The Good Funeral Guide Blog

No death, please, we’re British

Monday, 6 August 2012


Here’s one of those nimby stories that cause funeral directors such headaches. The setting is suburban Horsham, Sussex.

A mother who recently cured her phobia of coffins has shared her fears about the establishment of a funeral directors near her home. Katie Lee, 37, said she was ‘gob smacked’ by ‘inconsiderate’ signs ‘suddenly’ erected on the old carpet shop on the corner of Rusper Road and Agate Lane, Horsham, informing residents that it will soon become a funeral directors.

Katy Lee said she was “physically sick” after learning the parlour was opening in her street. The 37-year-old has missed friend’s funerals because of her taphophobia, which stems from when her father was buried. She spent hundreds of pounds tackling it through therapy but said she was not prepared to see if she was fully over her fear by actually seeing a coffin. “I told my husband about it. I said, ‘we’ve got to move’ and we’ve just done up the house. But he said no. I can’t move.”

Dignity area manager Matthew Keysell … pointed out that … the transfer of any coffin from the hearse to the building would be done in under 30 seconds.

Sources: West Sussex County Times and The Argus



6 comments on “No death, please, we’re British

  1. andrew plume

    Wednesday 15th August 2012 at 12:54 pm

    aah yes, another Dignity (new) branch opening shortly

    and good luck to them but is it yet another ‘tax loss’ branch opening? – they will struggle in Horsham, they certainly will, as there’s an incredibly strong independent there

    the good residents of this Street may well have little to bother them (in terms of funeral traffic)

    and as ever this sort of opening/new branch policy in a town where it makes little sense seems very daft to me – it just means that the additional costs are spread around by increasing their charges nationwide and who picks that up then………?


  2. Katy

    Thursday 9th August 2012 at 10:29 pm

    My mother died 5 days before my 8th birthday and my father in such a state refused bluntly to bury my mother.  Every day for 3 weeks he would take my sisters and I to the undertakers where he would lift me over my dead mothers body.  We would be there for hours looking at my mother in a box.  Looking at the lid by the side of her knowing that she was in a box…  For 3 weeks I was made to hug and kiss my dead mother in a box….  I can still feel her touch, cold, deathly cold touch…  I then watched as they put my mother in a box into the ground…  Where I then watched the box covered in earth… To this day I have no other thoughts than that she’s in the ground in a coffin..

    I wasn’t until My father passed away and seeing his coffin going from the exact same spot as my mothers that it triggered the most horrific trauma that I had locked away….  

    The rest they say is history!!

    So there’s a top line overview of how this started…

  3. Tuesday 7th August 2012 at 11:39 am

    Hi, if Katy Lee reads this post, please can she get in touch with me at email: I’m a journalist and am intrigued by her phobia of coffins. Would be great to talk to you Katy!

  4. Monday 6th August 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Poort woman. I’ve had to look up ‘taphophobia’ to learn that it meant fear of being buried alive. Sounds horrid, I wonder what happened at her father’s burial to cause it.

    ‘Nimby-ism’ takes on a different dimension with this I guess. We’ve all got death in our back yard whether there is a funeral director there to remind us of it or not.

  5. Monday 6th August 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Not the most attractive premises. I’m trying to imagine that sub-30 sec dash with the coffin…

  6. Monday 6th August 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Not the most attractive signage..

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