Who can we turn to when faced with dying, death and grief?
When we talk about death it’s not just arranging funerals that we have to consider. As someone once said, ‘a good death is just as important as a good birth’, and that is very true.
How we die (if we get that choice), what happens to our bodies when we die and funeral wishes we may have. How we cope with the stress of supporting a family member who is dying, and the grief we feel when someone we love has died are all important things we need to consider.
Another aspect we need to consider is how our funeral choices affect the world we leave behind in terms of their lasting environmental impact. We may be gone but the choices we make when we die still impact the planet. As was also said, “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb”. It is important we leave behind a healthy world for the people we love, rather than a crisis to clean up.
So who can we turn to in the throes of dying, death and grief? There are lots of people who can help and offer support at these different times.
Choosing how we die
If you are planning end of life care charities like Dying Matters hospice UK have lots of advice on hospice and end of life care. They can help and offer advice and support.
If you are thinking about your own funeral wishes and planning ahead funeral providers such as natural burial grounds like Leedam Natural Burials, funeral directors, will writers and charities like, Remember A Charity, can offer advice. They can help you make your wishes known. Often we have people who would like to plan ahead and contact us to visit a natural burial ground. They can meet with custodians, ask questions and find exactly what they want to know. Talking to someone on the phone or in person is always a good idea
It’s also important to know you don’t have to pay for funeral plans or have end of life cover to do this. There are lots of free resources you can use to write down your wishes including guides like, ‘For when I die’.
If you decide to go with a funeral plan or end of life cover find out exactly what you are buying into:
- Does your cover stop if you stop paying?
- Can you change your choices on your plan if you change your mind?
As we know funeral options are always evolving and changing and you never know what will be available or what you will find in years to come. It’s important that you can change your mind.
Arranging a funeral
When arranging a funeral there are lots of people you can turn to for. Funeral providers like natural burial grounds can offer advice on how to arrange a funeral. Funeral directors, celebrants, and ministers can help you with arrangements. You can find people close to you with the help of organisations like The Celebrant Directory, National Association of Funeral Directors, and Association of Independent Celebrants. You can also turn to charities like The Good Funeral Guide CIC which can offer advice and put you in touch with people who can help. We have our own list of useful contacts for making arrangements. This may be something others have available too so don’t be afraid to call and ask.
If you are grieving the loss of a child you may wish to contact charities like Sands, the stillbirth & neonatal death charity and Child Bereavement UK. Bereavement funds and charities may also be able to help if you are finding covering funeral costs difficult. We only have one chance of planning a funeral or burial, it’s important we get it right.
Dealing with grief
Family members, friends and even our pets are an important support system when we are grieving. Local support groups or bereavement councillors can also help if you need someone to talk to. While charities can help like Mind, Cruse Bereavement Support and The Good Grief Trust can all offer advice and support with the impact grief can have on our lives.
Simple acts like getting back to nature. Visiting places that give you space and time to think or even turning to people you trust like a church or minister if you have a faith can help. You can also talk to independent people like bereavement councillors and charities like AtaLoss.org can put you in touch with people that can help.
Grieving the death of a pet
If you are grieving the death of a pet charities like PDSA can offer advice. You may also find funeral providers like natural burial grounds like ourselves that can sometimes offer natural pet burial and can give you advice on arranging a burial. There are also funeral celebrants that can help you arrange a pet funeral. We know that pets are a part of our family and their loss hits us just as much as the loss of someone we love.
There are other people, charities and organisations out there that can also help. We have just mentioned a few in this blog, but if you have had a good experience share it with others. Let them know what is out there and who they can turn to if they ever need help.
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.