Prior to the funeral the funeral director will take care of any arrangements to move the body from the hospital or final resting place to a Chapel of Rest, unless you have other specific requirements, e.g. to have the body at home for religious purposes. The funeral director will ask you to select items of clothing you would like your loved one laid to rest in and they will then arrange the body for viewing at the Chapel or Rest should any of the family wish to visit.

This can be a huge comfort in the instance that the death was unexpected, but a word of caution from the author - think carefully about this decision. Do not expect your loved one to look as they did when they were alive and any trauma may affect the way that the face looks, however much make-up etc. the funeral director applies. It's a sobering experience and you may prefer to live with your memories of your loved one as they were when they were alive. It's a very personal decision and not one to be taken lightly.

The Funeral

Funeral Directors are usually very helpful with regard to any questions you may have and any special requests from the deceased as to how they wanted to be buried or cremated. The Undertakers will give you the cost of the funeral including the cost of the minister or person taking the funeral, cremation and burial costs etc.

If the deceased has made a will the cost of the funeral could be taken out of the estate or paid by the executors of the will. If you need help with the cost of arranging a funeral because you are on Benefits or a low income you may be able to claim Funeral Payment After registering the death you may wish to make specific arrangements regarding the funeral including:

  • putting a notice in the paper or on social media*
  • deciding upon flowers (some people ask for donations to charity instead of flowers, this may be specified in the will)
  • payment of any fees involved
  • arrangements for the reception and refreshments after the service.

You will need to consult with the minister regarding the Eulogy. Make a brief timeline of the person's life and include details of any family, previous work and interests. Speak to close family and friends to see if they would like to include anything and whether they would wish to take part in the service, for example by reading a prayer.

After the service it is customary to invite friends and relatives back to the house for food and refreshments. You could provide a buffet or ask releatives to help by bringing some food.

*Note that if you are publishing an address in the paper or on social media then you should ensure that your home is secure or ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the property whilst attending the funeral.


After the Funeral

Normally, your funeral director can also assist with buying a grave, plot, memorial or headstone. However, you can also contact your local Council and religious leaders may also be able to help. Some crematoriums have a book in which you can place an entry to remember your loved one. This is then opened and displayed in the crematorium chapel annually on the anniversary of the death.

If you wish to scatter to the ashes then you may do so at your discretion, but always check the weather first - a calm day is always best. You can also contact your local council if you would like a memorial bench. They can discuss cost and any terms and conditions with you.

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Bereavement Links

Age Concern Bereavement Advice
Information and support services for the bereaved including advice on arranging a funeral, grieving, living alone and local support services (pdf download)

Cruse Bereavement Care
Charity dedicated to supporting you through bereavement

NHS
NHS advice on coping with bereavement

MIND
Mental health charity with support for bereavement

See our Bereavement Links page for more links