FAQs

Our Frequently Asked Questions. For FAQs specifically covering what to do when someone dies, please see our dedicated section.

Funeral Directors

Funeral Director Roles

  • What does a funeral director do?

    A funeral director is involved with preparations before a funeral, through to the event itself, and provides support during the days and months that follow.

    A funeral director's priority in the first instance is caring for the deceased person. This will involve providing mortuary facilities. A funeral director helps close family members with all aspects of funeral planning. This includes advising on the type of funeral, planning the funeral service itself, organising a reception after the funeral if desired, providing an aftercare service to support with queries, and follow-up tasks such as the scattering of ashes or the organising of other keepsake items.

    As well as the funeral arrangements, a funeral director’s services can include helping with the registering of a death, collating medical and legal certificates, liaising with celebrants, florists, and other local services, and advising on pre-paid funeral plans should they be required.

  • Can funeral directors register a death?

    Registering a death is usually done by a close relative of the person who has died. However, this is not always the case as sometimes a close relative is not available. In that case, a person present at a death, an executor of a will, or nursing home staff member can register a death. Funeral directors cannot register a death.

    Registering a death is done by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, at the local registry office.

  • Can funeral directors keep ashes?

    Most commonly the ashes get returned to the family by the crematorium, however if instructions are given by the family to do so, a funeral director may collect the ashes. They can keep the ashes for up to 5 years, after which, should they not be collected, they are legally allowed to dispose of them.

  • Can funeral directors embalm bodies?

    Funeral Directors can embalm your loved one. Embalming is the process of preserving a body after death through the use of preservatives. Embalming is carried out by a qualified embalmer who understands how to restore bodies and prepare them prior to a funeral. Our embalmers will treat each body with dignity and respect and will treat each deceased as if they were one of their own.

    If embalming is declined, our embalming team will still care for your loved one, and visiting may still be possible (depending on their condition). We will Wash and style hair, wash and dry the body before dressing and finally placing the loved one in the coffin ready for visiting or the funeral.

    Each of our embalmers is a registered member of the British Institute of Embalmers, and follow a Code of Ethics. We continue to regularly undertake Professional Personal Development.

  • Can funeral directors perform autopsies?

    No, funeral directors do not perform autopsies. Autopsies or post-mortem examinations are carried out by a pathologist who are experts in finding out the cause of death.

  • What should you look for in a funeral director?

    When looking for a funeral director, it is important to find someone who can provide compassionate and professional support during a difficult time. Some of the key factors to consider are reputation and expertise, their services offered, their cost transparency, and checking their Google reviews. It is essential that you ‘shop around’ and don’t feel that you have to make a snap decision, but to visit a few and choose a funeral director with whom you feel the most comfortable with.

Funeral Director's Availability

  • Are funeral directors available 24 hours?

    Yes, most funeral directors are available 24 hours a day and operate a service to receive and respond to calls at all times. This ensures that when a loved one dies, you can be given advice on the next steps at any time.

  • Are funeral directors open on bank holidays?

    Funeral directors are open 24 hours a day and during all official bank holidays.

  • Are funeral directors open on Saturdays?

    Most funeral directors are open for in-person appointments, Monday to Friday, however funeral directors operate a 24/7 phone service.

Funeral Planning

  • How to plan a funeral?

    When someone has died, the first steps with funeral planning can seem daunting or unfamiliar. A family member will be required to check if there are any funeral instructions in the will, and a medical professional will be needed to verify the death.

    The next steps involve choosing a funeral director and funeral planning. Carefully looking at what is included in a funeral director’s prices is advisable and reviews are an indicator of professionalism, compassion, and care. During the planning, consideration will be given to the type of funeral that is desired, such as selecting a burial, cremation or a direct burial or cremation.

    The funeral director will give advice and support and organise the day exactly as the close family members wish it to be. Arranging the funeral service will include setting a date and addressing all the small details such as the choice of transport, flowers, coffin, music and if there is to be a reception following the funeral.

    Finally, funeral planning will involve considering tasks that need completing after the funeral service. These may include administrative legacy details, or creating a physical book of condolence, and how best to display photo or condolence messages as a memorial.

  • Can I plan my own funeral?

    Many people choose to plan their own funeral. The reasons for this can be personal and may include paying for the funeral and leaving instructions for their family to help ease the planning process when they are grieving.

    Often planning your own funeral will include thinking about which funeral director you wish to appoint, if you prefer to be cremated or buried, where you would like to have your funeral, the choices of music, transport, and poems and if there is to be a wake afterwards.

    To remove the burden from your loved ones, you can put plans in place by purchasing a pre-paid funeral plan or an insurance policy.

  • How to plan a funeral reception?

    A funeral reception takes place after the funeral service and is an opportunity to gather friends and family together to share memories relating to the life of the loved one who has departed. Planning a reception will include deciding on the location, date, and time of the reception, making plans for food and drink, deciding if it will be a public or private event, and planning the format such as if it should be a stand up or sit-down reception. Other aspects of funeral reception planning include estimating how many guests will attend and deciding if any other elements such as photo displays are desired.

  • Where can funerals be held?

    Funerals can be held at a surprising range of venues such as a crematorium, your home, your garden, a village hall, a hotel, or a community centre. These venues would allow for a non-religious funeral ceremony.

  • Can you plan a funeral without a death certificate?

    You can plan a funeral without a death certificate but for the funeral to be finally arranged, the funeral director will require the death to be registered.

  • How long does it take to plan a funeral?

    The length of time to plan a funeral can vary. It typically takes one to two weeks to arrange all the funeral details.

  • Where do I start with planning a funeral?

    Usually, the first steps will involve choosing a funeral home, choosing a service type, and selecting a location for the funeral service. Your funeral director will guide you through all the first steps and administration associated with planning a funeral.

  • What happens if I can’t afford to pay for a funeral?

    Sometimes a family has no funds to pay for a funeral. If this is the case, there may be financial assistance available via a government scheme in the form of a funeral expense payment or alternatively, local authorities may have a public health fund available.

  • How can one of my parents plan their own funeral?

    Your parents can visit a funeral director who can give advice to help them plan, organise, and pay for their funeral. Having a conversation and planning for their own funeral can help lighten the load for loved ones in the future.

  • How do I talk to my parents in the right way about their funeral arrangements?

    Even though often sensitive, you can talk to your parents about their funeral wishes. You can ask them if they wish to be buried or cremated, and if cremated, where they wish their ashes to be placed. You can ask if they have a preference on music, flowers, or poems or readings. It can help personalise the day and make it special and unique, providing some comfort to family members being able to carry out a loved one’s wishes.

Funeral Plans

  • What is a funeral plan?

    A funeral plan is a means by which a funeral is organised and paid for in advance. With a pre-paid plan in place, the family will have less to organise, and there will be greater reassurance that the financial and emotional pressure surrounding a death is reduced.

  • Who can plan a funeral?

    Anyone can plan a funeral although it is typically planned by a close family relative to the deceased person. Planning a funeral is supported by the help and services of a good funeral director. Whilst the planning usually led by a close family member/s, the funeral director has lots of responsibilities to ensure the person who has died is taken care of, and the funeral day itself runs smoothly.

  • What does a funeral plan cover?

    A funeral plan is a policy which allows you to pay upfront for a funeral. However, plans do vary ranging from a more basic option through to a more comprehensive plan. A basic plan will be cheaper and contain some limitations whereas a more comprehensive plan will offer greater variety such as a wider transport selection, or greater viewing options. Funeral plans do not typically pay for burial plots, flower costs, or costs associated with the wake.

    Always check the plan to be sure you are happy with it before buying.

  • Why buy a funeral plan?

    A funeral plan allows you to pay upfront for your funeral, so your family and relatives don’t have to cover the costs themselves or take the funds from your estate. A funeral plan is one way to feel secure in the knowledge that all is arranged and paid for. However, always check the finer details of the plan to know what is covered in the plan.

  • When should you get a funeral plan?

    There is no right age to get a funeral plan, however people in their 50s and 60s are the largest groups who buy funeral plans. Funeral planning in your 70s and 80s becomes more expensive but is possible.

  • How does a funeral plan work?

    A funeral plan is designed to allow you to plan a funeral ahead of time, and cover the costs of the funeral by paying in a way that suits you.

  • How can you plan a funeral before you die?

    You can plan how you wish your funeral to be before you die. The big questions that will need considering are if you wish to have a burial or cremation, and if the funeral will be religious or non-religious. Thinking about elements of the service is advisable too such as if eulogies are to be read, which music is preferred, and if there are to be flowers or charity donations. You can also think about where the funeral service might be held, and if there is to be a wake or reception. Finally, the payments options can also be considered.

  • Does an executor of a will plan a funeral?

    Yes, an executor of a will is primarily responsible for arranging a funeral.

  • How do I choose a funeral plan?

    When looking at funeral plans, there are many options. We recommend you check the FCA website and make sure you choose a plan from a list of authorised funeral plan providers. Also, look at how the funeral plan provider is rated on customer service, the range of funeral plan options, value for money of each plan, and read the terms and conditions carefully before proceeding.

  • Are funeral plans safe?

    Funeral plans are safer than they have ever been as they are now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which is giving the consumer added protection. As firms are regulated, your money can only be with an authorised provider who must meet the FCA rules. The FCA has authorised 26 providers. Regulation of the sector will bring higher standards and boost consumer protection, such as banning cold calling and provides greater certainty that your money is looked after and used responsibly.

  • Can I cancel my funeral plan?

    Funeral plans can be cancelled at any time and payments will be refunded but there is usually a cancellation fee, so it is important to check the terms and conditions. Most funeral plan providers state that you will lose your right to cancel if a family member has requested to redeem your plan or if the funeral has been provided.

  • Should I leave my funeral wishes in my will?

    You can leave your funeral wishes in a will, however funeral wishes are not legally binding. If the family members start making arrangements for your funeral before the will has been disclosed, it may be advisable to ensure your family knows what your funeral wishes are. If you decided to include your funeral arrangements in your will, it may be also be helpful to produce a separate letter of wishes for your family which can be updated separate to your will.

  • What does a funeral plan typically include?

    A funeral plan, pre-paid in advance, typically includes a set of arrangements and services to facilitate the process of laying a deceased person to rest. Funeral plans allow you to choose the type of funeral you want and plan before your death. The specific details can vary based on cultural, religious, and personal preferences. Funeral plans can vary widely but typically include a cremation or burial, a choice of coffin, a funeral director’s professional services, and care of the deceased person prior to the funeral.

  • Can I change my funeral plan after I have taken it out?

    Having the option to change a funeral plan after purchasing depends on the terms and conditions of the specific plan. Changing elements of the funeral plan may have cost implications.

  • What happens if I die before I have finished paying for my funeral plan?

    If death occurs within the repayment period, the plan may offer a guaranteed plan option where either a portion or the entirety of the funeral expenses are covered regardless of whether the payments are complete. In some cases, the plan may refund the payments made to date to your estate. Please check the terms and conditions of your specific funeral plan contract.

  • Can I pay for my funeral plan in instalments?

    Yes, many providers offer the option to pay for funeral plans in instalments. This payment arrangement allows individuals to spread the cost of their funeral plan over a period of time, making it more manageable to budget for the costs.

  • How much does a funeral plan cost?

    The cost of a funeral plan can vary based on several factors, including the location, the services included, and any additional features or options chosen. The total amount payable will also be influenced by the method of financing the plan such as if the plan is paid as a single payment or via instalments with interest rates fixed at the time of purchasing the funeral plan. Typically, funeral plans start from £1,500.

Funeral Wishes

  • How do you write your funeral wishes?

    When you come to write your funeral wishes you might consider your preferences, such as the type of funeral you desire, and whether you want a religious ceremony or a celebration of life. Other considerations include specific music, readings, eulogies and flowers, or if your friends and family should make a charitable donation on your behalf. To download a copy of our funeral wishes list, see our related guide.

  • Do you put funeral wishes in a will?

    In the UK, it is not common to include your funeral wishes in your will. This is because the will may not be read until after the funeral has taken place, potentially making the inclusion of funeral wishes in a will impractical. A separate document is used and is typically kept with a will but is not legally binding. To download a copy of our funeral wishes list, see our related guide.

  • What is a letter of last instruction?

    This is a letter that usually accompanies your last will and testament and contains instructions that you want your surviving family members or executors to follow after your death. Unlike a will, which is a legally binding document that outlines the distribution of assets, a letter of last instruction is non-binding and usually addresses personal and practical matters such as financial information, digital assets, and other specific wishes.

  • What is an expression of wishes in a will?

    An expression of wishes in a will can cover a variety of topics, such as funeral arrangements, specific requests of personal items, messages to loved ones, or any other personal requests. It is a supplementary document that provides additional guidance and preferences to the executors and beneficiaries. However, it is not very common to include an expression of wishes in a will.

Funeral Services

  • How many can attend a funeral service?

    In the UK, there are no limits on the number of people who can attend a funeral service.

  • How long is a funeral service?

    Funeral services do vary in length. The length of the service depends on the type of funeral service.

    Some religious ceremonies held in church can take up to an hour. However, a service taken by a celebrant could be just 30 minutes or shorter. Memorial services are often longer, and can also take an hour or slightly longer.

  • Can I watch a funeral service online?

    Yes, many funeral services are streamed online, and many funeral directors offer this service. The online system is usually set up from the beginning of the service. Before the day, the family will send a link out to where friends and family can watch the service.

  • How to stream a funeral service?

    Many funeral directors will offer this service; however, you can arrange it yourself too. It will typically involve setting up a camera and connecting to a live streaming service and inviting friends and family to watch the live stream on the live streaming service.

    Read more on how to host a virtual funeral or reception in our blog.

  • Can a funeral service be held anywhere?

    Yes, a funeral service can be held anywhere. You can have a coffin present at any venue, both religious and non-religious. Some examples of locations where a funeral service can be held include churches, crematoriums, woodland sites, gardens, parish halls or hotels.

  • Can you record a funeral service?

    Yes, you can record a funeral service. A recording can have benefits such as it can be made available for family and friends who cannot attend the funeral and a recording can preserve memories of a loved one.

  • What is an unattended funeral service?

    An unattended funeral is different to a traditional funeral as there is no funeral service beforehand and no mourners present at the cremation.

  • Can a funeral service be held in someone’s home?

    Yes, you can have a non-religious funeral ceremony at a range of venues including your own home or garden.

  • What is a woodland burial?

    A woodland burial, or a natural or green burial is an eco-friendly and environmentally conscious alternative to a traditional burial. It takes place in a natural setting and often includes biodegradable materials such as caskets made from natural materials like wicker, bamboo or untreated wood.

Funeral Flowers

  • Should funeral flowers be addressed to the deceased person?

    When sending funeral flowers, it is appropriate to address them to the deceased person. Funeral flowers are delivered directly to the funeral home in time for the service. These are different to sympathy flowers that may be sent to the home of the bereaved family.

    Commonly when sending funeral flowers, people write messages of love, often carefully conveying feelings of sadness and sorrow around their loss, and the happy memories that they have in their hearts.

  • Are funeral flowers expensive?

    Flower costs can vary significantly depending on your supplier and the flowers you choose. However, it should always be possible to choose something within your budget. Wreaths and posies tend to be the least expensive option with casket sprays and custom arrangements being more expensive. Delivery charges to the local funeral home can also be included.

  • Can you take funeral flowers home?

    Families do often take funeral flowers and bouquets home after a funeral. Sometimes it is possible to preserve the flowers or give them away to family or friends.

  • Can you preserve funeral flowers?

    Preserving funeral flowers and displaying them in a special place is a lovely way to create a lasting tribute. There are many ways to preserve flowers such as hanging them upside down, pressing them or preserving them in resin.

  • How long do funeral flowers last?

    A fresh funeral arrangement will last from 10 days up to 2 weeks. However, this will vary depending on the type of flowers chosen.

  • Who should send funeral flowers?

    Anyone can send funeral flowers unless the family have specifically requested no flowers Although sending flowers can vary by religion, in most cases, floral arrangements are an appropriate gesture as a mark of respect.

Funeral Transport

  • How much does it cost to have a hearse at a funeral?

    Hearse costs do vary but you can expect to spend between £150 and £300 for a hearse vehicle. There isn’t just one type of hearse, there are many different options to choose from to make it more unique such as horse-drawn hearse, motorcycle hearse, electric hearses, double decker busses; making a funeral as unique as the person that has died.

  • Can family members travel in a hearse?

    A hearse will typically lead the funeral procession, without family members in it. Chauffeur-driven limousines are arranged to carry immediate family members.

  • What are the different ways in which you can transport a coffin to a funeral?

    The most popular form of funeral transport is a hearse, however, you can take a coffin to a funeral in any vehicle you choose. Some other popular options include as a vintage car, a horse and carriage, motorcycle and side car, tractor, a double decker bus. We’ve even arranged for a tank in the past, so practically anything is possible.

  • How many people can fit into a standard limousine?

    Limousines comfortably seat 6 people.

Coffins

  • Are coffins all the same size?

    Coffins do come in different sizes and dimensions do vary. A standard casket is 5’0 to 6’8 feet long with a width of 24”, and a depth of 14”.

  • Are coffins standard sizes?

    Coffins do come in standard sizes which vary in length between 5’8’’ and 6’6’’, in width between 22’’ and 29’’ and in height from 17 to 18’’. Custom-made sizes are usually provided by most coffin suppliers should one be required.

  • Are coffins made to measure?

    Whilst coffins are not always made to measure, they can be and many coffin manufacturers will work to adapt their basic designs to produce a bespoke coffin.

  • What type of coffins are there?

    Typically, there are coffins and caskets. The main difference is that coffins are tapered at the head and foot and have six sides. However, a casket is rectangular in shape with four sides, and a hinged lid.

    Coffins and caskets are available in a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, and cardboard.

    We offer a broad range of coffin prices, styles, sizes, and materials.

  • What is regarded as the best coffin?

    There are a wide variety of coffins available, and prices do vary. Traditionally, some of the best woods in which coffins are made of are mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple and oak.

  • Why are coffins called coffins?

    The word coffin is derived from the Latin word for basket which is cophinus. Coffins are also sometimes referred to as a casket.

  • Why are coffins shaped that way?

    The shape of a coffin is tapered toward the end, and wider around a person’s shoulders. It was traditionally designed that way as a cost-saving feature, as by tapering the coffin, less wood was used.

Memorials

  • What is a memorial headstone?

    A headstone provides a place where friends and family members can visit the resting place of someone who has died. Headstones come in many shapes and sizes and are usually made of a heavy slab of stone, which allows for the engraving of an individual’s name, date of birth and date of death and can remain in place for many years.

  • Can a cremated person have a headstone?

    Yes, you can have a headstone following a cremation. All the same information can be on the stone as you would have for a burial headstone. Some churchyards have different plots for cremated remains and many may choose for a headstone to be situated in a favourite picturesque spot or in a garden.

  • Where can I buy a funeral urn?

    You can buy a funeral urn direct from a funeral home, from an online retailer or from a crematorium. There is a wide range of urns available from simple, natural urns to colourful, painted, personalised urns. See our vases, urns and scattering tubes page for more info.

Direct Cremation

  • What is a direct cremation?

    A direct cremation, sometimes known as a pure or simple cremation, is a low-cost funeral which separates the cremation from the funeral ceremony. It is strictly unattended and most often arranged at a time and place of a funeral directors choosing.

  • What is the difference between a direct cremation and a funeral without a ceremony?

    A direct cremation is an unattended cremation without a funeral service with no mourners present. It can be arranged remotely, and delivery of the ashes will be made to the family after the cremation.

    At CPJ Field, we also offer a funeral without a ceremony. This service is similar to a direct cremation, however, it is provided by our funeral home team and includes the same levels of locally based service that you would receive at a traditional funeral, with support for you as well as care for the deceased person. We help with the legal paperwork and preparation of the deceased person and make arrangements for the provision of a simple coffin. However, like a direct cremation, it will not have mourners present at the cremation.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to choosing a direct cremation?

    A direct cremation is a low-cost cremation and can allow you the freedom to say goodbye to a loved one in your own way. It can be restrictive as it does not allow family or friends to visit the person who has died in the chapel of rest, and you are not allowed to choose your own time and date of the cremation. Not including a ceremony can leave people feeling they missed a formal goodbye, and could result in a possible sense of emptiness after the event.

  • Who chooses direct cremation?

    Direct cremation is often less expensive than a traditional funeral service so can be chosen by individuals who wish to reduce funeral and associated costs. Some people would prefer a simpler, less formal approach with no ceremony; hence a direct cremation can be suitable. However, a direct cremation does not include any ceremony or celebration, which can be disappointing for family and friends deprived of the opportunity to come together to grieve and to remember.

  • Why would you have a direct cremation?

    Choosing a direct cremation often comes down to personal preference and you may choose one due to cost savings as it is deemed more affordable than other funeral services. Some individuals choose a direct cremation as it is perceived as a more straightforward approach to end-of-life arrangements. However, a direct cremation does not include any ceremony or celebration, which can be disappointing for family and friends who are unable to come together to remember and to celebrate a life no longer lived.

  • Is direct cremation a good idea?

    Direct cremation may be suitable for one person but may not be suitable for another. It may align with your preferences if you are seeking a more cost-effective option. However, some people, and often family and friends do not see its benefits as it does not allow for emotional closure at the end-of-life which can be a significant consideration as it does not include any ceremony or celebration, which may be important to some and is a large part of the grieving process.

  • Can I arrange a direct cremation myself?

    Yes, it is possible to arrange a direct cremation independently without the assistance of a funeral director. You will need to make some of the arrangements yourself such as arranging transportation of the body, completing paperwork and obtaining a death certificate. However, it is worth considering if a direct cremation is right for you, as it does not include a ceremony or celebration which may be important to your family and friends. You may wish to contact Liberty Cremations, our direct cremation provider, for further information.

  • Is there a rise in direct cremation?

    There is an increasing trend of interest in direct cremation. Direct cremation has gained popularity due to individuals seeking a more straightforward approach.

  • What does a direct cremation include?

    A direct cremation typically only includes essential services related to the cremation process. It is a very basic option with collection of the deceased person, a cremation, and the return of the ashes to the family, usually in the post.

    It is a very basic option with collection of the deceased person, a remote cremation, which can be anywhere in the country, often where cheapest, and the return of the ashes to the family.

    It excludes many of the ceremonial aspects associated with traditional funerals.

Never Alone

  • What is ‘Never Alone’?

    Never Alone is CPJ Field’s community-based programme designed to provide information, guidance, and links to local groups for those experiencing loneliness. The programme is provided across our local funeral homes, offering advice with emotional struggles, help with practical needs, and recommendations on how to improve overall mental and physical wellbeing.

  • How can ‘Never Alone’ help me or a loved one?

    Never Alone is borne out of a desire to help those in need. Whether it be you, who needs someone to talk to, or if you are concerned about someone close to you, Never Alone is a hub of advice and support, available to all, not just those who have arranged funerals with us. Resources are available local to you.

  • How does ‘Never Alone’ provide emotional support?

    Never Alone seeks to help those experiencing loneliness and other feelings such as grief, anxiety, or sadness after a bereavement. Our Never Alone programme helps signpost local resources and local groups who can help improve mental health.

  • How does ‘Never Alone’ provide guidance on wellbeing?

    Improving wellbeing and providing mental health advice and support is a large part of what we do within our Never Alone programme. We offer community-based support to assist those looking to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. This could be in the form of recommending local clubs or groups, counselling services or other routes to greater balance and happiness.

  • What are ‘Never Alone’ community events?

    ‘Never Alone’ community events run by CPJ Field include a wide range of social gatherings that are organised by members of our team in community venues across in the areas in which we work. They are a wonderful excuse to get out and about, to meet new people and to spend time with others over a cup of tea or coffee. Events range from Bridging the Gap (social groups for toddlers and older members of the community), Knit and Natter, and Communi-tea.

  • How can ‘Never Alone’ help me after a bereavement?

    ‘Never Alone’ is an all-round programme providing support for people after a bereavement. For example, we hold community events, offer advice on where to find other local groups who can help, and are connected to other support services for personal well-being and legal or practical matters.

  • Does ‘Never Alone’ provide advice on where to get help on anxiety, grief, and other emotions?

    As a family company with decades of experience, our Never Alone programme is open to all and can help you get the emotional support you need to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety or other emotions. Whilst we don’t offer counselling services, our Never Alone programme offers recommendations that are local to you such as workshops, local groups, coffee mornings or other professional services.

  • How do I support someone after the death of a loved one?

    Supporting someone after the death of a close relative or friend begins by acknowledging their loss. A simple heartfelt message can be comforting. Listening with empathy, allowing the grieving person to share their feelings, and being non-judgemental and compassionate helps with managing their grief.

  • What are some of the resources that can help someone who is grieving?

    There are various resources available to help individuals manage their grief. These include counselling and therapy, support groups, books on grief, local communities, and other charities, hotlines, podcasts, and audio resources. Many of these can be found through our Never Alone programme and website pages.

  • How do you help someone after their partner dies?

    Supporting someone after the death of their partner requires compassion, empathy, and understanding. Grief is a unique and individual experience, and people may respond to it in various ways. You can express your condolences, offer your companionship, allow the person to express their emotions, to let them navigate the grief at their own pace with your support by their side. For further advice, visit our Never Alone programme.

  • What should I avoid saying to someone after the death of their loved one?

    When offering condolences to someone after the death of a loved one, it’s important to remember there really is no right or wrong thing to say and better to make contact than to avoid for fear of saying the wrong thing. That said, it’s important to be mindful of your words and to try to avoid saying things that might unintentionally cause additional pain or discomfort; phrases like ‘I know how you feel’, ‘They are in a better place’, or ‘time is a great healer but instead express your sympathy with compassion and sensitivity, or simply just offer a listening ear.

Other FAQs

  • What do you wear to a traditional funeral?

    For a full-service funeral, the most common attire is usually smart, black or dark clothing for both men and women. However, some funerals ask attendees to wear colourful clothing or a colour symbolic to the person that has died.

  • Can I wear colour to a funeral if I wish?

    Before you decide what to wear to a funeral, such as colour, you may wish to talk to the family arranging the funeral. They may have particular ideas or prefer that people do wear colour. Sometimes a small flash of colour can feel appropriate and will be welcomed.

  • Do children have to wear black to a traditional funeral?

    Children don’t have to wear black to a funeral although smart clothes are usually preferred. It is often best to ask the family organising the funeral what their preferences is for children’s clothing, but if in doubt, steer away from bold patterns and choose muted colours.