What is a Chapel of Rest?
After someone dies and they are taken to a funeral home, you can still come and see them. The place for this is often called the chapel of rest. So, what happens in a ...
What to Write in a Condolence Book
The prospect of writing in a condolence book can be a little daunting. But if you do manage to write a message of support, it can mean a lot to the family of the person who has died. It can even help you come to terms with your own feelings of ...
What is a Crematorium Really Like?
Around 70% of Brits choose cremation for their final farewell. And yet the crematorium itself often seems to leave us a little squeamish. For many, crematoria are still places of mystery – perhaps even dread. So, ...
What to Write in a Sympathy Card
When someone you know has lost a loved one, you want to be there for them in every way you can. A card is a great way to show you care - but, of course, it’s not always easy to find the right words for a sympathy card. Don’t worry. To help out, ...
What is a Pallbearer?
If you’ve ever been to a traditional funeral or seen a funeral scene on TV, you might have noticed that there’s a procession around the coffin when it moves from place to place. The people carrying the coffin at a funeral are known as ...
What is a Coroner's Inquest?
When someone dies unexpectedly, violently, or of unknown causes, the coroner will investigate their death. The first step is usually a post-mortem – but if that doesn’t reveal enough information, the coroner will call for an inquest into the ...
What is a Post-Mortem Examination?
Every year, more than 85,000 post-mortem examinations take place in the UK. If a family member has died, you may well be wondering whether a post-mortem might be an option – and what to expect if so. Here’s what you need to know. This guide ...
What is a Humanist Funeral?
If you’ve recently said goodbye to someone who wasn’t religious, you might be wondering what to do for their funeral. What kind of ceremony can you have that respects their perspective, but still feels as ...
What is a Funeral Procession?
While funeral processions aren't quite as common as they once were, they're still a familiar sight for many of us. In fact, a lot of families still find a great deal of comfort in the tradition. If you're thinking about including a funeral ...
Planning a Celebration of Life? Ideas & Inspiration to Get You Started
A recent ICM survey revealed that 54% of Brits want their funeral to be a "celebration of life". But what does that mean exactly, and what do you need to know to plan a celebration of life funeral for a loved ...
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Pet Cremation Services
When a much-loved pet dies, it can be as painful - and overwhelming - as any other bereavement. And just like any other bereavement, it can also be a comfort to know that your pet is in good hands when it comes ...
What is the Cost of Repatriating a Body?
Most people would like their funeral to be held near the place they call home after they die. When someone dies abroad, bringing them back home for the service can be hugely important to their family and ...
How to Write an Obituary to Remember
The idea of writing an obituary for someone close to you can be daunting. But with a little time, thought and careful research, you can create something that will really do them justice. So, how do you write an ...
What is an Obituary?
An obituary isn’t a necessity when someone dies, but it can be a good way to tell the wider local community about their death and celebrate their life. But what does ‘obituary’ mean, exactly, and how do ...
What is a Mausoleum – and Can You Have One?
What is a mausoleum burial like nowadays, and how much can you expect to pay for a mausoleum in the UK? While many of us think of these above-ground tombs as relics from the past, a number of British cemeteries ...
What is a Funeral Wake?
What is a wake? A wake is a gathering held before or shortly after a funeral service. It’s a chance for the friends and family of the person who has died to share memories of their loved one and celebrate their life. If you're ...
Laws & Regulations on Scattering Ashes in the UK
Can you scatter ashes anywhere in the UK? Not exactly, but the laws on scattering ashes here are pretty easy-going. You can find the essentials below, as well as the best approaches for a successful ...
What is a Woodland Burial?
What is a woodland burial, why choose it, and how do you arrange this kind of eco-friendly farewell? Let’s take a look…   What is a woodland burial? A woodland ...
How to Repatriate a Body – and How Long it Takes
When someone close to you dies overseas, bringing them home for the funeral can seem like a logistical nightmare. Where do you even begin? We’re here to help. Here’s how to repatriate a body belonging to a ...
Do You Have to Have a Funeral?
Funerals aren’t for everyone. You might hate the idea and not want one for yourself, or you might be struggling to decide what to do for someone you love. So, do you have to have a funeral? The UK has been ...
Burying Ashes in a Grave
If you’re thinking about burying the ashes of someone who has been cremated, you might have some questions about how it all works. How is the burial of ashes in a churchyard different from burial on private ...
A Quick Guide to All the Cremation Forms You Might Need
When you’re arranging a cremation for a loved one, paperwork is often the last thing on your mind. Luckily, getting all the different cremation forms, papers and permits sorted is actually pretty simple. ...
What is Embalming? The Embalming Process Explained
Embalming isn’t quite as popular here in the UK as it is in the US or Canada, and the embalming process is a bit of a mystery for most of us. So, what is embalming, how does it work – and why embalm at all? ...
Taking Ashes Abroad? Here's How to Prepare
A lot of people like the idea of scattering ashes in a favourite holiday spot or in a meaningful location abroad. Many others simply want to bring ashes “home” to family members living overseas. As long as ...
How to Decide Whether to Have a Cremation or Burial
Cremation or burial? If you’re struggling to decide, don’t worry. Our handy comprehensive guide is here to talk you through all the standard cremation vs. burial pros and cons. Is cremation more expensive ...
Arranging the Interment of Ashes
After a loved one has been cremated, there’s the question of where the ashes will be kept. Some families choose to
How Long Does Cremation Take?
The time spent waiting between a loved one’s death and the return of their ashes can be painful. Often, we see cremation as the moment a person is properly ‘laid to rest’, making delays, at best, ...
Scattering Ashes at Sea in the UK
Scattering ashes at sea, on a river, at a lake or in a beach-side ceremony can be a genuinely uplifting experience. With the regulations ranging from light to non-existent, the only real barrier to a peaceful ...
Everything You Need to Know About Burial at Sea
Burial at sea only accounts for about a dozen funerals in the UK each year, but with people increasingly turning to more personal ways to say goodbye, this unusual option may be on the rise.
What is a Columbarium?
If you’re looking for a respectful place to keep a loved one’s ashes, or you’re thinking of your own future arrangements, a columbarium might be the answer. While they’re much more popular in Europe ...
What Happens to the Coffin During Cremation?
All kinds of myths exist about cremation, from the silly to the sinister. Some people believe that crematoria remove the body for burning and return the coffin to the funeral director for reuse, or even that ...
Keeping Ashes in the House
Around 7% of people who want to be cremated after their death also say that they ...
Everything You Need to Know About Direct Cremation
With David Bowie and novelist Anita Brookner among the latest people choosing a direct cremation, this less-expensive alternative to standard cremation is on the rise. Thinking about arranging a direct ...
How to Plan a Funeral
Making funeral arrangements can be hard, whether you’re planning a funeral or memorial service for someone close to you or just planning your own funeral ahead of time. There are a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of things to set ...
The Beyond Funeral Glossary
Welcome to the Beyond funeral glossary: your ultimate guide to all the jargon, slang and technical terms you might encounter when arranging a funeral or settling an estate.
How to Arrange a Funeral for a Baby
Losing a child can be a harrowing and painful experience that’s difficult to understand and process. This is particularly true if the child did not have much time to live or was a stillborn baby. Though losing a child can be emotionally ...
How to Write Your Own Funeral Poem
If you’re considering reading a poem at a funeral but can’t find anything that really expresses the way you feel, you may want to think about writing your own. Not only does this give you the opportunity to create something extremely personal ...
Funeral Poems for a Mother
Poetry is a powerful means of exploring death and the emotions and thoughts associated with it. When confronted with the loss of a loved one, we can often struggle to express how we feel, what we’re going through and how much the deceased meant to ...
Funeral Poems for a Father
If you’re struggling to find adequate words to represent the way you feel about the loss of a loved one, poetry can be an excellent place to find inspiration. The best poets express how many of us feel in beautiful and succinct ways, giving us an ...
Funeral Poems for a Child
While some poems try to take an optimistic approach to death, others focus on the the devastating grief of losing a loved one or the void they leave behind once they’re gone. When selecting a poem to read at a funeral, it’s important to consider ...
Classic Funeral Poems
Finding the right poem for a funeral can be a challenge. Not only do you have to set the right tone, you also need to think about your audience and how they’ll feel at the moment of your reading. Poetry can be a mechanism for the exploration of ...
How to Arrange a Traditional Funeral Service
When arranging a traditional funeral service you will need to consider the location, venue, the content of the ceremony itself, dress code, transport and any post-ceremony gathering that may be taking place. You should also take your time and
How to Choose a Headstone
When designing and choosing a headstone, you will need to consider the shape and design of the headstone, the material from which it is made, the type of finish applied to the headstone and any inscription you’d like to have applied, as well as ...
What is Natural Burial?
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of people rejecting traditional burial customs and opting for a burial that better suits their ...
What Happens at a Cremation? The Cremation Process Explained
Around 70% of all funerals in the UK involve cremation, but until you attend one, the cremation process can seem a little mysterious – and daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.   In ...
What to Do When Someone Dies
When someone dies, it's not always clear what your next step should be. There are a lot of things to take care of, and it can feel overwhelming. We've created this guide to help. We’ll cover all ...
How to Choose a Funeral Director
Not sure how to find a funeral director who’ll arrange the right kind of send-off for your loved one? At first glance, it can seem like they’re all much alike – or that there are too many to choose between – but there are a few key things ...
How to Choose a Coffin
Choosing a coffin is an important part of organising a funeral. It is often the focal point of the service, and can set the tone for the ceremony. For example, wooden coffins will suit a more traditional service, metal coffins are a more modern ...
Everything You Need to Know About Independent Funeral Directors
When you’re choosing a funeral director, you might have heard that X company is an “independent funeral directors”, while Y is a “chain” – and you might also have wondered why it matters. The truth is, choosing an independent can ...
How to Choose an Urn
Choosing an urn is an important step in arranging a funeral if you have chosen cremation for your loved one. Finding the perfect urn for cremated ashes serves as a lasting memorial to your loved one, whether that urn is buried during a memorial ...
What is a Funeral Celebrant and What Do They Do?
A funeral celebrant is a qualified person who officiates funeral services by planning and overseeing funeral proceedings. Funeral celebrants conduct non-religious, semi-religious and spiritual funeral services. ...
What to Do With Funeral Flowers After the Funeral
After the funeral, you may have a large amount of funeral flowers that will not fit in your own home. If you don’t want to ...
How to Choose Flowers for a Funeral
Choosing flowers for the funeral may not be your first concern when planning a funeral as there are so many other decisions to make. It can feel cathartic, though, to create an arrangement or tribute that really ...
How Long Does a Funeral Service Last?
A typical funeral service lasts around an hour, although some funerals can last a number of days, subject to custom and religious beliefs. Some services can be as short as ...
What to Wear to a Funeral
To dress for a funeral, you are generally expected to wear clothes that conform to accepted funeral etiquette and follow the ...
What is Good Funeral Etiquette?
Funeral etiquette is not as strict as it used to be. Funerals were once guided by rigid codes of conduct, but nowadays there is a less clear-cut definition of what a funeral should be. The tone of proceedings is ...
When to Have a Funeral
Most funerals happen around midday, during the week, around one or two weeks after the death, but you may have to wait if there will be an inquest into the death. When thinking about the best time for a funeral, ...
How to Choose Funeral Transport
When it comes to choosing transport for a funeral service, it’s often easier to communicate your preferences to the funeral director and let them handle the practicalities of organising and booking vehicles. However, some people may prefer to take ...
How to Host a Memorial Service
A memorial service, or wake, is a deeply personal event that celebrates the life of someone who has passed away and gives the deceased’s friends and family an opportunity to gather and collectively remember the individual. For some, the idea of ...
How to Organise a Personal Funeral Service
Organising a personal funeral service that truly celebrates and commemorates the life of your loved one requires careful planning. Place the individual at the centre of every decision you make, and you will create a funeral that is far more ...
How to Find the Right Funeral Poem
Choosing the right poem for a funeral, one that will set just the right tone, can be a difficult decision. If you have been asked to find and read a funeral poem, you need to consider your audience and how they will ...
How to Arrange a Non-Religious Funeral
A non-religious funeral might best suit your loved one and their beliefs, but it can be difficult to know what options are available. There are many alternatives to the traditional religious funeral, so don’t be ...
How to Arrange an Eco Funeral
Arranging an eco funeral, also known as a green funeral, is a fitting tribute to someone who felt most at home outdoors, in wide open natural spaces. It is also ideal for those who cared about the environment and ...