The future of alternative memorials

The future of alternative memorials Cremation is becoming increasingly common in the UK with over 70% of us now choosing this option. The practice of cremation is often undertaken for religious or cultural reasons, but its increasing popularity could also be seen as a result of its comparative cost effectiveness to burial. When opting for cremation, you will be asked what you would like done with your ashes – a difficult question and one with many options. Some of the more well-known choices include burying the ashes in your local cemetery, scattering them, or simply having them displayed in an…

HOW SAFE IS MY FUNERAL PLAN?

Quite recently our local newspaper, radio and regional television was full of reports that fairly made my hackles rise. The reports stated that a funeral director in this area had allegedly sold funeral plans to a local couple and then ceased trading and disappeared with the couple’s life savings of four thousand pounds. It’s reasonable to expect that if this person sold two funeral plans, he is very likely to have sold more and that this is not an isolated incident but the tip of a very large iceberg. You can imagine how we all felt, justifiable anger at yet…

I Want This Played At My Funeral.

I recently attended a social function with a group of old friends, all my age, which is over sixty. None of us had paid much attention to the background music until ‘time of my life’ from dirty dancing began to play. One of my friends leaned across the table to me and said “this is what I’m having played at my funeral” Out of professional interest I asked him who knew that he wanted that played. He thought for a moment and then said, “well, only you now, I suppose” That conversation sums up one of the reasons for planning…

Your Legacy in a Digital Age

        We are increasingly living our lives virtually via our computers, iPads and smartphones; in the way we communicate with friends, meet people, do our shopping, pay our bills, access our bank accounts and record our memories. Technology has evolved at an enormous pace and so has the way we store information. Simple things such as photographs, which in the past we could have flicked through in a printed album, are now stored online. We are encouraged to protect these digital activities with passwords and facial recognition apps. But what happens to all of this when you die?…

Coffee, a camera crew and a stopcock

Abbey’s Director Christine Parker reflects: Back in January this year, I went to the Dying Matters Awareness Week launch in London with a colleague from the National Society of  Allied and Independent Funeral Directors. I came away totally inspired to really ‘do something’ this year. Deciding on an event that would work in a rural town in Kent was challenging. What about a Death Café? I wasn’t sure that Tonbridge was quite ready . Coffee mornings seemed a safe bet but even they need a bit of an edge. The more I thought about the message from Dying Matters, the more…

Five Things to Do Before I Die

‘We plan for everything else during our lives but very few plan for the inevitable.’ By Chris Parker, Managing Director of Abbey We’re holding two coffee mornings to raise funds for our bereavement charity Friends Together and to launch their end of life planning guide: ‘Five Things To Do Before I Die.’ They’re part of the Dying Matters Awareness Week (12-18 May 2013), organised by the Dying Matters Coalition to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week, events and activities are being held up and down the country to raise awareness about end of life…