Danielle’s grandfather Vic wanted a no-fuss funeral with low costs. Here’s how Danielle followed his wishes.
Vic was a well-loved man. In his younger years, he’d worked as a farrier for the Queen – something he was always proud of. He was a handyman who would put his hand to anything, sitting in his shed coming up with all sorts of ideas.
“He had a great sense of humour. He’d always be trying to make you laugh, telling the same jokes and stories over and over again. He liked to see people smile.”
When Vic passed away, his granddaughter Danielle stepped in to help arrange the funeral. “My concern was to look after my Nana and get everything finalised. The less time you spend searching and finding out information on how to plan a funeral, the more time you can spend supporting the people you care about and helping them to grieve.”
Vic had had a conversation with his wife about what he wanted before he passed away. A Dignity Funerals leaflet had been posted through their door, which started a conversation about funerals. “Grandad wanted an unattended funeral. Low costs. Something straightforward and basic.”
Vic and his wife were avid walkers and had walked past a Dignity funeral home while out, recognising the logo from the leaflet. Danielle decided to get in touch with this funeral director – John Brierley and Son – when Vic passed away and had a chat about options and pricing.
The family hadn’t heard about unattended funerals before and didn’t know anyone else who’d planned this type of funeral. But for Danielle and her Nana, the most important thing was doing what Vic wanted.
“I decided to look around to see if there was anywhere cheaper, to make sure we were getting the best price. It turned out that prices were pretty consistent across the board for unattended cremations in our area. So we decided to go with them.”
With no funeral service, people who choose an unattended cremation often settle on another way to mourn or remember their loved one. “We decided to remember Grandfather in our own way. Nana let everyone know the day he was being cremated so we could light a candle and keep him in mind. We went to a local pub and had a carvery together too. It was a good way to remember him.”
When Vic’s ashes were returned, Danielle’s Nana chose to have 2 urns and to share the ashes between them. “We bought 2 urns online. One scatter urn and one fancy one that Nana keeps at home. Grandfather had already had a conversation with Nana about where he wants his ashes to be scattered. Nana is going to honour his wishes and we’ll scatter his ashes together.”
Danielle’s tip if you’re planning a funeral
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When Grandfather passed, Nana wouldn’t have picked up the phone to start a conversation about planning the funeral because she wouldn’t have known where to start or what to do. But most people don’t know what to do in this situation. Being unsure is nothing to be afraid of.
“The day I rang the funeral director, I was just honest. I said that I’ve never done this before, can you help and tell me more? They were really helpful and guided me through everything.”
Image credit: All images kindly supplied by Danielle.
To thank Danielle for sharing her story, we’ve made a contribution to Cancer Research in memory of Vic.