This is a lovely share from Ann, who used Final Fling and other resources to give her the knowledge, agency and power to get the send-off she and her parents wanted, without all the rigmarole:
My parents wanted to plan their own funerals
“Many years ago, my parents decided that they would like to plan their funerals. We are a practical and not at all religious. They wanted a simple, cheap and personal way for the family to say goodbye.
“I did a lot of research and came across websites like Final Fling which gave me not only practical information but inspiring stories.
“I found a company that made beautifully designed biodegradable coffins.
Our local crematorium wouldn’t allow a DIY funeral
“I had also investigated crematoriums. Unfortunately, our local one said it would not allow ‘Do It Yourself Funerals.’ I did find a council owned one nearby who were happy to help when the time came. My Parents chose the music they wanted, who they wanted present and we put all the information in a folder and put it away.
“My mother died a few years later. She was 80 years old and had cancer. She died at home with her family around her.
“I retrieved the folder and started arranging her funeral. I contacted the crematorium. They gave me a date and time. We then ordered the coffin.
In Scotland you can register a death anywhere
“I contacted the local council to register her death. They could not give me an appointment in time. However, in Scotland you can register a death anywhere, so I contacted another council and got an appointment the next day.
“We kept my Mum at home. The day after she died, I had washed and dressed her and put her makeup on. When the coffin arrived, I wrapped her in a white sheet and my brother, and I placed her in a beautiful coffin.
Mum would have laughed at that
“We decide that to save upsetting the neighbours we would carry her down to the car at night. Mum would have laughed at that.
“The next day we drove to the Crematorium. Her favourite music was playing. We had scanned photos of her life to be shown on a screen. My brother and I spoke, and her grandchildren recited poetry they had written.
A beautiful way to say goodbye
“It was a beautiful and extremely personal way to say goodbye. (It was also considerably cheaper than going through a Funeral Directors.)
“I cannot thank Barbara and Final Fling for the help they gave me and my family.”
You are so welcome Ann. It’s what this journey has been all about for me.
One thought on “A little knowledge goes a long way – a DIY funeral”
thank you for sharing. I am always sad that lack of money is the greater fear around End of Life, and your story addresses that Kx