Caring for the person who has died

What sort of coffin is most appropriate?

There are many types of coffin (casket) to choose from, including traditional wooden, wicker, bamboo, wool and cardboard. Some can be decorated or personalised. The funeral director will show examples of some and pictures of other options. Please take advice from the funeral director as some crematoria do not permit some types of coffin due to technical issues.

Would you prefer the person to be dressed in their own clothes or something provided by the funeral director?

You should talk to the funeral director about this as some types of clothing may not be permitted. In general, clothing made from natural fibres is preferable.

Personal items

Ask the funeral director about personal items you may wish to place in the coffin, as there may be restrictions stated by the cemetery or crematorium. The funeral director will be able to explain the reasons for these.

Usually items of jewellery are removed and given back to you before the funeral. The funeral director will ask you if this is what you would like to happen. It is not possible to recover any items of jewellery after the coffin has been received at a crematorium.

Spending time with the person before the funeral

If you want to spend time with the person at the funeral director's premises before the funeral this can be arranged. Consider whether you would prefer to have the coffin open or closed at this time or, if it is possible, if you would prefer to bring the person back to their home before the funeral.

The funeral director will usually discuss preservative treatment of the body with you. This may also be described as hygienic treatment or embalming. Whether this is necessary will depend on on a number of different factors but if you want to visit the person who has died at the funeral director and have the coffin open, most funeral directors will recommend embalming. They may even require it as the visit will take place on their premises. If you feel strongly about this please ask questions about this before deciding on which funeral director to use.

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