By SJ Thoms, Press Officer, Life Services

Encouraging open, honest conversations about death, dying and bereavement is something we’ve strongly championed for many years at Co-op.

Although they can be difficult conversations to have with loved ones, sharing your personal wishes about how you want to say your final goodbyes can really help to make the process much easier when the time comes. It also means they can make sure they give you the personal send-off exactly as you wanted; whether that means a certain song is played, people are asked to wear certain colours or maybe the coffin is specifically designed in a way that truly represents and reflects you.

Working alongside YouGov, we’ve recently undertaken some further research into people’s thoughts on funerals and the results have been staggering. They clearly show people’s mindsets are changing.

Funerals are no longer thought of as sombre affairs. In fact, our research shows an major shift in attitudes with over 35 million adults now wanting to make sure their funeral is a celebration of life. This is a huge increase of 77% in just two years.

Previously people thought funerals were a one size fits all, but by being able to offer our increasing ranges of flowers, coffins, and hearses we’re starting to see a reversal in this way of thinking. Surprisingly, 40% of Generation ‘Z’ers (18 – 24 year olds) have already thought about what they would like for their own final farewell. People are becoming much more personalised in their end of life wishes, and of course our wonderful teams go above and beyond when arranging every single funeral and make what many might think impossible, a reality.

Our latest report, My Wishes, My Way, captures the seismic shift in attitudes, explaining how people now feel more open than ever to talk about their funeral wishes. The report also shares details about some of the meaningful funerals that have been delivered because people had the conversations and expressed their wishes.

Every funeral we conduct is special for its own reasons. Over the coming weeks, some of our funeral directors and funeral arrangers will be sharing individual stories that sit behind some of the unique and wonderful funerals that have been conducted, keep a look out for them.

It’s a privilege to work as a press officer for Co-op Funeralcare; to have the opportunity to speak with colleagues and the bereaved families you all support, and to be trusted to share their special stories and memories. If you’re currently arranging a unique service for a client, or have recently conducted a personalised funeral, please do reach out to me and my colleagues via the contact details below.

Sarah Jane Thoms: Sarahjane.thoms@coop.co.uk

Aimi McNeill: aimi.mcneill@coop.co.uk 

Vikki McCrindle: Vikki.mccrindle@coop.co.uk