From heavy metal to Batman: Personalised funerals are on the rise
New research has revealed the unusual ways people in our region are personalising their funerals.
Central England Co-operative Funeralcare has published its third annual report, which shows customers are creating their own bespoke funerals using elements of their personal life.
The company have seen it all, from a life-size Batman floral tribute to a heavy metal inspired send-off.
A survey conducted among colleagues from funeral homes in Norfolk and Suffolk also revealed that 65pc of funerals now include some kind of personalisation. This could be unique dress, coffins, transport and flowers.
Technology is also having a huge impact on funerals today. Family photos are being played to music on big screens and some people are beaming services across the world via the internet. Others are creating a video of the service, saving it to a USB stick and then handing it out to mourners as a keepsake.
Some recent examples of personalisation from the past 12 months include:
• Football theme services
• A coffin that was made up of hundreds of photos of the loved one who has passed away, to create a memorial collage
• Glittery pink clothing for funeral directors and the congregation
• A 1920s lorry, a biscuit lorry and a steam traction engine being used instead of a hearse
The choice of music is also becoming increasingly personal. Families are opting for more comedic tunes; the hits of Monty Python and Morecambe and Wise are among the most played. Football anthems, theme tunes from TV shows like Eastenders and songs from musicals such as The Greatest Showman are also popular requests. One family even asked for the Crazy Frog ringtone to be played at a service.
Funeral Directors have also reported how services are becoming more environmentally friendly. Pets are being welcomed at funerals too, and some families wish to conduct the service themselves.
The shift towards personalisation has also coincided with a notable rise in people opting to sign up to pre-paid funeral plans or to fill out a funeral wishes form to ensure they get the tailored send-off that they want.
Kevin Crute, head of funeral at Central England Co-operative, said: ““This growing trend of personalisation shines a spotlight in the importance of planning ahead and ensuring people know your wishes for your funeral.
“We would advise people to pre-plan if there’s something specific that they would like for their funeral service. The other consideration is that pre-planning lessens the financial burden and decision making for your next of kin at a difficult and emotional time. A pre-planned funeral means that the family can take some comfort from the fact that the person who’s passed away is having their wishes met.”
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