Rachel Maughan – Funeral Service Manager, Northumberland 

I suffered a bereavement about twelve years ago, before I joined Co-op Funeralcare. At that time I’d never heard of pre-paid funeral plans, let alone Dying Matters Week. Looking back I wish there’d been more information out there for everyone, what you and your family need to consider and the options available. Had I known what I know now, I’d have approached things very differently. 

That’s why I’m such an advocate of Dying Matters Week. It aims to open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement. Something I think is important for everyone to do, not just for themselves but for those they will one day leave behind. 

The theme this year is ‘Are you in a good place to die?’. More people than ever are dying at home. Not everyone will have a choice of where they spend their final days, but we should make sure that the right care and support is in place no matter the location. 

It’s not just where you are physically that we all need to consider, but also where we are physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally. These elements make up the daily themes for the week.

I’d encourage you to ask yourself if you’re in a good place to die and importantly, talk to your families about what you’d want to happen in your final days

Before I started working in the funeral industry, I’d seen over 50s life insurance on the TV. As a 30 something I’d never paid it much attention or given much thought to my wishes. 

Now I know more about pre-paid funeral plans, I’d recommend them to everyone. I even got one for my son on his 18th birthday – it’s reassuring to know this cost and his wishes will be taken care of.

At Co-op we’re really led by clients and try to make everything as unique and personal as possible, but this isn’t the case everywhere. People arranging funerals can be presented with limited choice, not knowing there’s anything else available. If you’ve thought about what you want in advance and done your research, your family will have a better choice and give you the best possible send off. 

The digital element is also now more relevant than ever, most of us now have a social media presence. Some people may like to feel they are living on by still having an online presence, but others will want any accounts removed. Both options are understandable, but your loved ones need to know so they can carry out your wishes. 

There’s lots to consider and no matter your age I’d encourage you to ask yourself if you’re in a good place to die. Talk to your families about what you’d want to happen in your final days, at your funeral and to your possessions and finances.

I believe if we’re in a good place to die we can then go about getting the most out of life!

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Well said Rachel! I have had a similar experience to you and really believe in talking about death and end-of-life planning now. The Humanist UK website has a great section on Funeral wishes for Dying Mattters Awareness Week, including starting the conversation which is probably the hardest https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/funerals/blog/funeral-wishes-dont-leave-it-too-late-to-talk-about-them/

  2. I have sold this product in the past and am a strong believer in the contract.
    With the spiralling cost of funerals it brings peace of mind to families and individuals in having arrangements in place should the worse happen.
    Remember no-one lives forever, take the cost burden away from your dependants

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