Joining up dying to funerals

Charles Cowling

It was very good to hear yesterday from Donna Belk, a home funeral pioneer and enabler in Texas. How I like that term ‘home funeral’ — preferable by far to the UK term ‘DIY funeral’ with all its associations of bodge, muddle, panic and a late night visit from the emergency electrician.

Not that many people in the UK sideline the deathcare professionals and arrange their own funerals. A lot of the early natural death zeal seems to have subsided. In the US the movement is healthy and, it seems, in good hands. “The home funeral movement.” says Donna, “is definitely gaining more attention.” See here.

She goes on to say: “Some people view it as an extension to hospice. We’ve had quite a bit of success in introducing it to hospice organizations in our area.”

I’d love to know more about how UK hospices are joining up end of life care to funeral planning, and empowering carers. I am hoping that someone at St Christopher’s, who have questioned whether funerals are ‘the missing link in palliative care’, is going to ring me up and tell me.

Watch this space, enjoy the videos — and thank you for writing in, Donna.

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