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Earlier this month, the Edinburgh Reporter ran an interview and podcast exploring the benefits of planning ahead as well as interviewing our bereavement specialists.

Having the conversation about your funeral is easier than you think. And with free guides on what to discuss, with suggestions and even a checklist, Edinburgh based family funeral directors William Purves are here to guide and support people of all ages and stages.

“We take instructions for funerals every day so we’re experienced at knowing what is possible, expected and “normal”, the latter being one of the most commonly asked questions we are asked!” says Andrew Purves, one of the company’s directors.

Having the conversation ahead of need is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for loved ones when you consider they have to pull an event together in a week that reflects your life, values, personality at an already difficult time.

Andrew goes on to say: “We are big advocates for people actually having conversations before the time of need. I’ve met with many families, who suddenly face this difficult situation – a terrible situation. They’ve got so many things to think about and I’m asking them really hard questions. They’re trying to plan and think what their loved one would have wanted for a funeral, but they’ve got no idea.”

And if talking about it with others is too hard, at least be clear about your own wishes and ensure your decisions are noted for your family to easily follow. William Purves often meet clients on their own who don’t want to involve spouses, family members or friends.

Planning ahead doesn’t cost a penny but the legacy is priceless.

Bereavement specialist Tom Gordon also explored the value of speaking and sharing. He leads an Edinburgh based bereavement programme which equips bereaved people with confidence to face a the future practically as well share their experiences – invariably bonding them with others.

Tom says: “Drawing on expertise is key. We live in a society that purports to be more open and understanding of these issues. Actually, we don’t and in bereavement people are closed down, and sometimes they feel shut off. One thing we understand is the importance of ownership. So if we can help people take ownership of the planning of a funeral, we can help them take ownership of the grief journey and find that in what may to other people seem slightly odd.”

Download our free checklist on planning ahead.
Listen to the interview on Edinburgh Reporter Podcast