Tag: Headstones and memorials (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.

How to plan the perfect funeral

When a loved one dies, it’s often difficult to know what to do. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to plan the perfect funeral. By following these simple steps, you can make the process easier for yourself and your family. First, decide what type of service you want. There are many different options available, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Then, select a burial or cremation site and make arrangements with the funeral home. Finally, gather together any important documents and ensure that the deceased’s estate is in order. Planning a funeral can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do it. By taking care of everything ahead of time

  • Plan the funeral in advance
  • Choose a location for the service
  • Find out what will happen during the ceremony
  • Write your eulogy to be read at the funeral
  • Select music that is appropriate for your loved one’s life and personality
  • Send invitations to friends and family members

Planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things someone can do in life. That’s why it’s important to take care of all the details so that loved ones are able to grieve without having prep too much on their plate for this final celebration of love. If you need help with your planning, contact us today! We have experts ready and waiting to help make sure every detail is perfect for your family member or friend who has passed away.

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.

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