Deathly sites I love
There are so many funeral and death related businesses and services out there that it can be difficult to know where to start and who to go to. So here is a list of my fave (mostly) UK services and businesses.
These are not affiliate links or business connections of mine. These are businesses I adore, learn from and refer to for my own information….a lot. These are the people I turn to for advice and that I would want dealing with all the various aspects of my own death and funeral. Some of these people have become dear friends…because they are so awesome. I recommend each and every one below wholeheartedly and would trust them to help my mum.
The Good Funeral Guide
The Good Funeral Guide is the home of the amazing Charles Cowling, a wealth of knowledge and a force to be reckoned with in the UK funeral industry (though I bet he’d hate me saying that). He also has a kickass dry sense of humour.
The GFG is an independent, not-for-profit consumer advice and advocacy service that provides info on all things around death, funerals and funeral planning.
It is also a brilliant book that I would recommend to everyone. In fact it is the only book I have with me wherever I travel to. The site also has a very lively and informative blog on all things funeral in the UK.
The Natural Death Centre
The Natural Death Centre website is the other place I go for everything around funeral planning and all the possible options and decisions involved. It is run by a wonderful, passionate, and friendly group of people.
If you are planning a funeral now or for the future, whether your own or someone else’s, these two sites (this and the GFG) are the first two places to stop.
The Order of the Good Death
The Order of the Good Death is the home of Caitlyn Doughty (and her Order Members) – arguably the most famous mortician in the world right now.
The creator of the quirky/cool/crazy ‘Ask a Mortician’ videos, Caitlyn is young, funky, funny, and a true death-head. She shares interesting ideas, thoughts, history around death and spreads death awareness wherever she goes. When I grow up I plan to marry Caitlyn. Or adopt her. Or be adopted by her. I’m not fussy.
Impermanence and Death Cafe
Impermanence At Work is the baby of Jon Underwood. Within it you will find Death Cafe (Jon is the founder of the Death Cafe movement. Sooo worth a look!), and the other two projects Jon works on – Funeral Advisor (a growing site to rate and review funeral directors around the UK), and Dying Matters.
I met Jon a couple of years ago and he quickly became one of my favourite people in the world. And he has the BEST taste in music.
One of my favourites is Poppy’s Funerals. Poppy is a wonderful young woman, passionate about what she does. A breath of fresh air in what can be a stuffy industry. Poppy organises simple, inexpensive cremations so that families can have whatever ceremony or event they want afterwards.
I mention Poppy because if I die in the UK I want Poppy to cremate me. (I probably best contact her and let her know!) Poppy works in and around London.
I admit I hadn’t even thought about the way we hand our dead over to strangers to be washed and dressed (and in what) until I met Pia Interlandi, also now a dear friend and an inspiration.
Pia designs Garments for the Grave – born of a background in fashion design and forensics research, these are beautiful items of clothing for internment that can be tailored and personalised to the individual, whilst still embracing the core values of Natural Earth Burials.
Pia also works around dressing the dead and involving the families in what can be a beautiful and healing ritual. I’d want Pia dealing with me. ’nuff said.
Clandon Wood, owned by Simon and Eileen Ferrars, is a gorgeous example of a natural burial ground, set in the Surrey Hills.
It is in a stunning and peaceful location and has a beautiful open pavillion for events. Just as important as the grounds are the hearts and intentions of the owners. If I planned on being buried in the UK here is where I would want to be. I have asked Simon if he would consider just burying one of my toes…..
Final Fling, created by the enigmatic Barbara Chalmers, is a pragmatic home of end-of-life planning.
There is a focus on planning in the good times (instead of in the aftermath of a death) and taking personal responsibility for some of life’s trickier decisions.
Here you can compare funeral plans, make your own, create and store your will, leave your ‘treasure trove’ etc. Well worth some time for anyone who is going to die. Yup, that’s everyone.