A friend forwarded me a heart-wrenching story earlier this week that appeared on the Daily Mail website. It was about a grieving widow whose husband’s coffin had been dropped by pallbearers as they lowered it into his grave. The coffin ‘fell to pieces on impact’, according to the article, revealing the man’s dead body to hundreds of funeral-goers.
Anyone with any compassion will be horrified by that story, by the shock and pain and heartache that his family and friends will undoubtedly have felt. Worst still, his widow said that they had “paid extra for a solid oak coffin with strong gold handles.”
Without doubt, a solid oak coffin would not have broken like that. Worst case scenario, the lid may have come off if the coffin was dropped but the fact that it smashed was entirely down to the inferior quality of the materials – which, the family later found out later, was in fact MDF!
You’d think this story couldn’t get any worse, but it seems that pallbearers then ran away, leaving the man’s children to jump into the grave and recover his body. The widow has since taken the funeral directors to court and has just accepted a settlement fee, hence the article this week.
Clearly this whole situation has been absolutely horrendous for the family. I can’t imagine how you’d deal with that – the trauma and mayhem on the day; the sleepless nights afterwards. Thankfully for the rest of us, this is an extremely unusual case, but the funeral directors in question have a lot to answer for!
People put a huge amount of trust in their chosen funeral director to deliver a fitting send-off for their loved one, enabling those left behind to remember and celebrate their life. There is no excuse for cutting corners – you only get one chance with a funeral and it absolutely must be done right.
If someone has never had to organise a funeral before, it can be hard to know where to start when choosing a funeral director – although I do have some good tips on this link so feel free to have a look. You need to find someone you can trust though so generally speaking recommendations are the key, either from people you know or from online testimonials like Google Reviews.
Personally, I know that I give the best quality and service that I possibly can, as I make that a matter of principle. Every funeral I’ve handled has been done to the best of my ability. But it’s about more than that – it’s about care and attention. The process and the paperwork I’ve done many times so that’s usually fairly straightforward, but in every case the people involved are different and I never forget that.
Whether the people who come to see me want ‘the full works’ cathedral funeral for their loved one or a much more modest affair, the focus for me is always on making sure it’s delivered to the highest standard. I make sure people know that they can always pick up the phone or send me a text, day or night, and it’s me they deal with from start to finish, from their first phone call right through to the funeral service and beyond.
I’m a great believer that you’re only as good as the last funeral you’ve delivered, so feel free to have a look through my testimonials and make your own conclusions!