Time waits for no man and this month I celebrate reaching the milestone of sixty years. Is that possible, already? Over half of, what seems a very brief lifetime, I have been a Funeral Director.
Over thirty years, in a profession where traditions are so jealously guarded, some elements have not changed one iota. Yet in other ways… how things have changed!
One thing that has stayed constant is my utter dedication to providing the best care for the deceased and arranging a really personal and appropriate funeral that both remembers their life whist comforts those who are grieving their loss.
What does that look like 30 years on?
Well, funerals are so much more colourful now. No longer every person dressed head to toe in black, all the men sporting black ties and the funeral directors, their dress, premises, signage and vehicles all that sternest of colours … black. Most funerals are much more ‘colourful’ too in the sense of being a celebration of life, love and good memories, with music and images to help brighten up a sad occasion.
But the biggest and, I personally believe, the best change has been the way families are so much more involved in every aspect of the funeral. Today’s bereaved families have so many more ways and opportunities to personalise every aspect of the funeral. Bespoke coffins, music and video tributes, tailored routes for the cortege. Dressing the deceased in something of their own and spending time with them, participating in the service, choosing meaningful and sometimes unorthodox venues and tributes. Almost whatever you can imagine, we task ourselves to provide.
Thirty years ago, we often heard the phrase: “that could have been anyone’s funeral.” Now it’s more like: “that was so like [the deceased], they would have loved that”. When I hear these kind of comments, I know we’ve done our job well. It’s why I am still here 30 years on.
If you need help arranging a funeral, or want advice for planning ahead, please do call me or one of our professional team of funeral directors today.