What is it to be death positive? What is death positivity? Who are death positive people? Are they a bunch of goth weirdos who are just itching to be that little bit closer to the grave? Is it an unhealthy obsession about death and dying? Is it a person or group of people who relish in the misery of death and want to die themselves? The answer really to all that is no!
The death positive movement is a movement made up of people from all walks of life who want an open and honest discussion about death and dying. The funeral and death care industry for too long now has been shut away behind closed doors where no one can see what’s going on. Truth is that there isn’t that much going on and certainly nothing to fear. Death is a perfectly natural thing to happen and will happen to us all.
So why not talk about it? Allow your loved ones to know what type of funeral you want when your time comes? Also the death positive movement empowers people to take control of their own deaths, allowing people to choose how they die if they become terminally ill. Not allowing themselves to be pumped full of drugs that makes the end of life unbearable for them and their families. To be death positive is to take control and have a say in your own funeral, to choose where you want to die and what you want to happen to your body afterwards. Remember it’s your body and you can have done with it what you want. So talk about it before it’s too late.
Pre paid funeral plans have been an additional service offered by funeral homes and some charities for many years. They allow people to plan and buy their own funeral at today’s prices. It is of great peace of mind for many to know that their funeral has been taken care of so when the time comes their families are not left with the financial and practical burden of arranging a funeral especially if death occurs suddenly! But for some a pre paid plan or pre need is not an option for many reasons.But that does not prohibit someone from planning their own funeral at least.
My advice to people wanting to do this is to write everything down in exact detail. List the songs you want played, the hymns you want sung, if you want a religious minister or civil celebrant? If you want flowers or donations? A horse drawn hearse or a motorcycle hearse? Whether you want to be embalmed or not, And of course whether or not you want to be buried or cremated? The list is endless as far as different options are concerned? Once your happy with everything let your family know. Keep those plans safe. If your able to leave them with a lawyer a long with any will you may have?
As far as finance is concerned that is an individual thing that I’m not qualified to give advice on. But there’s nothing wrong with you setting a limit you want spent on your funeral and saving that money and putting it in a trust fund or high interest bank account until such time when it’s needed? The important thing is is to make those plans and if you can financially plan for them. Most funeral homes will happily talk through these options with you. They are the best people to advise you on these matters. Alternatively you can contact one of the many pre paid funeral planning companies that are out there. But do shop around, don’t take the first quote your given. And remember this is your funeral you are in complete control of it not anyone else.
I’m not a funeral home owner. One day I hope to be but for now I’m more than happy working for one. But still people approach me wanting advice on how they go about setting up their own funeral home. Firstly it’s an expensive business to be in. Expensive to set up and expensive to run and it’s NOT a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication before you can start buying yourself a flash car and big house!
Initial out lay I estimate at £100,000+! That’s to get all your start up fees out the way with and have some working capital behind you in case the phone doesn’t ring for a little while after set up. At first you don’t want to be employing anyone apart from casual pall bearers and drivers. Wages eat into a lot of profit so the less staff you have the more profit you have. When choosing a funeral home check that it’s big enough. You will need garage space, rear access and mortuary and workshop space. Comfortable office areas are also essential.
When buying a hearse go for something fairly tidy and presentable. No need to go and buy the latest model. Limousines you can hire in and a simple estate car or small van will do as a removal vehicle. You also need to budget for advertising which isn’t cheap either. More importantly if your new to the business get some experience first before spending buckets of cash on a business you have no experience in.
I am not a business expert by any stretch of the imagination so don't take what I have said as gospel. but in my expirience this is what I have found. I hope whoever is reading this finds it helpful in some way or another?
In celebration of 100 years since Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragettes fought for women’s rights in the workplace, in politics and in society in general I thought I’d post this picture of what appears to be a Victorian or Edwardian female undertaker! It is thanks to the suffragettes that the funeral industry can boast some excellent female funeral directors up and down the UK and across the world. Women make such an invaluable contribution to the funeral industry due to their natural empathy and kindness towards others in distress.
I am proud to work along some great femal death care professionals. Everything from mortuary attendants, crematorium staff, funeral directors, embalmers and funeral celebrants. They are all fantastic and do the industry and themselves extremely proud.
One of the main issues that funeral directors have to tackle is that of cremation and the cremation process. There still seems to be a large portion of people out there who do not think that the cremation process is an honest one and that the shes you get back are not those of your loved one. Some still are convinced that we remove handels from coffins and even go as far as removing bodies from coffins to re use or re sell the coffin afterwards to unsuspecting clients! Well let me you now that all of that is rubbish and here is why.
In the UK the laws and rules surrounding cremation are very strict indded. In order for someone to be cremated rigourous checks have to be made to make sure that we are cremating the right person. So lets take the case of John Doe. John has died in hospital and his family want him cremated. They make the hospital aware of this and they begin the process of finding two doctors to complete Johns cremation paperwork. Doctor number one will be Johns personal doctor or at least the last doctor who attended to him during his last illness. Dr. number one will make a full external examination of the body to make sure nothing untoward has happend. Once he is happy he will complete the forst part of the cremation paperwork. He will then get another doctor who has had no conncetion to John to complete the second part and to clarify that his findings are true. With that done the body of John Doe can now be released into the care of the funeral home.
The family will insctruct the funeral home to collect the body so that a funeral can take place. Two funeral home employees will go to the hospital to collect John. They will clarify with the mortuary attendent the identity of John. Once the attendent is happy and that the funeral home workers are happy that they are collecting the right John then he will be released. Paperwork will be signed by both the undertaker and hospital worker to sya that John Doe has now left the care of the hospital and is now in the care of the funeral home. Every person who enters hospital is given an identity bracelet containing their name and date of birth. The funeral home will also supply their own I.D tags with the same information. All of which are attatched to the decased and never come off.
Once the body is back at the funeral home the same two members of staff will book in the body so that the funeral home has a record of him being there. All the legal paperwork such as death certificates and cremation papers are sent up to the crematorium so that they know Mr. Doe will be coming to them shortly. The paperwork once it has arrived at the crematorium is then sent to another doctor so that he or she can look over the paperwork and make sure that they are happy that no foul play has taken place. A name plate with John Does details is then made up and secured to the lid of his coffin. So that when he gets to the crematorium the staff can see by reading the plate that Mr. Doe who they have on their paperwork is the same Mr. Doe who is in the coffin. No need to open the coffin at all! Once the funeral service has taken place the coffin can then be put into the cremation machine. Once again the name plate on the coffin is checked against all of the paperwork at the crematorium before the coffin goes in.
The crematory operator will make up an identity label that will be placed on thr door of the cremator with all of John Does details on it along with a special cereal number. That I.D will follow him round from the cremator, to the cremulator where his remaining bones will be crushed to make up his ashes, to the urn that he will be placed in. With such rigorous systems in place I would say it is virtually impossible to loose a person once they are in the system. So therefore the ashes you get back from a crematorioum are those of your loved one.
With regards to bof=dies being taken out of coffins and handels being removes, this just does not happen. First of all you can't cremate a body without it being in some sort of container otherwise ot would not physically go into the cremation machine. Secondly crmeatoriums are very busy places with lot's pf people working in them. If someone was to try and remove a body from a coffin then they would get caught and most definitley fired from their job! Possibly face prosecution but not being a lawyer I would not like to say for sure as I do not know what the law says about such things? Coffin handels are made of plastic. They are made to look like brass but they are not. So therefore they are suitible to go into a cremator and be cremated with the coffin and the body.
I hope this goes someway to answering some of those cremation questions? Please be rest assured that the practices involved in cremating the dead are highly regulated and the people who operate such places are highly trained and skilled individuals who take their work seriously and carry out their duty with the utmost care and professionalism.