Picnics, pizza, & ice cream, adding personal touches to a funeral

9th November 2020#bath#coronavirus#funerals
Picnics, pizza, & ice cream, adding personal touches to a funeral

Funerals are an opportunity to remember and celebrate someone who has died in a personal way. Bringing special touches to a funeral can transform the experience. It’s really important that it is true to the person you’ve lost and reflects their life. Even during Covid-19, families continued to be creative in their ideas. They have arranged some very heartfelt, special and fitting farewells that have helped to inspire others.

Sally’s experiences

Sally, our custodian at Bath Natural Burial Meadow has shared with us some of her experiences. How families at the burial ground have planned special and personal funerals and how the meadow helps families do this.

“It is lovely that people are being more imaginative about their events here at the moment. Mainly because of not being able to do much elsewhere. People are making more use of the space here because they can’t go to a venue.”

Thinking outside the box

She told us how families have brought bubble machines. Some have ordered takeaway pizza in the orchard. Others brought their own picnic baskets and all were adhering to the rules and staying safe. Covid has allowed families to, ‘think outside the box’ or ‘go away from the norm’. But this is something we should be doing anyway when it comes to planning funerals, they should be personal and unique. If a takeaway pizza or picnic in the meadow is a more fitting farewell, why not do this regardless of restrictions.

They were also approached by a family that wanted cremation. However, they wanted a personal, less restrictive outdoor funeral first and this is something they could help with. It shows you can find alternatives if you can’t plan the farewell you want in the time offered at a crematorium.

One of the stories she told us that we loved hearing was about a ‘celebration of life’ scattering with a celebrant and an ice cream van. Because they could not have a wake the family had ice cream after the service to celebrate. It was a positive alternative that gave the family a chance to say goodbye the right way, which is what we are all about. It’s a lovely way to celebrate someone who loved ice cream.

Time and space for personal touches

​We are lucky that at our natural burial grounds we can offer the space and time for families to add their own personal touches. Even with social distancing, the focus can be on the funeral. This is because a two-metre gap doesn’t seem so wide in the open countryside. Family bubbles can easily stand or sit together you don’t have to sit on chairs placed two meters apart. This just brings a coldness to the setting and makes the focus covid, not the funeral and loved one you are celebrating.

A swift turnover of services may make it difficult for crematoria to design new chair arrangements to suit each family’s needs. But there are ways around this if places are willing to put families first and give them a bit more time. It’s been great hearing some of the ways a bit of time and space has allowed families at Bath to do this.

We believe it’s important that with life focused on Covid (for the time being), we don’t forget the true focus of a funeral.

Sally has shown that by working together we can find solutions that work with restrictions. These allow families to have compassionate and kind funerals because at the end of the day that is important. You only get one chance at a funeral and a ‘bad’ funeral can stay with you for life.

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.