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Unusual funerals a growing trend

Remembrance card with red rose on top3/2/14

By David Clement

An emerging tendency for people to plan ahead for their funeral has sparked a trend towards increasingly unusual ceremonies.

There are a growing number of requests for quirky or bizarre final arrangements, according to research by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).

They include Wild West and Morris dancing themes - while someone asked for a convoy of cranes to lead the cortège.

Locations are also getting more varied.

A farmer asked to be buried at the highest point on his land, while a company director was buried at the end of his garden next to his favourite golf course.

People buried with unusual items

And the range of items accompanying the deceased is no longer confined to sentimental jewellery as people increasingly opt to be laid to rest with unusual items.

These include tea bags, yoghurt pots, conkers, cigarette packets and bottles of champagne, said the NAFD report.

More diverse arrangements are becoming increasingly common because more people are willing to talk about their funerals, found a survey of NAFD members.

Seven out of 10 said people are more comfortable talking about their death and funerals.

Write down details of your funeral plans

The association is encouraging people to write down details of how they want their funeral or cremation carried out.

It has teamed up with the Dying Matters coalition to develop a new guide called My Funeral Wishes.

NAFD chief executive Alan Slater said: "Having a written guide from the person who has died affords grieving families great comfort that they are putting on a ceremony that is relevant and that their loved one wanted."

Dying Matters chief executive Eve Richardson said: "You don't have to be unwell or dying to plan ahead.

"And recording your funeral wishes can help ensure you get your wishes met and makes it easier for your family."

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