The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Did you?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

 

Did you like it? 

I’d be inclined to give it 10 out of 10. 

Last night’s BBC2 programme Dead Good Job is well worth watching. If you missed it, it covers: 

a Muslim funeral company’s attempts to bury the dead as quickly as possible in accordance with Islamic tradition, a terminally ill mother of two who chooses to plan and arrange her own funeral and a high speed send off for a biker who gets his wish of a final ride in a motorcycle hearse.

Next week, we are delighted to see that they will be following Rachel Wallace, funeral photographer. We’re huge fans of Rachel here at the GFG-Batesville Tower. 

Catch it on the iPlayer here

25 comments on “Did you?

  1. andrew plume

    Sunday 16th September 2012 at 11:29 am

    excellent stuff, really enjoyed it, even the second time – a very decent mix etc, Mr Taslim and his daughters were terrific (as were all of the others shown)

    I’m sure that Lilleywhite’s do offer ‘non-traditional’ choices, but they know their local market and the usual trends and a strong tip for them, imo, three Chapels available and Clients can seemingly come in when and as often as they please…….so they’re not told when they can view, which is often the ‘Corporate way’

    no need, David, for ‘transparency of ownership’ for that programme, apart from a brief visit to a Funeralcare branch, the others shown are all Independent firms etc

    next up seems to be Chandu and Nigel L-Rose, in addition to the said Photographer that is

    andrew

  2. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Now that would be a programme worth making Jonathan. Why not suggest it to the producers of this one?

  3. Jonathan

    Thursday 13th September 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I find myself disagreeing with the agreeable comments here. It was ok, it told the story how it is – and yes, I can see now how you bury a muslim within a day if the rituals are identical and so sparse, which is informative. But it still says ‘this is how funerals are, this is what you must expect’. It doesn’t suggest much alternative to following the herd, other than cosmeticising the rituals by losing one wheel off ‘the’ hearse, or weaving ‘the’ coffin, or other such novelties; and so, by consolidating the way things are, it entrenches so many of the empty traditions that are in such need of disinterrment.

    How about a series that questions the purpose and place of the funeral – the why rather than the how – and invites viewers to consider what they would like to do if no-one told them what was ‘on offer’?

    • Belinda Forbes

      Thursday 13th September 2012 at 11:10 pm

      People know so very little about funerals and are easily shocked that I suppose I thought this was a very good start. And TWO celebrants and the quicker vicar has to be a breakthrough. And although I agree with Jed about the traditional fd, they had to have someone like him to show the difference in approaches that exists.

  4. Jed

    Thursday 13th September 2012 at 9:57 pm

    There was one moment I took issue with – when the FD said: “Most people want the usual traditional funeral. If it isn’t broken….” I took that to infer that he wasn’t about to voluntarily offer anything else.

    • Jonathan

      Thursday 13th September 2012 at 10:19 pm

      I don’t know if you’re a celbrant, Jed, but I suspect we celebrants would be snowed under with work if the undertakers stopped taking that indolent ‘don’t fix it’ approach.

      The question; ‘religious or humanist?’ leaves little room or time for consideration other than the response, ‘let’s just play safe and do the normal thing.’ My limited experience of aranging funerals with families may be insufficient for a generalization, but the proportion of them who’ve opted for the traditional funeral has been tiny once they’ve been encouraged to think about the alternatives.

      • Friday 14th September 2012 at 5:54 pm

        Totally agree. Also an annoying assumption that the alternatives are ‘religious or humanist’….there’s a bit more than that to consider!

  5. Belinda Forbes

    Thursday 13th September 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I expected to shout at the TV at some point but instead found myself smiling and nodding. 10 out of 10!

  6. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 6:49 pm

    A fair and balanced programme. Shome mistake surely? Well done to the producers and all concerned – it was sensitive and informative – let’s hope it continues in the same way.

    A little bit of information about transparency of ownership would be most welcome in future episodes. We can but hope!

  7. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I loved it… particularly the Muslim funerals. Found it fascinating and loved the fact that it was simplistic, with every person receiving the same, time honoured, rituals. The chaos of burying the body as quickly as possible… was almost comical in parts but also very heart warming.
    Pesonally, I think we wait way too long between death and funerals in the UK…. #justsaying

    • Thursday 13th September 2012 at 7:03 pm

      It totally depends on the person and the context I would have said. Sometimes we don’t wait long enough.

    • Thursday 13th September 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I disagree Patricia. The haste with which most people organise their funeral makes for poor choices. We slow it down to at least ten days.

      • Friday 14th September 2012 at 11:24 am

        Hi Jenny and Ru

        Interesting comments and of course there is no need to hurry the funeral with unseemly haste when poor decisions can be made, but equally drawing the process out does no one any favours.

        I suspect that your experiences are very different to mine as a daughter, a friend, a carer, a relative, an executor roles and colleague (to name a few…) but I have yet to encounter anyone who said “I wish the funeral wasn’t for another few days”.I actually find that people most want closure (sorry, poor word).

        That said, I was interested in the ten days offered by Ru. Is that considered to be the optimum length of time? Would be most interested to hear views.

        • sweetpea

          Friday 14th September 2012 at 4:34 pm

          Yes, I think, Patricia, that many people do feel that they want to ‘get things over and done with’ as soon as possible.

          However, I’ve worked with many families when a longer wait has been unavoidable, for instance when a death happens over a holiday period like Christmas, and the venues have become booked for up for many days, if not weeks, ahead. Or if there are relatives who have to travel very long distances, or are receiving hospital treatment themselves and need to recuperate before they can attend.

          And, quite contrary to most people’s expectations, I find that many famlies come to believe that this delay was, in hindsight, a surprising advantage. They have the opportunity to come through the very early days of bereavement into a different place, where there is room to think, breathe and imagine what they might like to do in order to honour the life of their relative and friend.

          As a slight aside, I would also urge you not to assume that the ‘professionals’ who comment here are any different to you in their personal experiences. Are they not also ‘a daughter, a friend, a carer, a relative, an executor…and colleague’? We are not a separate species pronouncing wisdom from on high – indeed many people who undertake bereavement work do so because of their own dreadful experiences of personal loss.

        • Jonathan

          Friday 14th September 2012 at 10:31 pm

          ‘…drawing the process out does no one any favours.’

          Yes it does, Patricia; or at least, please don’t assume it does not.

          The conditioned reaction to having to arrange a fuenral is to get the grizzly business over and done with as soon as possible, and even if that’s not the conscious intent it tends to be the driver. But I have been shown gratitude from people whom I’ve gently ‘allowed’ to take a couple of weeks over the funeral, on the grounds that it leaves them in a much clearer and more informed and empowered place to proceed.

          Not to get it over with because it simply has to be done, but to do it for a reason.

        • Vale

          Saturday 15th September 2012 at 1:14 pm

          What fascinates me is that the length of time isn’t in the end the most important factor in what constitutes a ‘successful’ funeral – it’s the expectations of the people involved that matters most. You can see that, for the Faithful, what matters above all is the burial, because that’s the gateway to paradise for the person they have lost. Whatever their own feelings why would they delay?

          And that was true for all of them, wasn’t it? Traditional Christian, the biker – it was all about doing what was right by the person who had died. In the past I’ve written about how malleable grief is to tradition and culture – but it now strikes me that if getting it right is the real driver, then it is more as though it is grief itself that insists on carving out that channel that it needs.

          Is it just us post-religioners who need more time? To work out what is right for us and invent the service that both satisfies and assuages the grief we feel?

          • Saturday 15th September 2012 at 7:11 pm

            Yes, Vale, I think it is. It’s a secular thing. Members of faith groups have a prescribed process, and their religious teachings prepare them. They pull out the familiar script and crack on. For them, it’s all automatic, meaningful and emotionally nourishing.

            Most secular folk also reach for the familiar script (hearse and two, crem cowboy, 20 mins of the familiar mumble-jumbo) and their urgency to get it over and done with is because its meaningless, invidious and of little if any emotional value.

            I’m with Jonathan. It’s all about opening minds to doing it for a reason. This process can only start after someone has died, because no one’s thought about it beforehand, and it can only proceed when there’s a realisation that it doesn’t have to be ‘one of those’. It takes time just to get to square one.

            Very interesting what you say about the effect of the enforced longer wait, Sweetpea.

  8. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Yes, I did, and I thought it was very good. I liked the way they gave the families ‘slow time’ and silence to bring their feelings out or just to sit and ponder. I’m also glad they gave airtime to the thoughts of Quicker Vicar Paul Sinclair about people needing to make choices and ‘get it right’.

    It was very informative – especially to see the Muslim burials – as was demonstrated you need your wits about you to do that day in day out! It was fascinating and I learned a lot about why and how things are as they are. Equal in death… so simple and so true.

    • Monday 17th September 2012 at 11:57 am

      And I liked how much the Muslim funerals were part of the everyday prayers and life at the Mosque, indicating how much death is part of life.

  9. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Fantastic programme so nice to see good professional people who care so much. Its nice to see the positive things in the funeral world.

  10. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Chaos is good, isn’t it? Not for everyone, of course.

  11. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 2:53 pm

    The Muslim burial was FASCINATING! Everyone wanting to carry the coffin and fill in the grave. A lesson to be learnt from this inspiring community involvement. Also love the idea of ‘organised chaos’.

  12. Angie

    Thursday 13th September 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Wonderful programme – loved every minute of it, positive, informative and varied – look forward to the next ones!

  13. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Yes, wasn’t it, Jenny?

  14. Thursday 13th September 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Very interesting indeed! And very refreshing to see the good rather than the bad for a change!

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