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From the ‘Colourfully Odd’ to the ‘Wonderfully Weird’ – Report Reveals

There were clowns, people in top hats, and women in spangly costumes – it was an awesome event.”

“We we asked to put a mobile phone in the coffin … a brand new mobile phone. I don’t know what they were expecting … for the phone to ring, perhaps.”

By Diaspora Insurance News


FUNERALS are increasingly less melancholic and mournful as trends shift from lamenting the passing of a loved one to celebrating their life, a recent survey has established.

The findings were part of the 2024 Cost of Dying report published by leading UK insurer, SunLife, which noted that people organising funerals were now “encouraging something different or unusual – from colourful dress code to light-hearted speeches”.

“… this celebration of life trend continues to grow, with the number of people who encourage this type of send-off increasing to 46 percent,” reads the report.

“Over 9 in 10 (92%) funeral directors say they’ve seen trends or changes in the funerals that they’re organising.”

The report, an annual publication running for 20 years, was based on interviews with 100 funeral directors across the UK as well as more than 1,500 individuals “who have been involved in organising a funeral over the past four years”.

Funeral directors and attendees interviewed indicated that send-offs were becoming more personal with “some truly memorable requests”.

Said one funeral director; “A guy used to be a clown and worked in Bournemouth in a circus for 30 years. All his friends dressed up as clowns and it was like being in a circus.”

Another director added, “I was asked if we could take the deceased person on a whole day tour of London the day before the funeral.

“We drove to the London Eye, Big Ben, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. They thought it was wonderful as he had not seen London.”

Colourfully Odd' to the 'Wonderfully Weird, From the ‘Colourfully Odd’ to the ‘Wonderfully Weird’ – Report Reveals

Elsewhere, a funeral director said they were “asked if we can put a mobile phone in the coffin … a brand new mobile phone.

“I don’t know what they were expecting … for the phone to ring, perhaps.”

One funeral attendee recalled that they had attended “a magician’s funeral, and we were all asked to attend in our stage costumes.

“There were clowns, people in top hats, and women in spangly costumes – it was an awesome event.”

Other changes include streaming of funerals for the benefit of those unable to attend physically which peaked during the Covid-19 pandemic, personalised coffins, as well as attendees wearing more colourful clothing.

“Music is more upbeat, more of a happier note, and more up-to-date music,” said one funeral attendee.

“There are more eco-coffins now,” another added.

However the report noted that people were getting worse at talking about funerals.

“A shocking 54% of us don’t know if our loved ones want to be buried or cremated – an increase of 5% on last year. In general, fewer people are talking about funerals,” reads the report.

“Our research shows that knowing a loved one’s funeral wishes can be helpful – from reducing stress, to knowing who to invite, to saving money. So it’s best to get talking sooner rather than later.”

team4dfiFrom the ‘Colourfully Odd’ to the ‘Wonderfully Weird’ – Report Reveals