There are many useful resources available for bereaved people. Here's the beginning of what we hope is a useful selection.
Beyond is a free and impartial comparison site for funeral services in the UK. With the cost of funerals consistently rising year upon year, and with 'funeral poverty' becoming ever more prevalent, they believe that they are providing an essential service for the bereaved, giving information around funeral choices, and the ability to take greater control of how much the funeral will cost. Their aim is to help people to arrange the funeral that they would like for their loved one, at a price that they can afford.
Much Loved is charity-run online service that helps you create sensitive, personalised and lasting memorial tribute websites. You can also raise money in memory of your loved ones.
Author: Charles Cowling (published May 2010)
The Good Funeral Guide is the first ever independent consumer guide to the funeral industry. Charles Cowling is a funeral celebrant who works with families who do not want a conventional religious ceremony. He has an insider s understanding of the funeral industry and a mass of contacts. A funeral is almost always a crisis purchase. Consumers have no means even of differentiating between the 5,000 funeral directors practising in the UK. This will be the definitive guide to arranging a funeral. It will be linked to independent, constantly updated online reviews of funeral directors. It is for anyone who · needs to arrange a funeral for someone now · has sick or elderly relatives or friends and knows that a funeral is imminent · wants to find a good funeral director and have some say in the funeral itself · wants to make future arrangements for their own funeral · would like to learn about death and funerals Authoritative, impartial, and empowering, it is indispensable for those who don't want a conventional religious ceremony and invaluable for those who do. In a world where consumers expect to find guides to everything under the sun, this is one huge gap crying out to be plugged. This is a book that everyone will need, probably at least twice.
Author: Jane Morell (published April 2007)
This enlightening, beautiful and practical book informs about the wide choices available when arranging a funeral. It shows you how to make a funeral ceremony that both commemorates and celebrates a life, and provides comfort, inspiration, and good memories. Complete with real life stories, practical ideas, many pictures and information not readily accessible to the public, this unique book will provide invaluable reading for anyone needing to arrange a funeral or wanting to leave this world on their own terms.
Author: Neil Dorward (published August 2009)
Neil Dorward is a Funeral Celebrant based in Scotland and this book is for people who are thinking about training to become a Funeral Celebrant, or who have been asked to 'say a few words' at a Funeral. The first half of the book discusses how and why Funerals are changing, and the second half contains plenty of guidance, tips and anecdotes. For instance, it would be tempting to write a 'choronological' speech but Neil urges us to be more creative, and weave together a series of vignettes that evoke the essence of the person who has died, and recognise the legacy they've left behind. He also provides specific help for more difficult situations, including death by murder and suicide. It's not a long book and easy to read and if you've suddenly been asked to speak at a Funeral, it'll give you the encouragement and support you need to get through what can be a very difficult but ultimately rewarding job.
Author: Julia Watson (published April 2004)
This is a lovely little anthology of Poems and Readings for Funerals (or, perhaps, printed in a Service Sheet, or used in a Memory DVD), edited by Julia Watson who played Dr Baz in Casualty. While most of these would be available scattered around the Internet, this book would be very useful to someone who regularly organises or speaks at Funerals.
Author: Sally Emerson (published May 2004)
This anthology is part of a series edited by Sally Emerson, and is intended not just to help with planning a Funeral service, but to provide inspiration and comfort to anyone who is grieving. You'll find an eclectic mix of items from the The Bhagavad Gita to Joan Baez and everything inbetween, so there's sure to be something for all situations.
Author: Jean Francis (published February 2011)
Finishing Touches is the first in a series of six books by Jean Francis whose mission is to break the taboo surrounding funerals. This pocket size book contains invaluable information that will help transform a sombre occasion into a meaningful celebration of life. Finishing Touches will enable informed choices to be made, empowering the reader with vibrant ideas that spark the imagination into thought provoking action.
Author: Jean Francis (published June 2004)
When it's Time to Go we all have to make this journey, whether it is by a conventional route or a more unusual one. This book will stimulate conversation on what has for decades been a taboo subject and includes:
. Ideas for pre planning a funeral or memorial gathering relieving loved ones of making decisions while in a state of grief.
. Guidance on selecting a place of rest befitting the deceased.
. Hundreds of suggestions for creating a personal and meaningful right of passage.
. Inspiring insights into ceremonies to honour the beliefs and lifestyle of the deceased.
. Practical ideas for those wishing to participate in the funeral of a loved one
. Creative thoughts for arranging a funeral in an environmentally friendly way.
. Simple guidelines for burial on private land.
. Funerals that do not cost a fortune.
. Memorials that are different.