Firstly, we'd like to express our sincere sorrow for your loss. We recognise that there will be a thousand and one thoughts running through your mind right now; perhaps amongst them a desire to get to grips with what must be done over the days and weeks ahead.
Drawing on our centuries of experience, we've put together this brief guide to help you right now as you start to order those thoughts. It is deliberately concise but will lead to further questions, for which we are here to help and guide you through.
To assist you, we have identified The Three Cs which can shape the way ahead: Communicate, Coordinate and Commemorate.
Scroll across by clicking on the dots under the text below.
It's not easy, but you will need to tell people of your loss-family, friends, perhaps even colleagues at clubs, societies or work. You will also need to make formal notifications by registration and informing institutions such as banks and building societies. You may feel like you are repeating yourself a lot, so consider asking a family member or friend to assist you in letting people know.
Registering the death is the main formal notification and should normally take place within five days of the death - unless this is delayed, for example, if the coroner is involved. Registration requires an appointment to be made and you'll need to take a number of documents with you. We can provide the details of the local Registrar, and give you a list of the documents and information you will need.
Registering the death is the only action that must be taken within a set time period. There is no rush to make decisions and we recommend that you take some time to think things through.
Once you’ve told people, inevitably you will start to think about coordinating the arrangement for the funeral itself. Funerals are intensely personal and unique to the person that has died and, of course, to you. This is where we can help to guide you through the decisions that need to be made, and assist in making all of the arrangements - such as venues, flowers, transportation, music, catering and people. The most important thing to remember is that there is no right and wrong. We can provide expertise and inspiration; our main aim is to fulfil your instructions to the letter. Our Things to consider will act as an aide memoire throughout the process.
By now, your loved one will be in our care, so that you will be able to visit and spend time with them prior to the funeral if you wish to.
We know that throughout this time, you might suddenly think of something or have a question. We are at your service throughout-please call or come and see us whenever and as often as you need us, even if it is just for a reassuring chat.
We know that the entire day of the funeral can be a challenge - not just the ceremony. We will call you to reassure you and remind you of the arrangements, such as what time we shall meet you and so on. We also know that you will be surrounded by people who are keen to support you and spend time with you - some you may see regularly; others may have travelled from a great distance. Our aim is to help you through the day and ensure that ceremony goes according to the arrangements that we have created with you. If you would like us to, we will collect you and drop you home afterwards. In the evening, we will call and see how you are.
As you start to think about the funeral ceremony itself, there can be a lot to think about. Before meeting with us, it might be useful to have a think about the sort of funeral ceremony that would be most fitting. To start, you might wish to consider two further Cs:
Ceremony - Funeral ceremonies can take many forms, large gatherings of family and friends through to smaller, private ceremonies attended by just close family. Some are founded in religious belief and practice, others are based on the sharing of memories and recollections.
Committa l- this is the final act of the funeral ceremony, traditionally involving either a burial or a cremation. In many cases, the committal may take place as part of the main ceremony-this will naturally depend on whether burial or cremation is chosen. Alternatively, it may happen separately witnessed by many, by a small gathering or even unwitnessed.
We are here for you throughout.