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Funeral directors tackling taboo subject

Posted onPosted on 10th May

Nottinghamshire’s largest independent funeral directors, A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, is encouraging people to start talking about death following statistics from Ecclesiastical Planning Services, which reported almost half of people did not know if their loved one wanted a burial or cremation when organising a funeral in 2020.

In support of Dying Matters Week, 10th – 16th May, A.W. Lymn wants to break down the taboo surrounding death, dying and bereavement and instead encourage people to actively take steps to prepare for end of life for themselves or others.

Catherine Broome, who has been the pre-paid funeral plans manager at A.W. Lymn for 25 years, explained that while more people are choosing to plan ahead when it comes to arranging a funeral, many still find it a difficult conversation, with some avoiding it entirely.

She said: “Talking about death can be uncomfortable, but when people aren’t having these open conversations, it leaves families in a difficult position having to arrange a funeral at a time of deep distress, instead of having pre-arranged plans in place.

“And it isn’t just about the burden of cost – how many of us ever sit down with our close family and friends and discuss what we’d like to happen in the event of our death? Even simple preferences such as burial or cremation are left unknown as the conversation is avoided.

“I’ve watched funerals change throughout the years, with more and more people wanting to focus on celebrating life, and in return making the service a reflection of that by introducing colour and adding little details that represent an individual’s life. I like to think that as this attitude towards funeral services becomes established, the conversation may become easier to address.”

In 2020, the top reason for pre-planning a funeral was to ‘make provision for funeral costs’. Catherine said A.W. Lymn’s unique tailored pre-payment plans offer not only the reassurance that all funeral director costs are guaranteed, but the opportunity to take the first step and discuss how you want your life to be celebrated and put those decisions into place.

“Pre-payment plans allow you to make all the choices for your funeral down to the tiny details such as the choice of music or what jewellery you would like to wear. I watch the relief on the family’s face when they know everything has been arranged as they know the deceased is getting the exact funeral they wanted, rather than having to guess.”

Nigel Lymn Rose, company chairman at A.W. Lymn, said: “While it may seem a daunting topic to address, the lack of openness in society is in return creating more stress for families. Death is inevitable and it doesn’t have to be intimidating, by having open conversations about death and putting plans into place for funerals, we can ensure our friends and relatives are celebrated exactly how they would want to be.”

The fifth-generation family run business has been helping the bereaved across the region for more than a century, with a quality of service and value for money at the heart of its ethos. The directors now operate 27 funeral homes throughout Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire.