2 November 2015

A Tale of Two Funerals.

I don't like to talk about dying on the blog, but there are two conversations that recently resonated with me.

The first was overheard in one of our local shops, where the main man there was showing his colleague some important looking papers he was drawing up.  It turned out these were his Funeral Plan!

He'd, apparently, been to two funerals recently - one which was the full works - a horse drawn carriage, a classy coffin and sophisticated send off, while the other was the bare minumum allowed legally - his friend's body picked up from the local mortuary by his son, popped in a box in the back of a jeep and taken up to the crematorium himself.  

The latter had obviously upset him a great deal and he started to tell me about how expensive it is to die nowadays!

The difference between these two funerals, he went on to explain, was a pre-paid funeral plan and he was taking one out, so that he could get a decent send off and not lumber his own children with the rapidly rising costs involved or, indeed, limit the way he would like to go.

The other conversation that I overheard took place in Downton Abbey (something I'm terribly new to, so please excuse my being vague) on a Sunday night, where the solid Mr. Carson was (I think!) talking about his master whose ulcer had burst all over the dining table and he was telling his new wife how 'Life is short and death is sure.'

So when I was asked to feature the infographic below which features the simply staggering cost of a funeral in the UK - something that has increased by a massive 92.3% in the last decade, it felt the right thing to do.

Sometimes life is trying to tell us something, even if it's about dying!

pre-paid funeral plan, funeral plan, sunlife,
The cost of dying in the UK, with Northern Ireland the lowest, London, the highest. 
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3693, but it's set to rise to £4620 by 2020.

Long live local shops though and the conversations that can occur!

Even though it's a sensitive subject and difficult to bring up, arranging for our wishes to be met in a funeral plan ahead of the event itself, not to mention covering their costs, can surely be a comfort and make things easier for those who are left behind.

Disclosure -  this is a collaborative post, but all words are true and my own, obvs.

24 comments:

  1. Over the years our family has been to a lot of funerals the kids themselves have been to at least twenty (family and friends). Thus the topic of what we want and don't want has been discussed frequently.

    The cost of a funeral is staggering in Canada, but regardless of the price, it has been decided that my husband and I do not want a funeral. We are to be cremated, and put in the cardboard box. We do not want them spending money on coffins. Afterwards a celebration of life party in our home, then the three kids are to go on a camping trip to scatter our ashes. Simple and thoughtful.





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    1. Gosh, Catherine, that's a lot of funerals to endure and I suppose it must be natural to have those conversations then. It makes sense when the situation presents itself like that, let alone so often. It's good to see you have made your wishes clear and that your children can meet them. X

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  2. It's a staggering cost. I was listening to a radio interview the other week with a lady who'd arranged a DIY funeral for a family member. Fascinating stuff, and we don't talk about it enough.

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    1. Yes, I agree and it's something that needs addressing because it can be a shock to be put in the position of not knowing and / or affording.

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  3. I like the idea of a cardboard coffin, cremation and knees-up for everyone, and have my ashes scattered over the cliffs in Gower. :)

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    1. Sounds perfect. Interesting you'd come to Wales!

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    2. My mum comes from Mumbles and I try and get there every year. I love the area. :)

      My dad had some of his ashes scattered there and my mum wants hers there too.

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  4. I hadn't realised just how expensive funerals are. It is good to go pre paid I guess and not cause more worry for the family left behind.

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    1. At least everyone would know what you want and not have to worry about the expense or not being able to meet it.

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  5. Well it's good to get the conversation started because people don't usually talk about these things. x

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  6. A very important subject and one that we don't like to think about but we need to. I hadn't realised how expensive funerals were so it is definitely something to plan for.

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    1. I guess most of us haven't been faced with this issue yet, so it's good to be prepared for the eventuality.

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  7. I've never much thought to this until we were speaking the other day. It is so expensive, I perhaps need a chat with dh. Mich x

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    1. It's not something that generally comes up in conversation so I was taken by surprise in the shops that day! He was very moved by the difference in the funerals and it inspired him to get his own planned properly. He has now given us all food for thought x

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  8. Crazy expensive. I do agree that people should sort a funeral plan out. My dad passed away and me and my sisters were left with not only grieving him dying (52) but organising a funeral and then the cost. At least with a funeral plan money isnt an jssue for the family nor the big responsibility of making the final decision as to how to lay somebody to rest as its not usually discussed.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear you lost your Dad - especially at such a young age (and being 51 I can really appreciate how young he was). When I first heard about this, I thought it was more about helping out with the cost, but as time goes on I think it's just as important to know what their wishes were and to be able to honour them. Thank you for commenting and sharing your story x

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  9. When my Grandmother died a couple of months ago everything was taken care of as she had a funeral plan. It's hard enough to lose someone you dearly loved, I can't imagine what it's like to have to struggle to find the money for a decent send-off as well.

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    1. Oh Izzie, I'm sorry this is so close to home, but I really feel it's something that needs saying for exactly the reasons you say. My commiserations again xxx

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  10. It really is a huge cost isn;t it and I really don't want to be a burden on my family when I die x

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    1. It's quite shocking and some people just can't find the cash to bury their family as they perhaps would have liked to, as above x

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  11. Oh my gosh, that is a crazy amount of money.

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  12. I remember my grandma having this conversation with my mum and I was a bit shocked, I was in my early 20s then and really didn't want to be thinking about all of that. It makes a lot of sense now though c

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