Does The Coffin Really Get Cremated?
As a Funeral Director one of the most frequent questions I am asked is :
"given that coffins are so expensive, are they really cremated or do they get re-used?"
It's a perfectly logical query – after all, with most families being charged around $2,000 for a coffin, the temptation to "unload and re-use" seems quite logical.
The truth is that the despite what a family is asked to pay for the coffin the actual cost of most coffins is around $300, with some as little as $120.
Mistrust and suspicion inevitably arise when people feel they are not being told the whole story, or that their grief is being exploited
Transparency, honesty, compassion and affordability should be the driving principal of all funeral professionals.
Package pricing, which contains over-inflated costs that are apparently then heavily discounted erodes transparency and leads inevitably to suspicion.
At Northern Beaches Funerals, our approach is very simple.
Tell families exactly what each and every element of the funeral service is, what it costs, and whether it is mandatory or optional.
When people are given full knowledge they feel more empowered and capable and are in a much better position to make the right choices for themselves and their family.
Often we find that people who are initially overwhelmed by the task of managing the funeral find great comfort in having their options explained clearly, calmly and honestly.
Trepidation turns to genuine engagement as they see that something quite beautiful can be created without spending a small fortune.
We often encourage families to bring their own flowers or to take part in pall bearing – not only does this reduce cost, but more importantly it allows them a genuine involvement in the ceremony, which in turn can bring far greater acceptance and closure.
We always encourage people to approach the coffin when it is in place at the funerals service.
The option to lay a flower or a farewell letter, maybe just a silent touch or to write a message directly into the coffin itself.
These small gestures can bring great comfort at an emotional time.
It has been reported after we've conducted a funeral service that mourners who actively participate in the funeral ceremony usually feel more complete than those who don't.
Tributes come in many different forms and for those who are not at ease with public speaking these alternative ways of saying farewell are of tremendous comfort :
- light candles for those unable to attend in person
- bring wild flowers, natives from the bush or flowers from the garden
- allow children to draw pictures be placed on or near the coffin
- place hand written letters of farewell (especially from afar)
- ask your Funeral Director to place small items, letters or cards into the coffin before the service
- everyone placing sprigs of lavender, flannel flowers or other meaningful small flowers on the coffin at the end of the service as a final, personal farewell
- have a toast at the end of the service – a beer, some bubbles or a favourite cocktail
- invite everyone to bring a cake, or a plate of sandwiches to the wake
So we started with the cost of a coffin, and ended with something much lovelier.
Magic really does happen when people are empowered by knowledge and honest advice.
Every person is unique. Every family is different.
With us, every Funeral is Individual.
-- 0416 178 129