Comment: Customised funerals help us to find the brighter side of death

Decorated coffins are becoming more popular

Decorated coffins are becoming more popular

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when your time comes how do you want to be sent off?

Do you want to go out with a bang or would you prefer to slip away with the minimum of fuss and a small, dignified ceremony? Will your faith be central to proceedings or will there be no religion at all at your funeral?

None of us of course will be around to see our own final send-off - what a gift it would be if we could! - but it is something that we all think about at some point in our lives.

Services today are very different to those of previous generations, they tend to be far more personal. Favourite pieces of music from pop to classical and personal eulogies are much more popular than the traditional, slightly ‘one size fits all’, selection of hymns and a few words from the minister or priest.

The subject is more likely to be discussed with family or friends, although among us taciturn Scots we could, as ever, do with opening up a bit more.

When thinking about funerals, it is worth pausing to consider their true purpose. The real value of funerals is not to the deceased themselves but in bringing comfort and closure to those left behind. Knowing what a loved one wanted to be done at their funeral can be a great comfort to those left to make the arrangements.

An Irn Bru coffin may not be many people’s idea of good taste - but why not have a service that suits your personality.

If you are conscious of protecting the planet for future generations, you might choose an evironmentally-friendly coffin made from natural wicker.

Some folk who like to make a statement in life may like to do the same in death. So a proud Scot, for instance, might choose a casket decorated with a Saltire, or a diehard - if you’ll excuse the phrase - Hibby or Jambo might choose one in the colour of their heroes. The choice, as they say, is yours, if you are ready to talk about it.