The "FunBox" News & Stories:
Stuff we read or heard along the way...
No Reflection On You!
Apparently in China, when someone dies, the deceased's family will turn all mirrors to the wall (or cover them up) as it is believed that if a person sees a reflection of a coffin then that person will also suffer a death in their own family!! And the 'funeral ceremony' can last 49 DAYS! - How long?
Yes! There is a National Coffin Exhibition
Fran Hall, a former funeral director who now manages the Chiltern Woodland Burial Centre is hosting this year's National Coffin Exhibition! There are 100's of specially designed coffins... some are amazing like the Rolls Royce or the Viking Long Boat coffin! - The BBC reports it here » http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10636368 (includes a video too)
No Room, No Room!
Also, due to the inherent lack of space and money in China, most people opt for cremation over burial.
Spike (excellent comedy actor of yesteryear) always wanted his epitaph to say "I told you I was ill" and he once wrote : "I'm not afraid of dying I just don't want to be there when it happens."
Death is Not a Priority
Recent research (reported by WalletPop) has found that 70%+ of over 65s - that is more than 7.5 million of the current UK population – said they were yet to declare if they would prefer to be buried or cremated, or even specify what kind of funeral service they want... Now that is scary! ... BUT ... Age UK say 2009 saw their biggest increase in the purchase of Funeral Plans (they sold 180,000) stating the current economic climate may have motivated people to pre-pay and so avoid the inevitable inflation.
UK Supermarkets in on the Funeral Plan
Along with the Co-Op, now Marks & Spencer is planning to offer funeral plans as part of ambitious expansion plans... So that'll be 4 tins of beans and a coffin please! Is there anything you can't get at a supermarket these days?
Help with Funeral Costs
The UK Government do have a 'Social Fund' that can make a funeral payment to help people with the essential costs of a funeral if they are on a low income. You must show that you have met certain criteria of course. You do not have to repay a funeral payment, although it can be recovered from the estate of the person who has died. - Check out www.AdviceGuide.Org.UK
Susan Boyle and a Jumbo Funeral
When she packs her trunk, the Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle, says funeral mourners should laugh more and so she plans to have that classic novelty song 'Nellie The Elephant' sung at her funeral as one of her farewell songs. The star doesn't see any reason why her memorial should be a morbid affair!
Fall-out for Going Green
The Hampshire-based charity, the Natural Death Centre, has a novel idea to promote the use of bio-degradable materials and alternative burial grounds (going green). The whacky idea includes its unusual new headquarters in a former nuclear bunker. Video Report by the BBC
Custom Coffins with Pride!
Funeral directors, Mike Konigsfeld and Tom Brandl in Cologne, Germany have launched a range of coffins specially designed for gay customers. The caskets feature homo-erotic artwork on the outside and come with a series of tastefully luxurious plush designer interiors, which the makers say are the perfect way to send off a loved one.
It's Goodbye from Me and A Good Goodbye from Her...
A new light-hearted but practical book by Gail Rubin is out soon to help us understand what Funeral Planning is and how we can be more creative with the "Big Send-off". Well we have Wedding Plan magazines and books, so why not funerals... surely we all need some education in what is an inevitable part of 'life'. Gail blogs about funerals here: http://thefamilyplot.wordpress.com/