Myth busting guide to funerals

Funeral plans haven’t always been associated with the most positive thoughts and opinions – an issue only made worse by myths that persist about this sad occasion.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that a funeral is a celebration of someone’s life and – with the correct amount of planning – you can ensure that your own funeral is personal to you and can make the process much easier on your loved ones when the time comes.

Funeral prices and processes can be confusing and, given that the discussion about death is often neglected, the real truth behind funerals gets overlooked. Because of this, we’ve decided it’s about time we debunked some of the most prominent funeral myths.


Myth – You must have a traditional coffin

You don’t have to opt for the traditional wooden coffin there are many other options out there. Some people wish to have an elaborate coffin made from bamboo, willow, cardboard or filled with a quilted lining, while others see it as just a simple container for the body. Many families wish to decorate the coffin themselves with their loved one’s favourite items.

But, you don’t have to have a coffin if you don’t want one. You can have the body wrapped up in a sheet for burial. It’s whatever you’d prefer.

Myth – You must use a black hearse

You don’t need to hire a black hearse; you can use a vehicle of any description that’s able to adequately carry a coffin, even the family estate if it’s large enough.

Myth – You have to play solemn music

Hymns will always have their place in funerals, but these days more and more are people choosing to have their favourite songs played for a happier and more upbeat celebration of their life. These choices can be left in someone’s will or as part of their funeral plan instructions.

Myth – Embalming is required by law

Contrary to popular belief, embalming is not required in the first 24 hours. If there will be a delay between the death and final dispositions, the deceased will usually be refrigerated as an acceptable alternative.

Myth – Funeral directors are just out to make money

This is one you may have heard quite often, yet funeral directors perform a very important role that for them can be emotionally tough to perform. They’re sensitive and supportive to your needs and want to provide you with a high-quality service during a bad time. Find a funeral director that’s right for you and your family and you’ll appreciate the help they can give you.

Myth – A funeral plan guarantees the cost of your funeral

A funeral plan will guarantee the cost of any fees associated with a funeral such as funeral director fees, the coffin, transport and collection of the body. However, it’s hard to guarantee every cost, especially when there might be third party fees and disbursements that may well change over time.

Myth – Cremation is the only environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial

If you’re interested in an environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional burial, there are many options to consider. A green burial, for example, is a service with no embalming and the deceased is buried in a biodegradable casket or shroud.

Myth – If a loved one wants to be cremated, you can’t have a service

Just because a loved one has said they want to be cremated, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan a service. You can choose you to hold your service before or after the cremation. It’s very common for families to hold a celebration of life, weeks or months after a loved one has passed away.