No-one wants a cookie cutter funeral
In fact some people want a unique funeral at home.
Everything is changing so quickly around us. You can buy a funeral on Gumtree. In Lygon Street a trusted funeral company shares a building with a glass fronted upstairs gym. In Geelong the first funeral director you come upon has a slice of the Aldi building. Why not a funeral at home then?
The dignity and refinement of funeral brands is no longer quite what it used to be. Yet the majority of people will purchase these services for one of the most important milestones in a family’s life.
Most funeral brands are charging excessively according to a recent article in the Conversation ‘Consumers lose out in funeral industry lacking competition and regulation‘. Researchers built on a study from 2014 in which they found that consumers do not understand what their choices are, and that this is a major issue influencing what people pay for funerals. In the current research they found that well known companies don’t provide prices online and that a coffin can make up up to 30% of funeral costs.
What if you don’t want to waste money? The Australian Financial Review recently looked at funeral costs in ‘The financial cost of death and dying‘, making suggestions such as planning ahead, comparing options or buying funeral bonds.
There is another way to consider if you want to bring people together in a way that is unique to the dear lost person. You want to renew and sustain family and community with warmth, stories and shared support. You don’t want to buy what’s available because everyone always has. You and your network have some experience organising events.
You could consider a different kind of funeral, a facilitated home or community event.
Think about a possible venue. You can hold a funeral at home if space allows. You can hold a funeral in a venue like a community hall that has been special to your family and there person who’s died.
You don’t have to go to a funeral director’s chapel.
Taking control of funeral arrangements can be life changing.
A funeral that ‘rings true’ helps people to feel, connect and to grieve. This is life changing. A funeral in an everyday community place may be highly appropriate to reflect a life in its context. It can have gravitas without being deeply serious. It can go perfectly without being tightly prescribed. It can be dignified and respectful without the trappings of formality.
A deep need to know the person again can be fulfilled through sensitive programming, music and stories. People can laugh and cry. However sad and bereft, everyone leaving an event with these qualities will feel a communion of care and appreciation. Life can go on.
“We wish we’d been able to mourn and honour our father like this,” two sisters said after a beautiful memorial for their mother. They deeply regretted having missed the opportunity, firstly through choosing a funeral director that wasn’t right for them, and secondly through trying to take things back into their hands without having the help and support they needed.
A funeral at home or in a community venue?
We can change the ways we meet end of life for the better.
Kinship Ritual can help to create a truly fitting occasion in an appropriate setting that won’t break the bank. The home or community funeral is a facilitated event that brings out the best from everyone. There are many ways to create an event that ‘rings true’. Give us a call if you’d like to talk.