There’s an excellent series of photos on the Undertaken With Love Flickr site telling the story of a home funeral. Click slideshow at the top right for the best view.
It’s thought provoking in any number of ways. See how engaged the children are. And you can see from everyone’s faces how emotionally healthy the whole business is.
Now, I know I bang on a lot about home funerals. But I do recognise that, though this is how people cared for their dead in centuries past, the (real) traditional funeral is unlikely to make a comeback, not in any widespread way.
At the same time, I wonder about the emotional impact of outsourcing the care of our dead and the creation of their farewell ceremonies to various un-joined-up specialists—undertakers, celebrants, etc.
Put it another way. What would be the impact on the bereavement counselling industry if people were to participate more than they do now in caring for their dead, going the distance with them? Would counsellors find their caseloads slashed?
I rang Cruse to ask them. Had they ever thought about it? Had they ever considered campaigning for more participative funerals in order to enable people to grieve better at the best time for grieving? No, they hadn’t.
I think there’s something in it.