Personalised funerals don't need to cost more

Funeral costs are in the news again. SunLife published their annual Cost of Dying Report on 6 January 2020, which showed that prices are continuing to rise. Several national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, have responded to it by placing the blame on the trend for expensive send-offs.

The Telegraph argues that "quirky" funerals with "novelty features such as ashes scattered from a skyrocket or wakes where everyone dresses as Disney characters" increase the financial burden on families paying for them. 

This is not a reasonable portrayal of modern funerals. Many funeral directors work closely with bereaved families to arrange a send-off that is both personal and affordable. Asking mourners to wear colourful clothes or playing pop songs instead of hymns will not make a funeral more expensive.

Indeed, holding funerals in alternative venues, such as fields, perhaps with decorations made by family or friends can actually reduce the cost. Arranger is easy to use funeral management software which is perfect for showing people simple things that they can do to personalise a funeral, from choosing personalised eco-friendly coffins to organising interesting ways to scatter ashes. 

The trend towards personalised commemorations is here to stay. Society is changing rapidly and it is important that funerals are part of this and can meet the needs of people who feel disconnected from traditional services. The increasing availability of non-religious funerals, celebrations of life and natural burial prove how successfully the funeral profession have embraced these changes. Many funeral directors offer a wide range of options for different beliefs, cultures and interests that reflect profound feelings, not materialistic whims. 

Some people do choose to spend a lot of money when they are saying goodbye to their loved one, but that is their choice if they can afford it. The desire for alternative tributes, such as firework displays or motorcycle hearses, actually demonstrates how valuable a good funeral director can be. Their knowledge and contacts can help bereaved families arrange a funeral that they might have assumed was not an option for them. 

There are many issues in the rising cost of funerals, but farewells that truly reflect the beliefs and personality of someone who has died is a change that should be welcomed.