There’s no hurry
Allow yourself time to come to terms with what has happened before you make any decisions about the funeral.
Don’t be pressurised
When someone dies in hospital or in a nursing home you might be asked quite quickly who your funeral director is so that the body can be removed. It is ok to tell them that you are not ready yet and will let them know when you are.
If the hospital staff have space difficulties, a funeral director might collect and store the person but you are under no obligation to use this company for the funeral itself. The funeral director you choose will arrange to collect the person from the temporary funeral director and take them into their care.
You’ve got a lot to organise under tough emotional circumstances. Give people permission to help with planning the funeral. People want to help but may not know how to be specific. It’s a good idea to write a list and keep it by the phone.
- walking the dog
- doing the shopping
- meal making
- making sandwiches for the wake
- listing cards and flowers received
Find a funeral director who is familiar with natural burial and in tune with your ideas. Independent funeral directors usually have lower costs and are more flexible than the big chains. Good personal recommendations are helpful too. Or if you want, you don’t need to use a funeral director at all, read more about DIY funerals here.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Tell your funeral director if there are things on his checklist that you don’t want or need such as ‘Hygenic Treatment’ (Embalming). It can help to take a close friend or relative that can take over a discussion if you become too upset. You can still be there indicating preferences and your wishes.
Make it personal
Anything goes at a natural burial ground. There are no pre-conceptions and you can be as formal or informal as you like. Read some family stories from our different burial grounds for inspiration.
Take the dog, a favourite object, flower, photograph or memento from a hobby or sport. See our Funeral Service page for more ideas and advice.
Try not to be persuaded by others that you must do things a certain way. We have now helped a number of families do the funeral their way, with or without the involvement of a Funeral Director. Special arrangements have included painted cardboard coffins, tractor hearses and even a homemade stretcher using climbing equipment.
The ethos, personal touch and dignity made the funeral part of my dad’s life, and not just the end of it.
Include children if you want to. They might feel left out if you don’t. Natural burial grounds are not like cemeteries and it doesn’t matter if children want to run around, be themselves and even play.
Planning and paying for a funeral in advance can give you more time to plan the important parts when the time comes. It can also make the process a lot less stressful. Whatever your situation, these websites below may be useful in terms of what financial support you’re entitled to, and how to go about dealing with legalities, etc.
Get in touch
Over the years, we have gathered valuable experience to pass on, wonderful ideas to share and examples to follow. We are here to support you. When you’re ready, get in touch and we’ll guide you through the next steps.