Tuesday, 16 December 2008

On the 3rd day of Christmas...

On the 3rd day of Christmas my accountant said to me “I don’t have a will” – * needle scratches record* YOU DON’T HAVE A WILL?? You have to be kidding me right?

The reason this conversation started is because he’s reading a Jeremy Clarkson autobiography - apparently Jeremy talks about the fact when you hit 40 years of age you begin to spend every day for the rest of your life thinking about your death (I’m sure Jeremy Clarkson has a much more humorous way of writing than I do)… anyway

Since my accountant has turned the ripe old age of 40 he has in fact developed an irrational thinking of death - he fears his man flu is going to turn into throat cancer and his aching old leg joints are thrombosis, his acid indigestion is a heart attack, and the effects of last night curry is going to cause certain death!

So if you think this way how on earth can you not have a will??

“I’ve been meaning to do it for years”
“All our money will just go to the kid’s, right?”
“I suppose the kids would go and live with my sister”,
“Actually my sister in law is a control freak and she would want the kids”
“My brother and his wife would be best for the kids”
“Yes I suppose the whole family would feel they’d have right to our kids”
Gosh I’d never thought of that
“I just assumed we wouldn’t really need a will”

It costs about £100 for a will and about £150 for 2 wills

For peace of mind and for the sake of any family disputes why would you not
make a will?

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

'stepping up, stepping in and facing the facts'

I am about to face some facts - the fact is all the people I work with or the people I work for are either dead or dying. They are not 'passed on' and they are not 'lost' - they are dead! It hurts for me to say it but from now on I'm going to say it! No skirting round the truth!

When I say 'I'm sorry for your loss', what I really mean is 'I really am bloody sorry your mum died and I see your pain'. But I don't want to say it because I feel it may hurt them and I don't want to hurt them anymore than they are already hurting - So
I skirt round the truth, fluff it up and say anything but the reality of the situation!

When we speak to the bereaved, we say 'she had a great life' or 'she was loved'. Yarda yarda yarda - If there's a window of opportunity not to be sad then hands up, I'll take it, as will everyone else if they are to be honest. Its the easy option... but what about the people we are driving off from? Leaving them on the side of the road to find their own way home just to save an uncomfortable journey!?

By skirting round the truth, we are putting the bereaved into a situation where they end up looking after us, the non bereaved. They save our feelings because we are uncomfortable and they know that. So they try to save us from any more uncomfortable English situations! The bereaved protect our feelings by being positive or changing the subject, we act all polite (and thankful for our escape), then we make our excuses and bugger off on our own to have a cry for being so bloody useless, leaving the bereaved to bugger off on their own for a cry because everyone is being so bloody useless!!!

Now - I'm really good at my job because people come to me, they want my help, they open the door for me to come in and so its easy(ish) for me to help - but when my own distant family die I find it really hard to step up because I don't want to invade - I have no idea why I feel this way... its ironic really - however something is tapping me on the shoulder and saying - things need to change, not just with me but with the whole of the UK!

Suggestions on a postcard please!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Funeral Favours

I was reading the daily undertaker today, the author wrote an article on parting gifts (what I call Funeral Favours). Here at Sentiment, we love 'Funeral Favours'. If you love giving gifts and you are pre-planning your own funeral, then why not leave a little something as a thank you to your friends and family - it doesn't have to cost anything.

Some people have sugared almonds as a traditional wedding favour (apologies for any one who had them at their wedding, but yuck!!! ). These days there is a craze for bending the rules of tradition and giving something unique. For my own wedding we hand painted (*roll of the eyes*) Yes HAND PAINTED 130 glass tea light holders!!! At 5am in the morning and with 50 still to go, it dawned on me that it wasn't the best idea I'd had! However, I have a friend who went one better.
Hillary ever so stupidly thought that making an assortment of home made Jams to give to each of her 120 guests was a great idea - she didn't sleep for a week! (They did taste good though)

Ok so we're not talking weddings here, we're talking funerals. And I'm sure most of my clients have better things to do with their short lives than paint tea lights and make jam!

For one young lady (Sarah), we came up with the idea of handing out
Cadbury's chocolate bars at her funeral. Sarah loved Cadbury's chocolate (don't we all? As I type this blog, the other half of my brain is planning my escape out of the office and down to the newsagents to buy myself a Cadbury's Cruchie!) Back to my point... Sarah imagined her friends finding the time to sit with their chocolate bars, with a nice cup of tea and reminisce about the good times they had together. Her other reason was that chocolate helps release endorphins and this would help her friends and family smile!

Here are a few other funeral favour ideas we have used:
Packs of Gardening seeds
Tribute DVD
Candles (scented)
For me - I'd give everyone a mix cd with 20 of my favourite songs. I like the idea of my friends hoovering their houses on a Sunday morning playing my CD on the highest volume and singing their heads off, or maybe on a road trip, or lying a beach somewhere. Or evening better - listening to my mix on their iPod's when they run their charity
'Race For Life'.

So what would be your Funeral Favour? Do you think the whole idea is awful? Please let me know your thoughts.