Everyone is different. For this reason, all funeral ceremonies ought to be different.

Nearly all funerals are sad, some sadder than others. People’s responses to death, and the feelings they bring to the funeral, differ according to the circumstances.

When someone dies peacefully in extreme old age, those who come to the funeral may well be feeling that what has happened is in the order of things: “He had a good innings, a good life. In the last few years his mobility hasn’t been great and he’s been getting very forgetful. Really, he’d had enough. Nothing could be more natural than his leaving us.” There is much to give thanks for, much to look back on with pleasure. Sadness is softened by a feeling that all is for the best.

When someone dies young, people feel angry, shocked and cheated. When they come to the funeral these feelings will still be very raw.

When someone dies suddenly or violently, it is possible that the funeral will happen too soon for people to have been able to begin to deal with their emotions. They may be in denial or shocked disbelief.

All lives are different. People’s responses to death differ, also, according to their own ideas of life and death and their feelings for the dead person. Some people are more lovable than others. Some people are funny, some are glum. Some people live rich, busy lives; others go to work, come home and watch telly.

The lives of all are measured by what they mean to those who love them. A good funeral ceremony will be as unique as the life lived.