. Funerals may be held at home, at any time and/ or in any place of personal connection such as a church, temple, mosque, village hall, community centre, sports club and/or local hotel.
The significant difference with a home funeral is that you are able to stay in control of the process. You can choose where and when you hold the funeral and create a very personal ceremony which honours the life of your loved one.
You will also also choose whether your loved one's body will be buried or cremated and can arrange this to be unhurried and in accordance with their beliefs, values and/or wishes .
What are the benefits of choosing a family - led home funeral?
Tender, loving care, knowing hands, more time to say goodbye
The true value of a home funeral lies in the extra time you spend tenderly caring for your loved one. Slowing down the process allows all involved to accept and absorb the death at your own pace. Home funerals are a gentle and loving way to keep everyone involved and families connected. They are more intimate, more meaningful and ultimately allow for greater closure and healing.
Home funeral care can be a profound last act of love for a loved one. You have time to keep vigil, to sit and just be with the person, to grieve in your own home, with more time to say good bye.
You can ensure your loved one is only touched by gentle, knowing hands and ultimately that they are cared for by the people who love them most.
More freedom, flexibility & choice;
You and your family have the freedom and flexibility to be more involved in doing things your own way, in your own style, using your own resources, in a place of special meaning to you. You have greater choice to personalise and create a meaningful and unique funeral.
More natural, eco friendly & sustainable;
Home funerals are kinder to the environment. In most cases embalming is not necessary and icepacks can be used to keep the body cool. Your loved one can be cared for naturally and placed within a bamboo shroud or cardboard coffin which you can decorate if you wish. You and your family can gather together to help with practical tasks such as preparing homemade food, bringing and/or playing your own own music, gathering flowers from your own gardens, designing orders of service, writing the eulogy, using private vehicles to transport the body and minimising unnessary accessories.
Saves money, lower costs, more affordable;
A home funeral ultimately saves money as it is not necessary to spend money on funeral costs you do not want or need. Only With Love aims to reduce the cost of a standard, conventional funeral by 30 to 50 %.
The more you can be involved in all aspects of the funeral yourself, the lower the cost will be and the higher the value to you and your family.
When a loved one dies what should I do first ?
Take a deep breath and pause.
It takes time to come to terms with the death of someone you love and even longer to decide how you wish to honour them. There is no rush to make these decisions nor do you need to feel presured to act immediately.
Firstly, call a close friend and/or family member to help you, care for you and support you.
Then in your own time think who you would like your loved one to be cared for, where you would like their body to stay until the funeral.
Imagine how you would like them to be remembered and how you would like their funeral to be.
What is a home funeral? Is it a new concept?
A home funeral is a time honoured way of families caring for their own loved ones after death. It provides families with a slowed down, carefully planned for, more affordable, hands-on experience.
It is not a new concept. Not long ago, families were completely responsible for the preparation and burial of loved ones’ bodies after death – it was considered an ancient art, an honour, an act of respect and compassion and a very natural part of the grieving process.
In the past loved ones were laid out at home in the front room or parlour and neighbours, families and friends all gathered together to care for their own, offering practical help and community support.
Nowadays more and more families are reclaiming this right to hold a family - led home funeral. This involves family and/or friends
gently washing and dressing a loved one's body;
lovingly laying out the body at home;
naturally cooling the body;
bringing the body home ( if death happens elsewhere);
gathering together to share, grieve and spend precious time.
Tell me more about Only With Love
Within the first few days you are lawfully required to
1. Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. You will need this to register the death.
2. Register the death within five days. You will get the documents you need for the funeral.
3. Arrange the funeral. You can legally do this with or without the services of a funeral director.
You may choose to use a funeral director but you are not required by law to use one. Instead, you may choose to care for your loved one at home and direct the funeral yourself.
This is called a family-led home funeral. You can be involved as much as you feel comfortable with.
You may choose to do everything yourself or you may prefer a more blended, guided approach.
Only With Love can support you with this choice so you stay in control of the process, have more time and save considerable costs.
If you do prefer to use a funeral director we can recommend the services of a local and independent one for you.
Do I have to use a funeral director?
Why are more families choosing family-led home funerals?
Increasingly, families are acknowledging they are the best people to tenderly care for their own loved ones in death like they have cared for them in life.
More and more families are wishing to celebrate and honour the unique life of their loved one in a way that is more personal, more meaningful, more affordable and more sustainable.
Who may consider after death home care and a home funeral?
Ordinary people who wish to embrace the process and take care of their own.
It is not an easy choice to make and it takes courage and commitment to be actively involved with such intimate care but if this choice feels right for you and your family OWL can support and guide you.
By choosing a home funeral you may discover an inner strength you didn’t know you had.
You may feel like you have done the very best for your loved one that you could in the most loving way possible.
You may feel empowered and transformed.
People who have participated in a home funeral say they feel like they did everything they could in the most loving way and have no regrets. They may also say, “now that I’ve done it this way, I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
Where can I hold a home funeral for my loved one?
What do I have to do by law?
Only With Love is a non - profit social enterprise founded by Claire Turnham - a woman who is passionate about enabling families to reclaim the lost art of caring for their own after death.
Claire is a pioneer in the growing Home Funeral Movement within the UK. She has tenderly cared for her own loved ones before, during and after death in both sudden and expected circumstances. It is now Claire’s intention to share her knowledge and experience to serve other families seamlessly in her local and wider communities as a Soul Midwife, Home funeral Guide, Independent Celebrant and Funeral Arranger.
Claire has a clear understanding of death like birth as a natural part of life. She has a professional background in Education and is also a trained Birth Doula and Parenting Educator. She is inspired by her own children Poppy, Celia, Theo and Fern.
Claire is an active member of the National Home Funeral Alliance and has developed strong relationships with other Home Funeral Guides, Undertakers and Celebrants from the UK, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She is currently involved in the setting up of a UK Home Funeral Network , is part of the Reclaiming Funerals Collective and is a regular Death Café facilitator.
" It was a huge comfort to have had you Claire. Looking after C and G in this unique moment in their and our lives. Had I not known, it seemed as if you had been in their lives and thus ours for many years. You melded yourself seemlessly with us all. Thank you for your gentleness, kindness and care. Keep shining."