Recapping on highlights of the year, today we’re celebrating Tracy O’Leary of Woodland Wishes winning Green Funeral Directors of the Year.
We asked Tracy about the award, what she does and why.
Q: Why do you think Woodland Wishes won Green Funeral Directors of the Year?
My passion for enlightening families on how to make a funeral more beautiful, relaxed and personal as well as being considerate to the environment by offering locally sourced, biodegradable and sustainable products and thinking outside the typical funeral box !
Q: Why Green Funeral Directors?
Three years after the birth of my daughter (now aged 7) I was offered a position by a local homeless charity to be involved in a willow coffin project. I knew nothing about coffins or death apart from the memories of my grandparents funeral which was full of black, tears and confusion. I had a strange feeling that this was the start of a new chapter in my life but wasn’t sure where it was taking me. I discovered the world of natural burial funerals and I was blown away and slightly resentful that my grandparents had missed out on something so beautiful. More and more I was helping bereaved families who didn’t just want a coffin… families craving empowerment and wanting someone to help them who wasn’t a traditional undertaker dressed in black; just someone on the same wavelength.
I was there for them offering advice… from transporting a coffin to the mortuary and raising awareness of the beautiful natural burial grounds in our area. When the funding ran out for the coffin project I was able to take it further and get more involved in helping families organise a more empowering goodbye emerging into a more people centred undertaker.
Q: What’s the first job you did?
I was a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) answering the phone and typing letters in a small electronics firm earning £15 a week.
Q: What’s top on your Bucket List or Before I Die list?
The last thing on my bucket list is to have a Woodland Wishes style funeral, hopefully carried out by my beautiful daughter but we haven’t had that conversation, yet…!
Find out more about Green Funerals.
Make sure you capture your own funeral Wishes and share with a Keyholder who can carry out your instructions when the time comes. It’s free – and easy to do – with Final Fling’s free Life Planning Tools.