Simple Direct Funerals

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The Changing Face of Funerals

Almost every week, people talk to me about the kind of funeral they would like to have.  It is one of those subjects that does seem strange to talk about, but in another way, it is very natural.

What people most often want to talk to me about is that they want a simple service. I guess that’s why they are talking to me about it. They have no desire for the traditional service with all the trappings. Or as I call it – the “bells and whistles”.

And there are different reasons for this choice.  For some, they have out-lived most of the people they know.  Others don’t want the expense.  Some don’t want the bother and stress for their family.  Some have their own plans for what their friends and family will do.

I think people are realising that honouring their loved one is not based on certain expectations.  The type of coffin or if there is food afterward or even the quality of the service sheet paper – these kind of things are slowly fading away.

Even this week, an older gentleman was telling me how some funeral homes still use specific terms to encourage people to spend more.  Words like dignity, respect and honour that are connected to what their budget “should” spend.  And afterwards dealing with a huge bill.

the funeral

He said he recently went to a funeral of a 95 year old, and the service in no way reflected who that person was.  And so he is determined not to go down that road.  Even though he admits, with a smile, that at the time he won’t have much say in matters.

These kinds of conversations are happening all the time and seem to be increasing.  Perhaps people are noticing SDF a little more.  That we are far more than low-cost.  And I love being able to help people do whatever they want, because I have absolutely no agenda to do anything else.

SDF is not geared to increase costs.  We just can’t unless people want to pay more than the invoice.  Not many people want to do that surprisingly.

Of course there are times when a family may want a more formal funeral or help arranging some kind of send-off.  And again – there are so many options that families may not have even considered that would suit them better.

Some funeral celebrants are excellent in this situation.  Although I’ve had decades of experience leading funeral services, this is not my focus.  I am more than happy to discuss options with families and be an unbiased sounding board.  I think there is a real benefit with this because I can focus specifically on the family and the person who has died.  Rather than worrying about including other elements.

A very common funeral option is to have a cremation soon after the person has died.  Then at a later date, have a service, gathering or get-together to remember and celebrate the person.

This can happen anytime really.  There is less pressure and expense for people who may need to travel immediately.  There is time for family to process the person’s passing.  It means that everything doesn’t need to be organised and happen within a few days or a week.

Often with the more traditional funeral service the family is so busy over the week or so and then sometime later they can’t remember a whole lot of what happened.

Saying goodbye to important.  It is a significant event in people’s lives.  And there are things we can do that help.  It is the final rite in a person’s life and like many rites – it should be done well.  And just like a wedding could be in a cathedral or at the beach – it is still a wedding, a rite.  The couple are still married regardless of the location.

So be encouraged to explore the way your family wishes the final rite of this life will be.  Do what is rite for you.