Tag: Headstones and memorials (page 1 of 2)

What to say when someone dies

When somebody dies it can be difficult to know what to say. If someone has lost their mother, father, sibling or friend, it is normal to worry that we might offend them or make things worse, but it’s more hurtful to say nothing at all.

Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Acknowledge the person’s death
  • When you are searching for what to say when someone dies, don’t be afraid to state what a terrible thing it is to have happened. Do it in a way that feels natural.

  • Talk about the person that has died
  • One of the main things that people find difficult after someone dies is when no one talks about their loved one anymore. Sharing a memory and saying things like ‘they were so funny’, or ‘I remember this about her so clearly…’ can open up an opportunity for them to talk.

  • Express your own sadness
  • When someone dies it can leave many people feeling shell-shocked and sad. It’s okay to share your own feelings of sadness, but avoid implying to people closer to them that your feelings are the same.

  • Be empathetic
  • Regardless of how sad you’re feeling, or your own experiences of a loved one dying, you should never assume that someone who has been bereaved feels the same. Saying ‘I can’t imagine how it feels for you,’ acknowledges that their grief is unique, not that you don’t sympathise with them.

  • Accept anger
  • Don’t let fear of tears or anger hold you back from expressing words of sympathy. If a person is grieving after someone dies don’t try and explain or fix something that’s been taken badly. Just say sorry.

  • Keep in touch
  • After a funeral support can gradually – or suddenly – disappear, but the bereaved person is still grieving for their loved one. This can leave people feeling very isolated. Asking them ‘what’s life like now?’ and ‘how are you coping?’ can be really helpful.

Dealing with funeral costs

If you arrange the funeral with a funeral director, you’re responsible for the costs. You should ask to see a price list before choosing a funeral, or explain how much you have to spend and see what services are possible.

The person who died might have paid for their funeral already. This is called a funeral plan. If you don’t know if there’s a funeral plan, you can:

  • check the will
  • ask the person’s close friends and relatives
  • ask local funeral directors

You might be able to get help paying for the funeral if you’re on benefits. Check if you can get a Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK.

Getting a written estimate

Once you’ve chosen the funeral, you should be given a written estimate giving a breakdown of all of the costs involved. Ask for one if it’s not provided.

If you want to compare costs, you can contact other funeral directors, or ask someone else to help you with this.

Paying for the funeral

Some funeral directors might ask for a deposit before making the funeral arrangements.

You may be offered a discount to pay for the funeral before or soon after it takes place. If you know the money will be released at a later date to cover the cost, you might want to consider a bank loan or overdraft to pay early.

Money may be released later, if the person who has died made arrangements to pay for their funeral through an insurance or other policy, or if money is released after their estate has been dealt with.

If there is a legal claim for negligence against someone for the death, the cost of the funeral can be claimed as compensation.

Otherwise, you may agree payment by instalment, or pay after the legal process of dealing with the person’s estate has been settled.

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

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.

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.

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.

 

Signs that a memorial headstone requires renovation

Whilst memorial headstones are built to last, over the years, time will inevitably still take its toll.

Wind, rain, ice, and air pollution can all lead to the gradual deterioration of a memorial’s condition.

Whilst regular maintenance can keep a headstone looking good for longer, with time, most memorials will still require renovation to keep them looking beautiful.

At Buckley Memorials we provide a full renovation service to return memorials back to their former glory.

Here are the commonest signs that a memorial requires something more thorough than a wipe down with soapy water.

Writing is difficult to read– If the writing on a memorial is becoming worn away and difficult to read, then the letters will need to be professionally repainted, re-gilded, or otherwise repaired.

Discoloured– If general cleaning of your memorial isn’t removing the discolouration, then it will require attention from a professional. Trying to clean a memorial yourself with anything harsher than washing up liquid can do more damage than good. During a professional clean, safe chemicals are used to remove stubborn dirt and discolouration. The memorial may also be sanded to restore it to its former condition.

No NAMM fixture or feels unstable –All memorials are now required to be fitted with a NAMM fixing to ensure that they are safe and secure. If a memorial does not yet have a NAMM approved ground anchor, then this will need to be updated. An unstable, wobbly, or loose memorial is very dangerous and requires immediate renovation to prevent it causing anyone injury.

To find out more about how ourmemorial renovation servicecan revitalise your loved one’s headstone, get in touch by giving us a call on 0800 093 6800.

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