Austin's Blog


5 A Day

May 24th, 2017    Author:

We were stunned when this amazing floral display arrived a few weeks ago.  It’s certainly different and we’ve never seen anything quite like it!  Becky from Aura Floral Design based in Stevenage was approached by the family who said they were looking for something a bit different.  Michael loved his fruit and veg and asked Becky to create a tribute which was fitting for him.  We think she did an amazing job.


Fruit and Veg Display

Let’s talk about the ‘D’ word

April 26th, 2017    Author:

Death and dying are not something most people naturally want to talk about. In fact, one research study found that people would rather discuss money or politics with family and friends. So it’s often not until a loved one dies that our thoughts turn to their wishes concerning their funeral.

Unfortunately, according to the study, only 30% of people had let someone know their funeral wishes. It also found that because of people’s reticence to talk about death, only 25% of respondents had asked a family member about their end of life wishes and just 7% had written down their wishes about the care they’d like if they were unable to make decisions.

With Dying Matters Week  taking place next month, it’s hoped that people will be encouraged to think about and discuss death and dying. During the week there will be nationwide events on this important subject, including coffee mornings, healing woodland walks, spiritual ceremonies, talks and film screenings.

It may be a good time to open up the conversation with loved ones and ask them questions such as how they would like to be looked after in later life, whether they’ve made a will and what kind of funeral they’d like. Perhaps they have a particular song they’d like or they have a favourite colour they’d like incorporated into the ceremony.

Talking about death doesn’t have to be morbid or depressing. Chatting about it is a great opportunity to think about what you’d like and to let friends and family know your wishes. When the time comes, it will help them to know that they are doing the right thing and that everything is as you wanted it.

* For help and support planning a funeral, please contact us on 01438 815555.

Personalising a Funeral

April 9th, 2017    Author:

Over the years, funeral services have begun to change and personalisation has become increasingly popular. These days when you attend a funeral you may see a display of personal items or mementos that were connected to the deceased or perhaps a collage of photographs.

Many people choose to include personal touches like this in the funeral service to help celebrate their loved one’s life instead of focusing on mourning their passing. By reflecting the deceased’s personality, hobbies, interests or passions, it illustrates how unique and special that person was. And it offers a strong emotional connection for those who have come to pay their respects, helping them to remember the deceased as they say goodbye.

One wonderful example of personalisation was at the comedian Ronnie Corbett’s funeral when four candles were lit in homage to one of the Two Ronnie’s most famous sketches. In the sketch, Corbett played a hardware shopkeeper who misunderstands when a customer, played by Ronnie Barker, asks for ‘fork handles’. The comedian’s iconic glasses were also placed on the coffin.

If you’re planning a funeral and would like a personalised tribute think about how your loved one could be remembered. What was their passion or hobby? Did they have a special nickname, a favourite joke, a place they regularly visited? What did they do that made you laugh?

You might want to sit down with family members or friends to recall your fondest memories of the deceased and discuss how you can incorporate them into the funeral service. Joining together to reminisce can also be a useful way to begin the healing process.

* We are here to help with every aspect of funeral planning. Just call us on 01438 316623.

Dealing with Grief at Christmas

December 22nd, 2016    Author:

December can be a particularly difficult time for those dealing with grief. While everyone around you is filled with excitement about the coming Christmas festivities, you’re left feeling lost and consumed by sadness. These emotions can be especially raw if your bereavement is very recent or if this is the first Christmas without your loved one.

Everyone experiences grief differently and how you cope with Christmas will be personal to you. Some people find comfort in holding onto their usual festive routine and traditions, remembering that’s how they did things when their loved one was still with them. For others, making changes can make Christmas feel more manageable. You might decide to eat Christmas dinner at a restaurant rather than having it at home, or open Christmas presents before the Queen’s Speech instead of after, if that’s what you normally do.

It’s a good idea to sit down in advance and talk to your family about how you’d all like to celebrate. This gives everyone chance to communicate how they feel about dealing with Christmas and to suggest ideas that may help make it less painful. It’s also an opportunity to recognise that this will be a very sad time and remind yourselves that it’s OK to feel sad and to cry.

At this time of year, you will be thinking a lot about the person who’s no longer with you and you will have many memories of your time together. You might want to share these with others – perhaps a dinner party with friends where each of you recalls a special moment with the deceased. Or it could be something you’d prefer to do privately. Maybe you could buy an advent calendar and each time you open a new window spend a few quiet moments with your memories.

However you choose to celebrate without your loved one during this difficult time, our thoughts are with you and from everyone at Austin’s we wish you a very peaceful Christmas.

* Austin’s are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please get in touch with us on 01438 815555.