coloured blooms, they last for a relatively short amount of time when compared with a potted plant. A potted plant may create less of an impact, but if you choose carefully, it could last for a very long time.

Plant flowers on the grave– Some cemeteries may allow you to plant flower or bulbs on or around your loved one’s grave. This can be a wonderful way of adding life and colour to their grave, but depending on the plant you choose, may require some maintenance to keep it looking good. Always check with the cemetery first as you may need permission and there are usually strict guidelines as to what can be planted.

Artificial flowers– High quality silk flowers can look stunning, will add colour and beauty to a loved one’s memorial for a very long time and require very little maintenance.

Different cemeteries have different rules and regulations surrounding floral arrangements, so always check first before you make your purchase to avoid upset and disappointment.

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.

 

How are our memorials installed and secured to NAMM standards?

When you buy a memorial for a loved one there is an expectation that it will stand in place as an elegant tribute to their memory for many years to come.

To withstand the test of time, all memorials should be made from the highest quality hardwearing materials and securely fixed to the ground to prevent them from falling or being pushed over.

Here at Buckley Memorials our Memorials are made to last by skilled craftsmen using the highest quality materials.

Members of NAMM and BRAMM

We are members of both the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) and the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM) and comply with both organisation’s set standards of quality. You can trust that our products will always be both long-lasting and durable.

NAMM-approved ground anchors

The British Standard for memorials, as set out in BS8415, states that for safety reasons, all memorials should be installed using secure ground anchors.

For your peace of mind and safety, here at Buckley Memorials we only use NAMM-approved ground anchorsto secure our memorials.

Headstones are attached to the base of the memorial using stainless steel dowels. We then anchor them to the ground using a two foot stainless steel bar which goes through the entire base and concrete foundation and then into the ground.

According to NAMM, there has been no historical evidence of any injuries occurring from correctly installed NAMM Accredited ground anchors since their first introduction.

We are so confident in the quality of our products that we offer a 100% customer satisfaction assurance and ‘peace of mind’ service. Browse our range of beautiful memorialsand get in touch with our team of experts if you have any questions about designs, materials or fixings.

A quick guide to maintaining a loved one’s grave

A loved one’s grave can be a comforting place for friends and family to visit to pay their respects, remember them, or simply sit and feel close to them again.

Memorial headstones and graves require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking at their best. A well maintained grave can be a peaceful place to go to remember your loved one as well as a beautiful tribute to their memory.

Here is a quick guide to maintaining a headstone and grave.

Cleaning

If the grave has a headstone memorialthis is likely to be the main focal point and should be kept clean and unobstructed. Memorials come in a wide range of elegant designs and beautiful natural stones that should be looked after carefully.

When cleaning the headstone, it’s important to use a soft sponge and a gentle cleaning solution, a simple solution of warm water and washing up liquid should be effective at removing most dirt. Take care to only use mild and gentle cleaning solutions and never use acidic cleaning products as these could damage natural stone.

Brush or wipe way excess dirt before using your sponge and soapy water to gently wash the headstone. For headstones with inscriptions or detail, use a cotton bud to gently clean dirt from any narrow spaces. Finally, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the headstone and remove any streaks.

Weeding

Keep the grave looking neat, tidy, and well cared for with regular weeding and by trimming back any grass or overhanging plants.  You may wish to put down a layer of decorative stones or chippings to help keep weeds at bay.

Decorative items

Adding personal touches and decorative items to a grave can act as a tribute to the person’s character. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to check if the cemetery or burial ground has any rules, regulations or restrictions surrounding decorative items prior to buying anything.

Restoration

If you’ve cleaned and spruced the grave but it’s still looking a little sad, old, or rundown then it may be that the headstone requires professional renovation.

Get in touch with our team at Buckley Memorials by giving us a call for free on 0800 093 6800 to find out more about our memorial renovation service.

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”.

Why Are So Many Celebrities Dying Lately?

When you get to a certain age, you realise just how short life can be particularly when you see many of the celebrities you grew up with passing away. Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael and David Bowie are just a few of the notable famous people who are no longer with us. So, are more famous people dying now that ever or is it just down to a particular generation reaching an age where the risk of death is higher?

The answer to this is likely to be complex but we can identify certain inescapable truths. Many of the celebrities that have passed away in recent years were at the height of their fame in the 1980s. Their generation will have been in their 20s or early 30s at this time and this was the decade when TV, video and the music industry really began to develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

TV also saw a big expansion with new channels added such as MTV. This was the decade of the global megastar and there were more celebrities than ever.

As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, many of these celebrities will be in their mid to late 60s and some will be in their 70s. According to one scale the annual risk of dying increases from 1 in 1000 between the ages of 45-64 to 1 in 100 between the ages of 65 and 84.

This to some extent explains why we are now losing so many celebrity icons of the 80s.

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