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Paying your respects to someone who has died


Do you want to say goodbye to your loved one or remember them as they were? What will happen on the day of the funeral? Also, how you can pay a very personal tribute by writing a eulogy of their life.

Saying goodbye

Many people like to remember their loved ones as they were in life but many also find great comfort in just being with their loved one.

We have at our Half Moon Lane premises a Chapel of Rest, which is available weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm. It is available for your use as often as you wish and for as long as you need.  All we ask is that you telephone first to book an appointment in advance. This ensures that we do not have another chapel visit at the same time.

There is a one-off charge of £75 for visiting your loved one, no matter how many times that you visit.

If you are unsure about a visit, and many people are, we will talk with you and in some circumstances advise you. We will stay with you in the Chapel if you wish, but the final decision as to whether you visit or not, is very personal and one that only you can make.

If you decide you would like to pay your last respects, we can, if you wish, dress the person in a gown or clothes that you provide to make them look as natural as possible.

There is also the option of coming to sit beside the closed coffin for a quiet moment.

Whether you visit or not, you may find it comforting to leave something of personal significance, possibly a letter or a photograph?  Subject to Crematorium regulations, we guarantee that this will stay with them.

On the day

Our hearse will either go direct to the Crematorium, Church, Cemetery or via a chosen route. You may wish the final journey to begin from home.

If you think that seeing the hearse and pallbearers arrive will be too upsetting, we can sometimes arrange for your loved one to already be on the catafalque when you arrive.

Floral tributes can be sent to our premises, the home or brought to the service.

When there are cars following, we will make every effort to ensure that they are kept with the hearse.  However, if people have travelled from another part of the country to attend and you inform us of this, we can supply a route map from the place of departure to wherever the service is taking place.  Alternatively, subject to availability, we can arrange for a minibus or coach to transport mourners to and from the funeral.

When we arrive, ample time will be allowed for people to park and to make their way to the church or chapel.

You will be asked whether you wish to take your seats or if you would prefer to follow the coffin. There is no right or wrong way, it is your own personal preference.  Whichever you choose, the funeral director will accommodate your wishes.

After the service, the funeral director will show you the way out and where the tributes are displayed. They will answer any questions and collect the tribute cards when you are ready to leave. We will keep these safe at our premises until you are ready to collect them or ask them to be forwarded to you.

How to write a eulogy

A loved one’s passing is a time of reflection and at this time of deep emotion it is not an easy task to sit down with pen in hand and write a Eulogy, or in other words a Tribute to a Loved One, but is something to be accomplished with pride in celebration of their life.

We would not presume to advise who is the best person suited to write and read a Eulogy (Tribute), or the best way to undertake the task, which is very much a matter of personal judgement. Every relationship within, and outside a family is special, with everyone who knew the Loved One possessing their own memories.

It is usual for a close relative or, family friend to write and read the Eulogy before those gathered together to pay their last respects. However, if the family agree, it is not unusual to provide the Priest, Minister, Celebrant or Humanist officiant with an outline of the Loved Ones' life to enable them to undertake and carry out this important task.

There are established guide lines for writing a Eulogy, but we have said this remains a very personal matter.

One must remember that you are writing a word picture of a persons' life that must be immediately recognisable by family and friends.

To mention and encompass the early part of a Loved Ones' life, people important to them, wife, husband or partner, and of course their children and others. To recall their school days, good times, fun times and perhaps a little of the sorrow they may have experienced.

To record their achievements and special talents, that may not have been commonly known, hobbies and important dates and periods in their life. Again remember you are writing with love in celebration, and whilst this is a time of deep grief, try to be mindful of what the person would want you to say. Perhaps write with a little humour of funny
things that have happened to the person, which may have involved, or have been shared by persons present. 

The family may decide that a formal Eulogy is not appropriate and the Tribute should be a reading of the Loved Ones' favourite Poem, or Passage from the Bible or Sacred book. We have said that this is a personal matter and there is no right or wrong way to pay Tribute to a Loved One.
While giving the speech during the funeral service, remember to relax and breathe normally. Remember, no one will be judging you; they are all there to honour your loved one. Pay attention to the speed that you are speaking. We tend to speed up when we’re nervous so take it at a normal speaking pace. It’s good to add pauses to collect your
thoughts or provide time for the audience to digest your information. You can even jot down places to break on your notes in case you forget to pause. 

Always take a second copy of your speech and provide it to a backup speaker in case you can’t continue. It is common to get emotional during delivery. You may have to quit speaking to comfort someone or just may not be able to continue yourself. People will understand, this happens all the time at funerals. Having a backup will ensure that your speech will be delivered if you cannot finish. If you start to feel nervous, imagine that you just speaking to your loved one. This can help take the pressure off.

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