Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

'Unusual' funeral requests on rise

A new guide, My Funeral Wishes, encourages people to write down how they want their funeral or cremation to be carried out

There is a "growing number" of requests for "unusual" funeral ceremonies, experts have said.

From Wild West themes to a convoy of cranes leading the cortege, the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) said people are increasingly making bizarre final requests.

Other uncommon requests include a Morris dancing-themed funeral, a farmer being asked to be buried at the highest point on his land and a company director being buried at the end of his garden next to his beloved golf course.

And instead of being buried with sentimental jewellery , people are increasingly opting to be laid to rest with unusual items including tea bags, yoghurt pots, conkers, cigarette packets and bottles of champagne.

The NAFD said that unusual requests are becoming increasingly common as more people are willing to talk about their funerals.

Seven in 10 NAFD members said they were finding that people are becoming more comfortable in talking about their death and funerals, according to a poll by the organisation.

The organisation has teamed up with the Dying Matters coalition to develop a new guide, My Funeral Wishes, to encourage people to write down how they want their funeral or cremation to be carried out.

NAFD chief executive Alan Slater said : " My Funeral Wishes is a great tool for taking the guesswork out of a situation at a time of grief and when families are already under a great deal of stress, and help ease that emotional burden.

"Having a written guide from the person who has died affords grieving families great comfort that they are putting on a ceremony that is relevant and that their loved one wanted."

Eve Richardson, chief executive of Dying Matters, added: " You don't have to be unwell or dying to plan ahead, and recording your funeral wishes can help ensure you get your wishes met and makes it easier for your family."

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