Thursday, 12 January 2012

2012 13th January - For Those Wanting Pointers Planning a Civil Burial

I recently posted about my own plans for an outdoor green burial in a beautiful park with descending hills leading to a river, copses and spinneys where I can have a tree planted and surrounded by wild flowers (season dependent).
Since I knew I had cancer back in december 2006, I'd been looking into at the very least a civil celebrant. There was no way I wanted god mentioned at my funeral in any way, nor did I want people to be thinking about me in a cold church or impersonal crematorium building.
You can, however do exactly what I'm doing but include god and your own beliefs, so you get the best of both, or just swap the vicar for a celebrant, still have hymns and prayers, things just less "churchy" which for non church going christians for example would, I imagine, feel better. I think younger people are being drawn to this type of compromise more. Where a church may not be able to accommodate say your ex rock band playing a live tribute as you're carried out, with a civil service and funeral that's entirely possible. It's your day and how you'd like to be remembered and you can make it a pleasant day for those you leave behind despite the grief. I know, for all the pain, Bec's funeral was lovely and her ideas were very much like mine, even down to a wicker coffin entwined with flowers. The setting sadly cannot be matched anywhere local to me, purely since she is at bristol and I'm in the sticks. But I love my choice, even for the fact the village and surrounding ones are stone buildings only, being near a quarry. Just the drive there is beautiful, passing the ground of Burghley House.
So, where do you start?
Put your wishes in your will
Tell those close to you, ask for opinions and suggestions
Ask what they might like to do or say on the day (eg coffin bearer, read verse or tribute)
Once all decided upon, either arrange all or some things in advance or just have written "spec" of how you want your day to be and keep those with your will, also somewhere accessible where you know people will go to as soon as you die. The will is usually not thought about until after the funeral so it's important more than one person knows to look for this document!
These websites were my starting points, followed by a specific link to Manchester for Fiona and Faerie if you ever stop working long enough to read anything else.
I should add all of this is possible with cremation if that is your preference, internment of ashes instead of burial.


Juanita said...

Hi Lisa
I have been following your blog for a while. Just started my own to voice my cancer perspective and support yours. Hope to see you there anytime. Warmest regards Juanita

Juanita said...

Err what a newbie....

Fiona said...

Hi Lisa

I had been floundering up to now, but your links are really useful. Thanks so much.
I do hope you remain reasonable comfortable once you are home next week.