Scots move away from sombre send offs

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When it comes to final farewells, Scots are beginning to part with tradition according to a new report from the nation’s leading funeral director, The Co-operative Funeralcare.

As the first of a series of Funeral Trends reports, “The Ways We Say Goodbye,” reveals a celebratory trend towards colourful clothing, unique locations and non-typical transport at the nation’s funerals.

Based on the views of 2000 UK adults and The Co-operative Funeralcare’s experience conducting over 90,000 services each year, the report highlights a shift towards funerals becoming celebratory rather than sombre. Two thirds (68 per cent) of Scots say that funerals are becoming more of a celebration of life and two fifths (43 per cent) would like their own funeral to be conducted this way.

Most striking however, is the rise of the destination funeral, which is starting to take off at services across the UK. In the last twelve months alone, half of funeral directors have arranged a funeral service outside of a traditional setting such as a church or crematorium, whilst 37 per cent of adults would consider an alternative location for their own farewell.

Alternative locations that Scots would consider for their funeral include a lake or river, the countryside, at home or in the garden, at a beach or out at sea. Funeral Directors are also seeing demand for alternative locations for services, with the most common requests over the last twelve months as follows:

In the home or garden of the person who has passed away

At a location overseas

In a sports venue

At a local beauty spot, park or tourist attraction

At the place of work of the person who has passed away

Speaking of the report findings, Sam Kershaw, operations director for The Co-operative Funeralcare, said: “What we’re seeing is a culture shift in the way that we deal with loss. It’s becoming ever more common to hear people refer to funerals as a celebration of life and that’s certainly a trend we are seeing even more frequently from the families that we support. As arranging a funeral is the last thing we’ll do for a person, it’s incredibly important to feel able to create truly unique and personal tribute to their life.”

Actor Richard Wilson, star of One Foot in the Grave and narrator of end of life documentary Two Feet in the Grave, added: “Death is the most certain thing in life but as a nation we struggle so terribly to talk about it and come to terms with our own and others mortality. Life is short and so I understand why people don’t want to dwell on the inevitable, but as the possibilities are endless, it makes sense to at least share some thoughts about what you may want. Whilst I haven’t planned my own funeral, I know that I would want people to have a good time, a party perhaps.”