10 myth-busting funeral facts
When it comes to funeral directors, Poppy Mardall is a breath of fresh air. The former Sotheby's deputy director set up her award-winning business Poppy's Funerals three years ago to offer the public more creative and personal choice at the end of life. Forget clichéd notions of morose men in sombre apparel driving black hearses, Poppy consciously never dresses entirely in black, and her hearses are white and decorated with poppies. With funeral costs at an all time high*, Poppy is also passionate about keeping prices affordable and pricing transparent. She says: "Our simplified approach means we charge as little as £750, so rather than spending money on things that don’t matter, it can go towards creating a more memorable service."
Poppy shares her top ten myth-busting funeral facts.
1. There is no legal obligation to use a funeral director.
You can take charge of some, or all, of the funeral arrangements yourself.
2. You don't have to use a traditional black hearse.
It can be any vehicle, even a family estate car.
3. You don't have to have a traditional wooden coffin.
The options are endless: willow, bamboo, cardboard, a shroud or you can even make or decorate the coffin yourself!
4. The body can stay at home.
If this feels right for you, this is absolutely possible.
5. The body does not have to be embalmed or sutured.
These highly invasive procedures are not necessary. The body can be left in its natural state.
6. Many independent-looking funeral directors are not independent.
This is important work. Make sure you know who you're employing.
7. The body is rarely kept at the funeral director's high street shop.
Many funeral directors operate large 'hub' mortuaries, often located many miles from the high street branches they serve. Ask where the body will be cared for.
8. Funerals don't have to be expensive.
Shop around or ask a friend to do so on your behalf. Make sure you're not sold products or services you don't want or need.
9. Euphemisms aren't helpful.
If you're not sure what the funeral director is trying to tell you, ask them to clarify what they're saying.
10. Funeral directors don't know best.
Families do. A good funeral director will support a family to have the funeral that's right for them.
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* Source: ONS, SunLife Direct Cost of Dying Report