At A H Freemantle we are often surprised by some of the misconceptions that people have about funerals and how to arrange them. I was once asked if funeral directors sign the Official Secrets Act.
This is not the case and sadly I am no James Bond! But there are other more common myths that we hear about and wanted to dispel.
In no particular order:
Myth 1 - Funerals have to cost a fortune. This is very current. Shop around, ask around. It’s not easy when you’re bereaved but visit a couple of funeral directors to see what they’re like. We are all different, we don’t all charge the same, and sometimes there’s a very good reason for that. So try to be a bit critical and understand what you’re getting for your money.
Myth 2 – Funeral directors need to do everything. Increasingly families are becoming more involved and not just doing the flowers and carrying the coffin. A friend of mine recently arranged her father’s funeral with minimal help from me.
Myth 3 – An open coffin chapel visit will provide closure. There is no standard ‘need’ that everyone experiences the same way. Some will feel the need to say their final goodbyes. Others would prefer to remember the person who died, how they were.
Myth 4 – Embalming is compulsory. While there is sometimes a benefit, embalming is not compulsory and is usually an additional cost. Your funeral director should discuss this with you. It will not always create a more positive experience if you choose an open coffin chapel visit.
Myth 5 - The ‘Ashes’ aren’t genuine. One of the most common myths and not correct. The cremation takes place in a single cremator, which is cleared after each cremation. They are as genuine as they can possibly be. Crematoriums are happy to talk through this in more detail and even show you around.
Myth 6 – Coffins are recycled at crematoriums. Due to the carbon footprint of a cremation things may change in the future, but currently the entire coffin with handles is cremated.
Myth 7 - Charges exist for crossing county borders. This is no longer the case, although we do need to notify the coroner to take a body outside England and Wales – so if you are in England and want the funeral in Scotland, you would need to notify the appropriate local authorities.
There really is no such thing as a silly question so feel free to ask us by e-mailing [email protected] or calling 01329 842115.