Mail Online

What’s wrong with a simple funeral?

elisaBeth GreenhoW, address supplied.

A Recent article by sam Merriman (Mail) reported a survey suggesting that less than half of us now want a traditional funeral. After my death, i want a simple christian ‘remembrance’ by the family in our daughter’s house. My husband wants the same. We’ll choose the music, the family can share memories and a voluntary pastor will, we hope, say a few words. some people may think such informality unchristian, but the church once held that cremation was a sin. Views change.

name supplied, ruislip, Middx. The Archbishop of canterbury may complain, but financial pressures play a part in decisions about funerals. two years ago, i had to arrange the funeral of a close relative. they had requested an unattended cremation, which cost just under £1,000. their ashes were to be placed in the Garden of Rest at a small country church. i was shocked to learn that the cost of digging a tiny hole and the reading of a short prayer would be £450. Looking back, i wish i had simply scattered the ashes myself and not bothered to ask the vicar for his permission.

name and address supplied. in the past eight years we have lost four much-loved family members and held a traditional funeral for only one of them. the other three had cremations. then, when we were ready, we held a memorial lunch for my in-laws and a kart race meeting for my brother. these were lovely occasions when friends and family gathered to reminisce and share memories. Music was played, ashes were scattered, there was food, drink, flowers and speeches. We shared laughter and tears. We didn’t have to sit through a grim service in a grim crematorium while trying to deal with our raw grief in those early weeks. it didn’t feel sad or disrespectful at all.

alison WilKins, leighton Buzzard, Beds. dAisY GoodWin (Mail) sees it as selfish not to have a traditional funeral and opines that this is because nobody wants to confront their mortality. What rubbish!

My husband and i have bequeathed our mortal remains to medical science. it’s free of charge. if anyone asks about our funerals, a jolly reply of, ‘oh, we’re going to be sliced and diced. it’s cheaper!’ ensures a change of subject. C.D. FielD, Middlesbrough.

FOR my funeral, i want the cheapest coffin and the simplest cremation. i would be delighted if the family spent the money saved on a nice holiday and a couple of cases of wine. those would give them far happier memories than sitting in a soulless room flanked by overpriced flowers, with a vicar trying to tell the world what a fine fellow i was and how much i’ll be missed. My father lived with us for many years and we were close. When he died nearly 50 years ago, i raised a few eyebrows by haggling with the undertaker for the cheapest possible coffin. Why burn first-class oak and brass handles? no, i’m not a miserable old scrooge but a realist.

TONY CLARK, Great Glen, leics. does daisy Goodwin work for a firm of undertakers? it is up to the person who dies to choose their funeral. i’m having a simple one and no headstone.

PHILIP CLARK, Wakefield, W. Yorks. none of our family is religious and, when my mum died, my brother and i decided to have a green funeral, with a celebrant. it was beautiful, in a field with the birds singing. she would have loved it. My husband and i decided on a ‘cremation only’ service when either of us passed away. When my husband died two years ago, the service we had from Pure cremation was second to none. everything is in place for me and it means my family won’t have to make funeral arrangements or pay for anything. it makes me feel at peace.





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