The Bereavement Companion

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It gives us great pleasure to introduce our 2021/22 Annual Bereavement Companion. Our magazine is an all-encompassing, bespoke and step-by-step guide filled with helpful information on what to do when bereavement occurs. Our guide aims to hold your hand, containing articles covering the process of registering a death, planning a ceremony, floral tributes, order of service, grief support, financial advice and memorial keepsakes. For this edition, we have included relevant editorial information including grieving for those who have died from COVID-19 which is a complicated emotional issue as it is outside the norms of all our experience. We know the loss of a loved one is very difficult, whether it’s sudden or expected, we can never fully prepare for our feelings of grief, or do not always know how to come to terms with loss. We understand the importance of getting support for mental well-being, which is why we have included various charities and counselling services to help with the grief process within our editorial articles.

We are pleased to add our pet bereavement section on pages 34-36. Having lost treasured pets ourselves, we felt it was important to support bereaved pet owners. Since animals are also our very best friends and in ours and perhaps in your case, a huge part of the family! We also hope you find comfort in our pet bereavement editorial, pieced together by our lovely writer, Catherine Rose. We also have listed in this section businesses who provide a range of beautiful pet memorial products. If you are an organisation that would benefit from advertising or distributing our magazine, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to help you. We hope our guide will make the process of dealing with bereavement that little bit easier. Our warmest wishes,

Gabriella & Emma, Meadowview Media Limited See magazine online: (with live-links)

Contents: Registering A Death..................................................................................................................................................................4 Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Headstone - Offley Memorials.............................................................6/7 Life Following The Loss Of A Partner....................................................................................................................................8 Organ Donations - Editorial Provided By Lister Organ Donation Committee..............................................................10 Planning A Funeral Ceremony .......................................................................................................................................12/13 Floral Tributes.........................................................................................................................................................................14 Order Of Service Layout........................................................................................................................................................16 Coping With COVID-19..................................................................................................................................................20/21 Investment Advice - Raymond James.............................................................................................................................22/23 Making A Will.........................................................................................................................................................................24 Ark Lasting Powers & Wills...................................................................................................................................................25 Power Of Attorney..................................................................................................................................................................26 East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity.............................................................................................................28/29 A Parting Gift...........................................................................................................................................................................31 Exercise Helps With Grief- Editorial provided By Nicola Church At Elevation Personal Training............................32 Losing A Beloved Pet........................................................................................................................................................34/36 Hertfordshire’s Coroner’s Service...........................................................................................................................................37 Useful Numbers.......................................................................................................................................................................38



Publishers: Meadowview Media Ltd m: 07931 512 253 t: 01767 691 772

Design: Meadowview Media Ltd Disclaimer: All adverts and editorial are printed

in good faith, however, Meadowview Media Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the service provided by the advertisers Editorial: Catherine Rose, Offley Memorials, Lister Hospital Organ Donation Committee, or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored Julie New Personal Recovery Coach, without the express permission of the publisher. Raymond James Investment Advice, East Cover: Forget Me Not Flowers

& North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, Hertfordshire’s Coroner’s Service,3Nicola Church at Elevation Personal Training.

We would like to thank all the advertisers for supporting this publication.

Registering a Death... All deaths need to be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and must be done within five days in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and within eight days in Scotland.

• Details of any state pension or other state benefits they were receiving. Forms you will get from the registrar: • A certificate for burial and cremation. This is known as the green certificate and gives permission for the body to be buried or to apply for a cremation to be made. You should give this to the funeral director. • A certificate for registration of death. You’ll need this to deal with the person’s financial and legal affairs, for example, if they were getting a pension or benefits.

These time frames may differ if the registrar agrees to extend the period, or if the death has been referred to the coroner. Where to register the death: The registrar’s office closest to where the person died.

If the burial needs to happen quickly: Some burials need to happen within 24 hours of death, for example for religious or cultural reasons. You can get advice from your local registrar or the funeral directors about this.

What you will need: Birth certificate NHS medical card Proof of their address, for example, a utility bill Driving licence Passport Marriage or civil partnership certificate

Getting copies of the death certificate: After the death has been registered you can get a death certificate which is a copy of the entry made in the death register. You will probably need a number of printed copies of the death certificate, for example to give to insurance, bank or pension companies as many organisations ask for original certificates rather than photocopies.

Don’t worry if you can’t find all these documents as you will still be able to register the death without them. The registrar will want to know: • The person’s full name (at the time of death). • Any other names that the person used (e.g. a maiden name) or any previous names they may have used. • Their date and place of birth, including the town if they were born in the UK or just the country if they were born abroad. • Their address and occupation or their last occupation if retired. • The full name of their husband, wife, or civil partner.


You may also need to give a certificate to the executor or administrator who is dealing with the property of the person who has died. The registrar will work out how many copies you will need. If a death has been referred to the coroner you will need to wait for them to give permission before you can register the death. There is no cost for registering a death.

Established in 1760 in Hitchin, Gatwards the jewellers is now the oldest family jewellers in the UK having passed through 7 generations of the Gatward family. 258 years since opening, the 8th generation – Charlotte Gatward is now in the business as her mother Lisa Gatward & aunt, Anna Gatward take a back seat. Over its long history, Gatwards has seen many changes. Originally watch & clock makers, Bradly Gatward, Charlotte’s great grandfather, was the last member of the family to make clocks. When his son, Willson, died at only 59, the business was carried on by his widow Sylvia until his daughters Anna & Lisa took over the reins. With ladies at the helm, the emphasis moved towards jewellery & today, Gatwards is recognised for fine diamonds & beautiful gemstone jewellery. Gatwards source jewellery from all over the world as well as here in the UK, providing the widest ranges to suit all tastes and budgets. Integrity and quality are core values of the business and all Gatwards gem set jewellery is hand selected by our experienced buying team from conflict free and award-winning suppliers. Gatwards also offer a range of jewellery services including valuations for insurance and probate,

repairs, re-modelling and re-mounting as well as buying and selling second hand jewellery. The award-winning team at Gatwards work hard to give all customers a memorable experience when they step into our medieval showroom. Having guided and advised our customers through 8 generations of the same family, maybe your grandparents or even great grandparents shopped at Gatwards?


Offley O


“A Family Business with Family Values”

- Nicholas Prutton

There are guidelines to follow in all cemeteries and churchyards which will govern the type, size, material and design of your natural stone tribute. Permission must be sought before a memorial of any sort can be placed and Offley Memorials will happily guide you through this process.

Plaques which lie flat on the ground and are flush with the grass often mark a cremation plot. They can incorporate a flower container if size allows.

Children's upright memorials are often smaller in size due to the reduced dimensions of the graves they mark. From foot and handprints or a personalised dedicated message/drawing from big brother or sister, these can be personalised in many ways.

Tablets (sometimes referred to as a desk or wedge) sit flat on the ground. The back of the stone is higher than the front creating a slanted surface for the inscription.

Headstones are vertical in stature and can also be carved into heart and book shaped designs. They are more commonly fixed to a matching base which in turn sits on a concrete foundation below ground level. These can be personalised with any statue, design or photograph.

Vases can be placed directly on the ground, mounted on their own plinth or fixed to the base of an existing memorial. They can have inscriptions, carvings and etchings on the face if required.

Garden Kerb memorials often incorporate an upright headstone or carved book whilst providing a small enclosed area for chippings. Soil can also be provided if natural planting is preferred as can a solid cover slab for ease of maintenance.

Cremation memorials often consist of a combination of a carved heart, book and vase. They can also be vertical headstones like those which mark a burial grave but are normally scaled down in size to conform to regulations.

Full size kerb memorials usually cover the entire footprint of the grave and can be as ornate or as simple in design as you like. These sit on concrete landings for support and can be finished with either chippings, a cover slab or earth for planting depending on your preference.


Luton White Hill, Offley, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3DL People’s memorial mason of choice throughout Herts, Beds & Bucks.

01462 6372 371 •

Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Headstone A memorial can provide a focal point of affection and remembrance. It can be a celebration of a life and often headstones are as unique as the person’s life they are commemorating. It can also mark the sense of loss, love and respect felt for a family member or friend.

Who can supply a memorial?

Most choose to contact a memorial mason local to where their loved one is buried or interred. They will be able to offer guidance on the various stone alternatives, their suitability to your needs as well as advising you of the materials, finishes and sizes permitted by the local Burial Authority. Offley Memorials Ltd have over 40 years experience in providing lasting natural stone tributes so have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share. With samples in the office as well as brochures and a vast gallery of completed works, you won’t have far to look for inspiration! Going direct to a stonemason is often the most cost effective way of purchasing a memorial although you may also wish to contact the funeral director who arranged your loved ones’ service as some offer in-house memorials although most outsource to local masons. Privately owned cemeteries tend to supply their own limited range of memorials offered as part of a burial or cremation package. It is highly recommended that you check with your preferred supplier that they hold a license for the Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers (RQMF). This is a widely recognised accreditation across the country and all memorials must now be fixed in line with the NAMM code of safe working practice.

What type of memorial is suitable for my requirements?

There are guidelines to follow in cemeteries and particularly in churchyards which will govern the type, size, material and design of your natural stone tribute depending on whether it is to mark a burial or cremation plot. It is important to be aware of the individual characteristics of each stone and their suitability to meet your needs. Whether you are looking for a new memorial or replacement, or to add an additional inscription, a fee will be charged either by the council or your local parish. Offley Memorials have an up-to-date list and will be able to advise you accordingly. They will also be well placed to guide you on any maintenance requirements which will help you to make the right choice at the beginning of the process, as well as ensuring that your memorial stays in the best possible condition over the coming years.

How long do I have to wait before placing a memorial on the grave?

New burial graves can take a while to settle, especially if there are extremes in the weather i.e. heavy rain, snow or a long dry summer. In chalky and clay areas, this settlement can take even longer so it is recommended that you wait a minimum of 12 months before placing a memorial on your loved ones grave. Some cemeteries have a different foundation system meaning that you can place a headstone straight away. Offley Memorials will be able to advise you on the scheme in place at your chosen cemetery. It is worth being aware that to place a headstone too soon would put it at greater risk of subsidence which in turn could cause great distress and additional costs to

correct and should therefore be avoided. Stone tributes to mark a cremation plot however can be sited as soon after the interment as you feel ready, due to there being less ground disturbance.

How long does a memorial take to order?

Offley Memorials hold stock of the most popular designs and colours which means they can process these often within around 6-8 weeks, whilst more unusual headstones will be made to order. It is worth bearing in mind these can sometimes take approximately 12-16 weeks so it is recommended that you start thinking about new memorials around 6 months after burial. Cremation stones can be planned and ordered soon after interment.

How do I clean a discoloured memorial and refresh the inscription?

If you already have a natural stone tribute, Offley Memorials appreciate that these can deteriorate over time and suffer from general wear and tear from both the elements and wildlife. If you live too far away or find it difficult physically to manage the work required, they offer a comprehensive range of maintenance services to help restore your memorial to its original beauty. Services include: • re-levelling • cleaning

• repairing

• repainting inscriptions • refreshing designs

• adding additional inscriptions After an initial inspection, they will provide you with a report containing a photograph of the memorial in its current condition along with advice on any remedial work. On completion, images are provided of before and after the restoration project so that you can see the transformation. A client recently said "The before and after pictures are nothing short of miraculous!"

What happens to an existing headstone to allow for an additional burial/interment in the same grave/plot?

This is worth checking with your funeral director as everyone works differently. Most funeral homes will automatically contact their own stone mason unless you specify otherwise. Be aware that at this point it is often assumed their mason will carry out the additional inscription work as well as the removal and storage of your memorial. However if you have a preferred memorial mason whom you would like to undertake the work on your behalf, perhaps for example the firm that supplied you with the stone initially or one that has been recommended to you, it is imperative that you contact them directly within a few days of death and notify the funeral director of your intention. Advise the mason of the funeral date once you have one and they will arrange removal of the memorial in good time. Offley Memorials regularly facilitate removals and subsequent additional inscription work and are able to work on these at 7short notice and at very competitive prices.

Life Following the Loss of a Partner... Adjusting to life without your partner can seem overwhelming, particularly if that loss was sudden, and you should not feel ashamed to seek out support. And at a time when you will still be in shock, there may be children that also need support and numerous practical issues to deal with. If children are involved, particularly if they’re still young, much of your energy will be taken up by coping with them. However, it is important that you have support too. Many people benefit greatly from bereavement counselling. Even if you have never needed counselling before, it can be very helpful at this time and is certainly not a sign of weakness. Taking time out for yourself is vital. After all, you cannot be strong enough to care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. There are many charities out there who offer counselling, support and practical advice to bereaved families so don’t be afraid to seek them out. Cruse Bereavement Care ( is the UK’s leading national bereavement charity with a local network that can give you coping strategies, while their website is specifically targeted towards children and young adults. The charity Gingerbread (www.gingerbread. also provides an established support and advice network for single parents. Talking and remembering your partner is important. Telling your children about your feelings and encouraging them to express theirs won’t hurt them and is, in fact, a helpful part of the grieving process as you adapt to a new routine in your daily lives. Sharing the positive memories, looking at photos and watching videos you have of your partner can also be healing. You will want to spend as much time as possible with your children and/or family members who are able to support you, even if that is virtual (via Zoom, email or Facetime). If you are working, talk to your employer to see if they will offer extra time off as part of your contract. Many employers will give you paid compassionate leave (although unfortunately there is no legal right to do so). If they don’t and you can’t afford to take unpaid leave, ask about taking paid annual leave or if you are struggling and cannot yet face returning to work, you could be eligible for sick leave. Speak to your GP.


When it comes to organising short term childcare or help with household tasks like shopping, don’t be afraid to ask friends and relatives for help. Although people often find it difficult to talk about bereavement, most will be happy to give you practical support at this time. You are vulnerable at this time and even during lockdowns in the pandemic, support has been permitted via another family member. Coping financially has been difficult enough over the past year and can now become an even more tremendous worry after the loss of a partner. There will inevitably be financial arrangements to be made, particularly if your partner was the main breadwinner. Financial support is available, so make sure you get the help you deserve for you and your family. If you work, investigate your employment rights, any benefits and tax credit entitlement (your local Job Centre can help you with this). Also refer to the article in this magazine entitled ‘Coping with Covid-19 on pages 20-21’ which gives some advice about claiming benefits at this time. If you were married or in a civil partnership you could be entitled to specific bereavement benefits. Turn2us is a national charity that offers help with financial support during a crisis at: The website has useful information about bereavement allowance, bereavement payment, widowed parent’s allowance, and the funeral payment fund. Don’t forget that after registering a death, you will need to inform several government departments about your bereavement. Fortunately, the government has made this simpler with their Tell Us Once service which will notify Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Passport Office and your local council for you. When you register the death, the registrar will be able to tell you if the service is available in your area and give you a unique reference number. You can then either phone (the registrar can supply you with the telephone number) or simply log on to after-a-death/organisations-you-need-to-contactand-tell-us-once/ and follow the instructions.

Come and talk to Janice about your memorial. We also restore, add inscriptions, clean and repair existing memorials in all areas.

Pop into our showroom, or call us to talk about your needs.

01438 748 476


114a High Street, Old Town, Stevenage, Herts. SG1 3DW

Organ Donation... What is a Donation? Is there anyone that can’t donate? The donating of organs and tissues needs to be done safely to protect both the donor and the recipient. Each case is assessed on an individual basis. Currently, the only restrictions are:

Donation is giving an organ or tissue to help someone who needs a transplant. Transplants can greatly enhance the lives of other people, but this relies on donors. There are two types of donors: living and deceased. Organ donation helps save the lives of those with damaged organs. Tissue donations can be used to treat many life threatening conditions.

• Those aged over 85 years old. • Those who have Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease (CJD), or • A cancer that has spread in the last 12 months. What about religion? All the major religions in the UK support the idea of organ donation and transplantation. It is important to talk to your family and make them aware of your decision regarding donation. Further information regarding specific religions and donation can be found on the website listed below.

What can be donated? The following organs can be donated by an individual:

How can I help? Your family’s consent is needed for a donation to go ahead. It can be difficult to make this decision, so letting them known now will make it easier for them in the future. So please, have a chat with your loved ones about your decision either way or once you’ve signed up to the register, share this decision with your family.

• Heart • Lungs • Liver • Kidneys • Pancreas • Small bowel In addition, tissues such as corneas can be donated

To register, please call:

0300 123 23 23 or visit:

which would help restore sight to someone that is blind.

Editorial provided by Lister Organ Donation Committee


Supplying Memorials throughout Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire for the last 40 years

As a family owned and run business, we pride

ourselves on being compassionate and caring at such a difficult time. Our extensive experience of making memorials and our knowledge of

local burial authorities regulations means that we are able to give you advice and work

sympathetically with you in the process of

choosing a lasting memorial for your loved one We have a large selection of memorials in stock but we can also design and make memorials to your specification (subject to regulations).

We undertake all memorial work including renovations and additional inscriptions

83 High Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 0LA

t: 01767

314 180 / 01767 314 41911 •


Planning a Funeral Ceremony... Many people are unprepared when it comes to a death. It is not something we like to even think about, let alone make plans for, but putting arrangements in place now can make everything run more smoothly when the time, especially when a death is sudden or unexpected, resulting in less stress for everyone at what is already a difficult time. With the arrival of a pandemic in 2020 and a wider variety of options for funerals and memorials, more people than ever are arranging unconventional and very personalised services to honour and remember their loved one. If you haven’t done so already, now is probably a good time to talk to family or close friends about your wishes and the type of service you would like, particularly in light of current restrictions. For example, do you want a memorial service or a celebration of your life? Do you want to be buried, cremated or something more unconventional? Are there any special pieces of music, songs, poems or readings you want included? It is possible to leave a side letter with your will (a copy can also be given to your solicitor if you have one) where you can give details of any arrangements you would like made, for instance, you may prefer burial to a cremation or you might want a special type of coffin - wicker, for example - or a tailor-made casket, or you may want a natural tree burial. Traditionally, most people will opt for either a cremation, or burial in a churchyard/multidenominational cemetery. However, it may be that you don’t like the idea of a traditional funeral


or even having a service at all. Many funerals have become virtual during the pandemic and are live streamed for relatives and family unable to travel or take part in a face-to-face funeral. A funeral like this can be planned in the same way as any other. It is now possible to break with tradition completely and make some unusual requests. You can even have some of your ashes made into memorial jewellery for loved ones. Eco friendly funerals are growing in popularity. Perhaps you are attracted to a simple green or woodland burial. One company in the US will compress remains into a ‘reef ball’ which is then placed into the ocean to provide habitat for marine life. If there is a place that is particularly special to you, you could ask for a destination funeral where, dependent on Covid restrictions, family and friends travel to your favourite location to scatter your ashes. You can also request that attendees wear certain colours or attire rather than the traditional dark ones. Some people even have themed parties with attendees dressing up in honour of the deceased’s favourite characters. This can do a lot to help diffuse the grief that loved ones will be feeling at the time. In the same way, when it comes to transport, you don’t have to opt for the traditional black hearse. You can have a horse drawn carriage, a motorcycle with a specially adapted sidecar or even a double decker bus! Visit: for details.

If you have concerns about discussing what can be a distressing topic with your family, you could instead discuss your wishes with a funeral director in advance. You can then keep the name of your chosen funeral director and your agreed plans in a safe place with your will and any other important documents. Some funeral directors accept payment in advance which can remove financial worries for your family when you die. Speak to several. You can find a reputable funeral director through the National Association of Funeral Directors or The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). If someone in your family dies without leaving instructions, before making any plans it is important to check whether they have: • A pre-paid funeral plan or arrangements with a local funeral director. • Left instructions for their funeral with their will. • Arranged for their body to be given to medical education or research. • Agreed to donate their organs. One and two are particularly important when there is not enough money in the deceased’s estate (money, property and possessions) to cover funeral costs as it will fall to the family members to do so. There is no doubt that funerals are costly so you may want to think about setting some money aside now to cover at least part of the expense. Alternatively, you could consider taking out a funeral plan.

or cremation elsewhere. The Vicar or Rector can also oversee the burial or cremation service, working alongside the funeral director. Local authorities run most crematoriums, and these have congregational buildings or chapels where you can hold a service with music and readings. Brochures explaining the rules and charges will be available at the crematorium of your choice. You will also need to check with current government regulations about who is allowed to attend. If you opt for burial, you or your family will need to purchase a plot. This can also be done in advance and there may be double plots available should you wish to be buried in the same plot as your spouse when the time comes. If you or your family would like a headstone, look at the church or cemetery regulations regarding their policy on memorials. Some cemeteries have quite strict regulations about what can be put on a memorial and what can’t. As previously mentioned, following cremation, ashes do not have to be interred and there are many ways of honouring a loved one besides opting for the traditional urn. For more information on every aspect of planning a funeral service, visit:

Catherine Rose

A funeral service held in a religious establishment or crematorium chapel is not a legal requirement although completing the necessary paperwork and the appropriate disposal of human remains are (for example, you are not allowed to have a burial in your garden). If you would like a church service, you will need to speak to the Church Vicar or Rector of the Parish. Many churchyards do not have room for new burials, but it is possible to have your service in the church of your choice with a burial


Floral Tributes... Facts on Funeral Flowers Floral tributes remain an important part of the funeral service for the immediate family. A professional display of beautiful flowers coupled with a heartfelt message, however simple, can help express feelings of loss as well as honouring your loved one. • If you would like a single floral tribute from the family

• If you are struggling to choose an appropriate tribute,

to accompany the coffin, this can take the form of a

florists will have catalogues that contain ideas and

coffin spray or for Christian burials, you can opt for a

pricing for funeral flowers. Please note that photographs

cross made up of a single flower type such as rose or

are usually taken of the largest sized tribute so if the

lily. Either of these can be placed on top of the coffin

size you order is smaller, it may not look quite the

throughout its journey. Floral lettering (such as ‘mum’

same as the picture. If you know what you would like -

or ‘dad’ or the name of the deceased) remains popular

perhaps a bespoke design such as a teddy or animal or

and these will usually sit at the side or rear of the coffin

an arrangement to reflect a hobby of the deceased, etc.

on its journey to the service and carried in on arrival

do give plenty of notice to your chosen florist as more


complex tributes may need a specially prepared base to be made which adds to the time needed to create them.

• Don’t feel you have to stick with white or cream for a funeral unless that is your preference. In the same way

• Most florists will deliver your flowers to your chosen

that you can include uplifting music at a funeral service,

funeral director free of charge so that the tributes can be

colour adds impact to flowers and can send out the

included with the coffin in the hearse. This will usually

message that you are celebrating your loved one’s life.

be around two hours before the funeral although you

Lime green, purple, orange, red and yellow can all be

can have them delivered to your home should you so

appropriate as funeral arrangements. You may want to


choose a colour or a flower that was a favourite of the deceased. Bear in mind that some flowers may not be

• Whether you are ordering flowers in person at a

available throughout the year.

florist, over the phone or through a website, take time to think about the message you would like to incorporate

• Flowers that are available all year should be cheaper

with your tribute beforehand, so you can plan your

and are usually long-lasting. Lilies, roses, carnations

words while you are not under pressure. If you feel lost

and gerbera come in a wide choice of colours and will

for words, there are some beautiful poems that have

give a touching display whatever the season. These also

been written for these difficult times and florists and

all make good main flowers. Remember that larger lilies

funeral directors can both give you ideas for messages.

such as calla require seven days to open and flowers need to be properly conditioned for 24 hours before use, so place orders as early as possible to have the By Catherine Rose

flowers you want looking their best.


With over 30 years experience between us we value our funeral floristry business and design and photograph all our own designs. You can choose from our online collection or you may prefer to discuss a more personal tribute with us. Either way we are happy to help. Free local delivery

A funeral service is an occasion that requires a sensitive and personal performance by a vocalist. I always endeavour to work closely with the family to provide a performance that is in keeping with their wishes. “Thank you again for such a beautiful version of ‘Ave Maria’... I am speechless at the beauty of your voice.” “You really made the day special and I know that my mum would have loved it.”

07875 203911

01438 871448

Bring Back Your Long Lost Memories! Using the very latest digital “We don’t realise how imaging techniques... important photos are to We restore & reproduce us, until they are all we have left.” photos digitally. t:

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Order of Service... The Layout of Order of Service Tribute booklets Order of Service Cover The front cover of the funeral order of service is usually used as a space for a picture of your loved one. The cover should also include the person’s full name, their date of birth, date of death, and the time and location of the service. You could add a short poem or quote too. Order of Service Content The inside of the order of service booklet can include an obituary, favourite poems, Bible verses, and/or songs and music in the order in which they happen. You could also include a page that gives a timeline of the service. This will list the speakers and the order and/or times of readings, prayers or music, the eulogy and closing remarks. It will usually look something like this: Arrival Procession – This is usually done to music and the order of service should include the name of the piece of music or song (whether you have chosen classical or pop). Introduction – ‘We are here to celebrate the life of…..’ You can also include the timeline of service listing who the speaker or speakers are and their relationship to the departed. Songs, Music, and Poems – You should include the titles of any songs or poems, as well as the authors or composers.

You should also include the reader’s name and relationship to the deceased. Readings – This area is used to list who will be speaking the eulogy or ‘in memory’ speeches. Again, you should include each speaker’s name in the correct order, as well as their relationship to the departed. Prayers – (if it is a religious ceremony) – List who is leading the prayer. Hymns or Other Music –You can include lyrics if you want attendees to join in the singing. Committal: Blessing or Final Words – Include the name of the Rector/Vicar or the person who is leading the close of the service here. You could print out the words if there is enough space. Closing Music The above is only a guide to the traditional Order of Service. If you are not having a religious service or have opted for something more unconventional, you will want to supply a printed guide and memento to your attendees that reflects this. By Catherine Rose

Beautifully Designed and Printed FUNERAL ORDER OF SERVICE BOOKLETS

Meadowview Media have been producing funeral order of service booklets for over 25 years, creating a bespoke & personal special keepsake, portraying the life of your dear lost loved ones. We also produce other funeral design products listed below: Order of Service Designed bespoke booklets with personal pictures and order of service, printed on quality card stock. Attendance Cards These can be left on seats for friends and family to sign their name. This helps you to know who attended the service. Thank You Cards Bespoke cards designed with your special message, thanking those who attended the service supplied with matching envelopes. Posters Mounted photo to display at the service & funeral reception.

For any further information or quotations please call: Meadowview Media Limited • t: 07931 512 253 e: • 16

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A Truly Heartwarming Book... While the main purpose of this annual is to deliver practical advice, we are also happy to introduce an inspiring new gift book by Julie New: The Grief Garden Path.

overcome personal setbacks. You’ll find her contact details on her website:

Julie New is a highly experienced personal recovery coach, who helps people to find new ways forward from emotionally devastating experiences. Julie’s own experiences of loss have prompted her to write a book that will deliver feelings of hope to anyone who is experiencing the pain of grief. Julie says, “It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey of grief is personal and individual. However, there are similarities for everyone in the process of grief. My aim is to help everyone to understand that there really is some light at the end of the tunnel, and to help them on their journey towards it.” The Grief Garden Path is easy to read, with plenty of practical advice, which you can dip into whenever you have time. The foreword is by Linda Magistris, founder of the Good Grief Trust ( The perfect gift for you or someone you love who has lost someone they love. Chapters include information about the ‘grief path’, outlining the kind of emotions you will experience.You’ll find simple exercises you can follow to help you going forward, with tips to help you feel better, even on your worst days. You’ll be able to share personal stories from people who have experienced the loss of people very close to them, including their own tips on how to cope with grief. At a time when you might not feel able to join a group in order to share your own feelings, we are sure that you will find it inspirational to hear The Grief Garden Path about how others have coped with the pain of A beautifully illustrated hardback gift book. losing a loved one. Julie is always happy Buy your own copy here: to hear from anyone who is struggling to





The Duncombe Arms Waresley A Family - Owned Free House Situated in the picturesque village of Waresley, The Duncombe Arms is perfectly placed to host a personalised and private funeral reception to remember and celebrate the life of your loved one. Subject to current Covid restrictions,

we can supply tailor-made hot and cold buffets, afternoon tea or a full sit-down menu. Small gatherings can be accommodated in our spacious air-conditioned Reading Room Restaurant which allows for social distancing. In addition, we have a lovely, peaceful garden overlooking the village church and plenty of parking at the rear.

for any dietary requirements.

All our delicious dishes are freshly made from local produce in our fivestar hygiene rated kitchen. We cater

Eltisely Road, Waresley, Cambs. SG19 3BS Tel: 01767 650 764


We have experienced staff who will listen and ensure your reception goes smoothly at this particularly difficult time. Please telephone our patron head chef Daniel Rose on 01767 650764 for current restrictions, enquiries and pricing.


Coping with Covid-19... At the beginning of 2020, Coronavirus, or specifically the variant COVID-19, was a distant disease in China. But within weeks it became a global pandemic with thousands dying. With it, our process of mourning has had to adapt drastically. The succession of government lockdowns and restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19 has meant that people are having to endure much more than losing a loved one. As well as coming to terms with the shock of a sudden death, during the first lockdown in April 2020, it was not even possible to visit dying relatives in hospital and heartbreakingly, many died without their families around them. Sudden Loss For reasons not yet fully understood, some people who contract this new virus can become very ill and die within a short space of time. Underlying medical conditions are a factor but healthy people have also succumbed while others have mild or virtually no symptoms. This ‘lottery’ effect makes the virus an extremely frightening, indiscriminate, and unpredictable disease. Grieving for those who have died from COVID-19 is a complicated emotional issue as it is outside the norms of all our experience. New Scientist recently published an article where research shows that grief following the loss of someone during the pandemic may be unusually severe and long-lasting. It is believed this could be due to a combination of factors: not being able to say goodbye properly, the absence of a normal funeral, being unable to hug your friends and relatives, and the lack of social contact due to social distancing and shielding; all added to by existing stresses already caused by the pandemic. Helen Stoba from Liverpool was one of the first to lose a loved one to COVID-19 when her mum died in April 2020 during the initial lockdown which meant Helen wasn’t able to be with her. She is still devastated that her mum died surrounded only by medical staff, and that she wasn’t even able to visit her in the chapel of rest. “Throughout the funeral, I kept asking if they were sure it was my mum in there” she says. She now suffers from recurrent nightmares and overwhelming guilt. Funerals During the Pandemic The government has had to legislate to balance the risk of


spreading the disease against showing compassion towards bereaved families. Funerals and memorial services have had to adapt, sometimes having to rearrange the deceased’s previously expressed wishes. A funeral director can be invaluable at this time as they will be up to date with the latest government regulations and can help organise a suitable venue and advise on numbers. You can find a reputable funeral director through the National Association of Funeral Directors or The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). Numbers allowed to attend funerals are constantly changing but the wearing of face coverings is obligatory. Singing or playing of wind and brass instruments is discouraged in favour of recorded music, and use of microphones is deemed safer than projecting your voice. Unfortunately, if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating, you cannot attend any kind of ceremony in person. However, exceptions can be made for close family (partner, parent, grandparent, child, or sibling) as long as they are not showing any symptoms on the day of the service. However, the safest way to now attend a funeral is via live stream which, along with Zoom meetings and Facetime, has become ‘the new normal’ over the past year. A Virtual Ceremony When Carol Betts of Barnet lost Tony, her husband of 31 years, at the beginning of July 2020, she chose to have a virtual ceremony for extended family. “It was easy actually to arrange the funeral. We knew the funeral director via my son’s girlfriend.” However, compromises and uncertainties along the way included not being allowed to visit Tony in the chapel of rest nor choose his clothing. “Until the day, we didn’t know if family could help bear the casket” says Carol. “It had to be placed on the high altar and I wanted it lower down on trestles so everyone could pause by

it as they went out. We were told that we couldn’t touch the casket at all. We had to get special permission to place a rose on it. But the most upsetting thing was that we couldn’t have all the people there that we would have wanted.

loved ones to COVID-19. Marie Curie, a charity that offers care and emotional support through terminal illness, has this advice on coping with loss during pandemic restrictions:

“The live stream was the best solution and it went fine as far as I know. It was purely family and very close friends that came.”

While it’s not the same as attending a funeral, some people find comfort in other ways of saying goodbye. You could:

Carol emphasises, that her vicar was lovely and that she has good memories of the funeral. Losing a Loved One Far Away For those with family living abroad, there has been the added complication of international travel bans and global border restrictions. Nicola Brown’s father had been living in Canada for the past 25 years but would regularly come to England. Nicola had been due to go out and stay with him in July 2020 but had to cancel her visit due to lockdown. Then in September, she received a phone call from his wife to say he had died suddenly. Nicola, who lives in Hertfordshire, explains: “My dad was 67, fit and able, and was working on his new house the day before he died. This has completely devastated myself and my sister. Canada had closed its borders so we couldn’t go the funeral, or see him in the chapel of rest and say goodbye. All of these things are needed to allow the grieving process to take place.” COVID-19 has robbed people of the togetherness and physical comfort they need at a time of grief. Nicola describes it as “soul destroying” that she has been unable to support her grieving stepmother who is so many miles away.

• take some time to reflect on your relationship with the person – light a candle, look at photos, listen to music, write down your memories or draw a picture. • speak to other people and share memories of the person who died. • donate to a charity in their name. • create an area of remembrance in your house with pictures, flowers, candles, keepsakes and objects that remind you of your loved one. • create a memory book, box, or online page/video to reflect on your loved one’s life. • plan for things you can do in the future, like planting a tree in their memory or visiting a special place with family. 'The Good Grief Trust' ( has Coronavirus bereavement advice and hosts weekly virtual cafés for people who have lost someone they love. Financial Help Many people have encountered financial hardship during the pandemic - an added stress. If you are struggling to pay for a loved one’s funeral, you may be eligible to apply to the Department of Work and Pensions for a Funeral Expenses Payment to help meet the cost. Visit-

“I feel that I can’t move on as I haven’t had time to say goodbye. I feel that COVID has robbed me of two weeks with my dad and not being able to say goodbye has been detrimental to my mental health.” Finding Help and Support Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one is difficult enough in normal circumstances but being unable to say goodbye to them as you would have wished because of COVID-19 is a hard cross to bear. A type of bereavement counselling called 'Complicated Grief Psychotherapy' has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressants in helping people who are suffering from prolonged and profound grief due to Coronavirus. There are also a large number of organisations that can help the bereaved with specific support for those who have lost


Don’t let finances cloud your memories You may think it is unlikely that investment advice would be needed when dealing with the death of a loved one, but sadly worries about money often surface at difficult times. This is especially true if the person who died usually managed the family finances. Planning ahead. One way to make things easier for your loved ones is to plan ahead. Spending some time now you can make a big difference. There are a few areas below to think about.

might need, for example to provide for care in the future. For this it might be a good idea to get noobligation advice, to understand what the options available to you are.

What do you have? This includes your property, but also bank accounts, premium bonds, ISAs, pensions and investments. The simple act of drawing up a list will help you understand what you’ve got, but also make it easier for your executors. One client put together a folder which listed all their bank accounts, investments and utility bills so that if anything happened to them, all the information was to hand.

Dealing with an inheritance. You may find yourself dealing with unusually large sums of money through inheritance, which can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming experience. The important thing to know is that you don’t need to rush. It may be right for you to take your time before you commit to any changes.

Where is it? Sometimes it’s a good idea to have different bank account and investment accounts to “spread the risk”. But could things be simplified? Consolidating things together might even reduce your admin burden now! Could it do better? Now that you know where you are starting from, you may also want to think about whether your assets are achieving what they should do for you. This might be an opportunity to prepare from any income you

Seeking help. Well-meaning family and friends may offer to help but what may be best is sympathetic, empathetic and impartial professional advice from people who understand investments. Raymond James, Hitchin are a family business headed by Susie Bewell and Faye Silver, who together have over 40 years’ experience in financial services.

Risk Warning. With investment, your capital is at risk. The price of investments and the income from them can do down as well as up and neither is guaranteed. Raymond James Investment Services Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and is authorised and registered by the Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England and Wales No.3779657. Resisted office: Ropemaker Place, 25 Ropemaker Street, London. EC2Y 9LY. 22

A family business based in Hitchin, headed by Susie Bewell and Faye Silver, who together have over 40 years experience in financial services. Backed by an excellent team, Susie and Faye offer sound planning and investment advice tailored to your needs. They will look at your financial situation and discuss your concerns, answer your questions and make realistic suggestions. They pride themselves on speaking plain English, not ‘investment jargon’ as even if you’ve never dealt with investments before it is important you understand the choices available. Even if you are not yet dealing with loss, you may still have concerns about what will happen in the future to your finances or the care of a family member. There are many ways Raymond James may be able to help you look at ways to fund care home fees or options around selling the family

home. Today may not be the right day to think about money but please we’re here when the time is right for you. All initial meetings are FREE, so if you have any investment questions then please give us a call on 01462 422507. Book a free impartial meeting at a time to suit you and talk over your concerns.

For more information visit: or RJISHitchin or call the office on 01462 422507 | 01462 422507 | RJISHitchin 23

Making a Will How do I make a Will... We spend our lives working to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. You may have a house or a flat in the UK or overseas, shares, savings, and investments, as well as your personal possessions. All these assets are referred to as your ‘estate’. It’s important to have a will if you have children, your own property, savings, investments, insurance policies or you own a business. Making a will ensures that when you die your estate is shared according to your wishes. Not making a will means you die ‘intestate’ and your estate is divided up according to law. This also happens if your will isn’t legal i.e. does not conform to the laws governing the making of a will. If you have children under 18, making a will ensures their security by naming who you want to take care of them in the event of your death and making provision for that care. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL? If you die without a will, the complex rules of intestacy will divide your estate in a certain way and your money may not go to those who you wished to benefit. For example, if you live with someone and are not married or in a civil partnership, they will not automatically inherit your estate, nor will any stepchildren. In the case of jointly owned property, depending on whether you are joint tenants or tenants in common will dictate whether your partner inherits your share of the property, so without a will, things can get complicated with partners and families left facing financial difficulties. Dying intestate also means that your estate will not be disposed of in the most tax-efficient way with a large proportion of your money going to the government.

In making a will, you should think about the following: • First you must list what you have in your estate, and then you can decide how your estate should be shared out between beneficiaries (who gets what). • Consider what will happen if any of your beneficiaries die before you do. • Discuss who will look after your children (if you have any) and how this will be funded. • You will need to name an executor, that is the person who should carry out the wishes contained in your will. Ideally this should not be a beneficiary . • Any other wishes you may have, for example if you want to be buried or cremated. • You can additionally write a side letter to go with your will listing any personal items that you want to gift to specific people, and you can also detail any funeral wishes you may have. WHEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY WILL? Once you have made a legal will you should review it regularly to make sure it reflects your wishes, especially if you: • Get married / enter a civil partnership • Get divorced • Have new family members come along that you wish to benefit, for example, a new partner, new children of your own, stepchildren, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren • Buy a new property, business or gain an expensive asset. The Citizens Advice Bureau has useful impartial advice on making a will and explains the laws of intestacy. Visit:

HOW DO I MAKE A WILL AND DO I NEED A SOLICITOR? There is no obligation to use a solicitor in drawing up your will, providing you adhere to the laws governing wills which is a legal contract. This includes having the will signed, dated and witnessed. However, it is advisable to seek a solicitor’s or will writer's advice to ensure that you do not make any mistakes which may be costly and time consuming later.


‘Dealing withHave an estate’you So many questions and it’s often difficult to know where to start to find answers. after someone dies – what At A R K Lasting Powers & Wills we have many recently does that mean in practical years’ experience in dealing with estates. We offer free initial telephone advice, and suffered a terms? we have lots of information on our website that could help; including a checklist you can follow. Please do get in touch if you are facing difficulties dealing with the affairs of someone you’ve lost.


Some of the practical things you need to think about when you lose a loved one are very obvious, and you’ll probably also be able to think of some organisations and companies that need to be informed.You may realise that you need to tell pension companies, banks, utility companies and other organisations that the person who has passed awaytimely, had dealings with, Our sensitive but you’ll probably have lots ofyou: questions as helps well, such as:

Rely on our expert, friendly support during this difficult, emotional time. Probate service

• Reduce stress & confusion

• What will the bank do when you tell them? • Progress paperwork Will they simply let you close the account(s), Have you or will it be complicated? • Obtain monies owed to the estate •

T 01438 746977 recently Our family-run businesssuffered offers free a M 07926 339934 Is ‘Probate’ needed? And what does ‘Probate’ bereavement? advice without obligation.

even mean? What forms must be completed to apply? What are the things that need to happen after Probate has been obtained?

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Rely on our expert, friendly support during this difficult, emotional time. Our timely, sensitive Probate service helps you:

• How do you work out if Inheritance tax is due? And if it must be paid, how do you do that?

“Sensitive support from Probate specialists” • Reduce stress & confusion • Progress paperwork

• Obtain monies owed to the estate Our family-run business offers free advice without obligation.

• When can you put a property on the market to sell? And what must happen with money that has been left to children? How do you set up Trust funds?

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Power of Attorney Understanding Power of Attorney... Although you may be fit and well now, there could come a time when you will need the help of your partner, adult children or a trusted relative to manage your finances or healthcare and make decisions on your behalf.

Before 2007, Power of Attorney was known as Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Although it has now been replaced by LPA, if you have EPA it is still legal but only covers wealth and property. Unlike LPA, EPA doesn’t have to be registered until you have lost the mental capacity to manage your affairs (as verified by a doctor or solicitor). But your attorney(s) can still act on your behalf prior to registration with your agreement.

It is now becoming increasingly common to take out a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which gives your chosen person or people the legal right to act for you following a decline in your health or mental capacity. If you give more than one person Power of Attorney, for example your children, you can stipulate whether they act jointly or severally. There is no minimum age at which you can take out a Power of Attorney although many people find it convenient do this when they make or update their will. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: one which covers property and wealth; and one which covers health and welfare. Most people take out both in a single document. Giving someone LPA over your property and wealth means that they can legally help you manage your bills, banking or even sell your property to pay for your care fees; while a health or welfare LPA allows your chosen attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf about your medical and healthcare. LPA must be registered for a small fee with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can come into force. Your solicitor can do this for you as part of drawing up the LPA.

Since EPA was replaced, if you want someone to temporarily make decisions for you due to short-term incapacitating illness, you can take out an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA) which also doesn’t have to be registered but will automatically expire before its end date should you lose mental capacity. Being an attorney brings responsibility to manage the donor’s affairs honestly, transparently and in their best interests. That means keeping their finances separate from your own. If you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place and become mentally incapacitated, your loved ones will need to make an application through the Court to act on your behalf which can be long and costly. It can also mean money gets tied up as no one knows or can legally prove what your wishes were before you were incapacitated, for example if you develop dementia. Powers of Attorney can only be set up while you are still of sound mind – not after - and they end in the event of your death. Catherine Rose

Local, Professional & Friendly Service

FREE HOME VISITS & VIDEO APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE Single Will £110 • Mirror Wills £190 • Finance & Health Lasting Power of Attorney £420 (Plus registration fee)

01767 682 609 • 26


Let us help you remember and cherish your loved one... At Knebworth Golf Club we do all we can to provide the atmosphere, where you can cherish and fondly recall the life of your loved one with friends and family. In picturesque surroundings and with experience in hosting funeral receptions and wakes, we can assist you with all arrangements ensuring your day is stress free at this difficult time.

Choose from a range of catering options: • A range of Buffet styles • Cream and afternoon Tea • Our Head Chef is happy to create a custom menu designed just for you We are situated just a short 5 minute drive away from Harwood Park Crematorium. Please call the office for a personal quote on 01438 812 752 or email us at:

We have two different function rooms, firstly our conservatory which overlooks the beautiful views of the golf course with access to the outdoor patio area and can hold up to 150 guests.

e: w: www.knebworthgolf The Knebworth Golf Club Limited Deards End Lane, Knebworth Hertfordshire, SG3 6NL

Our second function room, the Dining Room is suitable for more intimate functions and can hold up to 35 guests.

Please call the office for a personal quote on 01438 812752 or email us at



Lister Hospital’s Butterfly Service Ensuring no one has to die alone…

It is recognised that in the final days and hours of a person’s life it is not always possible for staff or family members to sit with dying patients. In early 2016, the Palliative Care team at The Lister Hospital estimated that between 15 to 20 patients were dying alone in the Trust every month. With the support of the East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, the award-winning Lister Butterfly Service is now in its 3rd year and going from strength to strength, making a fundamental difference to the way The Lister Hospital provides end-oflife care. Ward staff found that working closely with the team of volunteers freed up their time to care for other patients, safe in the knowledge that there is someone providing support to patients who are dying. Working with volunteers to support end-of-life patients is recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as good practice. At present, The Lister

Butterfly Service has 31 volunteers. They are currently training more volunteers so that there will soon be support covering the whole day, every day. A number of families have sent in thank you cards to the service. In one card, the Butterfly Volunteers were described as ‘angels with butterfly wings.’ Going forward, the aim is to develop the service and support even more people who are in their final weeks and months of life. This will give patients someone to listen to them, giving peace of mind that they are being heard and supported, especially if their families are spread far and wide, or they feel totally alone. All this would not be possible without the generosity of friends, family and the local community who have supported the Lister Butterfly Service with their donations. A final quote from Angela Fenn, the Butterfly Service Co-ordinator, who explains 28

why the service is so important:

Nobody should have to die alone in hospital. When loved ones are unable to be there, our Butterfly Volunteers are able to provide comfort and company. They spend precious time with the patient, often to the very end, so they are not on their own. The volunteers can also arrange for families to connect with their loved ones with a virtual visit or just holding a phone close enough for them to say their goodbyes.

Angela Fenn, the Butterfly Service Co-ordinator

Helping To Provide Extraordinary Patient Care East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity raises You can make a donation in the following ways: funds for the Lister, New QEII and Hertford County Online: Hospitals and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. The Charity helps to fund projects including the Lister Butterfly Service, Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre and Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre. By making a donation or fundraising for the East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, you will help to fund state of the art equipment, innovative research, specialist staff training and the improvement of patient areas across our hospitals.

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Feel the connection beyond a lifetime. Urns UK has spent more than a decade in providing a suitable resting place for a loved one like yours. Whether it's for your furry companion, friend, family, or anyone who fills your heart, we sympathize with your earnest desire to keep them close, to be reminded of their unwavering love, and to hold them near as the longing for yesterday's lingers. Crafted with high-quality materials, Urns UK ensures that each piece is made possible and intricately designed from hand-etched brass, solid metal, warm wood, stunning ceramics, and even biodegradable compositions. Urns UK aims to manifest the tales of your cherished one's memories and offer you the warmth of comfort, knowing their reminiscences are within your reach. 30

0844 8181107 | 01923 220273

A Parting Gift Many people express a wish to leave money from their estate to a charity they care about in the event of their death, whether it is a charity they have always supported, raised money for in the past, or one that has provided valuable end-of-life care. At a time when charities are struggling to fundraise in the normal way due to Covid-19, leaving a legacy to an organisation that helps others has perhaps never been more important. There are many benefits to leaving money to a charity when you die, not least of which is the sense of wellbeing for you and your family that at a time of grief, you are helping others in need. In 2019, people left around £3 billion in their wills to charity – money which can amount to a third or more of a charity’s annual income and is lifeblood for them to be able to continue their valuable work. The British Heart Foundation for example receives 50% of its income from legacies and nicknames it their ‘will power’. Sadly, 2020 has seen the global spread of Coronavirus and the inability to hold vital fundraising activities for charities across the board. Consequently charities’ income has plummeted.

Hospices are run by charities which give free, compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill people. They rely on thousands of pounds of charitable donations every year to keep their doors open. Many families are so grateful at the care their loved ones receive thanks to their local hospice that they are only too happy to donate money in gratitude, often via the deceased’s funeral director. However, a gift left in a will can provide security and enable financial planning for the charity concerned. Many hospices will also offer memorials in the loved one’s name to those who donate such as a stone in a remembrance garden or a memory page online where photographs and videos can be shared. Around a third of people in the UK who are over 55 don’t have a will. Another benefit of leaving a charity legacy is that most major charities offer a free willwriting service. You don’t have to be well off to leave a gift to charity. Here are a few examples of how a little can go a long way: NSPCC - £4 will pay for a Childline call Support Dogs - £50 will kit out an assistance dog

The good news is that 40% of people over 40 interviewed by the Remember a Charity organisation say they would be happy to leave a charitable gift in their will – an increase of 35% compared to a decade ago.

British Red Cross - £200 could feed 10 families in Syria for a month

As well as helping the community, there are also money-saving incentives to leaving a charitable legacy. Inheritance tax is payable on the total value of all property and money of the deceased (their estate) that is above £325,000 (known as the nil rate band or NRB) or £650,000 for married couples. If you’re concerned about the amount of inheritance tax your family could be liable for, leaving some of your money to charity can reduce this bill as it is deemed to be ‘charitable estate’ and therefore not liable for tax.

If you would like to leave money to a charity but don’t have a particular one you are already passionate about, you can visit uk for information on charities and legacies. And don’t forget, many museums and art galleries are also charity-led organisations and rely on donations, such as the V&A.

For example, you can cut your inheritance tax liability from 40% to 36% if you leave a legacy of 10% or more of your net estate to charity. Visit: gifts-and-exemptions-from-inheritance-tax to find out more.

The Samaritans - £46 pays for the training of a volunteer

There is no rule either which says you must leave money. Artworks and even homes have been left to charities in a will. The Co op has written an article offering advice on this subject. Visit: guides/77874/how-to-leave-money-to-charity-inyour-will Catherine Rose


How Exercise Helps with Grief... Nicola from Elevation Personal Training talks about her bereavement journey and how exercise helped.

It was talking to a friend who had recently completed an obstacle race, that gave me the motivation to start exercising; I enlisted the help of a Personal Trainer who taught me to actually really love exercise and I felt so empowered that my body could lift weights and run for a distance!

2013 was a tough year as I had lost my Dad and Stepmum to cancer within a few months of each other. In addition to that I had also been diagnosed with postnatal depression following the birth of my youngest daughter who had been born exactly a week after my Stepmum died. Despite having been given antidepressants, I still felt quite lost and bewildered and I’d also put on a lot of weight during my pregnancy and wasn’t fit at all.

The feel good endorphins that are released during exercise really helped to lift my mood and engaging in something else also gave me so much more focus. Often when we are exercising we aren’t focusing on anything else! Although my new training regime didn’t extinguish the grief I felt, it really helped with my mood and confidence; I completed my first obstacle race in 2014 and raised money for the hospice that had looked after my Dad and Stepmum in their final days. I know that they would be really proud of what I’ve done and how it has given me the confidence to launch my own personal training business. Nicola is a fully qualified personal trainer that offers training solutions suited to you and your lifestyle. She has a wealth of experience in dealing with clients of all ages and backgrounds.

Last photo of Nicola and her dad before he passed away. 32

Nicola offers an intial consultation free of charge. All sessions are done remotely via a platform of your choice. Contact: Nicola Church t: 07870 215 934 e: fb: elevationPT insta: elevationpersonaltraining

Bookings For 2022-2023 Bereavement Companion Magazine Bookings are now being taken our for our next annual magazine. We are pleased to offer a second-to-none service with a professional design team that can help to create your advert all with incredible prices . For further information please contact: Gabbi on 07931 512 253 or 01767 691 772 email:


Losing a Beloved Pet... Pets can become an integral part of the family. Routines are often based around them which become comforting daily habits and their individual characters grow to be as familiar to you as those of your loved ones. It is therefore very difficult when their generally much shorter lives come to an end and we have to say goodbye to a much-loved friend and companion.

be deeper than you imagined. Because our pets rely on us for their care and wellbeing, it is incredibly common to feel guilt when a pet dies, especially if you have had to make the difficult decision to have your pet euthanised. It is perfectly normal to question yourself: “Did I do enough?”, “Could I have done more?”, “Did I make the right decision?” And even “Was it my fault?”

Often it is made more difficult as your grief can feel every bit as strong as losing a family member, but people’s understanding and sympathy is usually not as forthcoming for an animal. “Never mind, you can get another cat…dog…etc.” is not really something you want to hear when to you, your pet was irreplaceable.

Some people remain haunted by the final image of their pet before death. Because our pets put their whole trust in us, it can be extremely distressing to think that you might have let them down and hard to shake feelings of blame. However, if you do feel like this, it is a sure sign that you greatly loved your pet and will have done everything possible to have enabled them to have a happy stress-free life. This is what you should focus on.

Older people can particularly struggle with the loss of a pet who has been a companion at a time when many of their friends and perhaps a partner have passed on. Pets give us unconditional love and do not judge us like our fellow human beings. For these reasons, the depth of grief at losing a pet can

Perhaps you have more than one pet. Sometimes, it is not only you and your family that grieve the loss but your other pet's may also show symptoms of grief having lost a


companion they have played, walked, slept or eaten with. Some vets recommend that when it is time for a pet to be put to sleep, your other pets should be present. Just as when you are grieving for a person, there is no set length of time that it is appropriate to mourn the loss of a pet. No matter how many pets you have, each is special in his or her own way and although pain will lessen with time, you will continue to miss their presence no matter how many years elapse. It is important to give yourself time to mourn and not be hard on yourself.

There are also now many ways you can remember a beloved pet, from customised pet memorials including gravestones and urns to tasteful jewellery which incorporates some of your pet’s ashes. One company, Furbaby Casting does pet paw mouldings so that you can forever capture their footprints. If you have lost a pet and are struggling and need support, just as with human bereavements there are charities you can contact. The Blue Cross runs a pet bereavement support service. Telephone 0800 096 6606 or email them through their contact form at:

Some people hold a funeral or memorial ceremony. If you feel lost for words, there are beautiful poems and quotations available on the internet dedicated to losing a pet which can be shared at this time.

Catherine Rose

Offley O


“A Family Business with Family Values”

- Nicholas Prutton

We are all pet owners at Offley Memorials and our animals have all in their own way, stolen our hearts and have very much become a part of our family.

Furbaby Casting Unique Castings of your Pets Paws Welcome to Furbaby Casting. We are dedicated to making every furbaby feel like a superstar by casting and framing their paws for all to cherish and admire.

We understand that it is never easy to experience the loss of a beloved companion.

If your furbaby is still with you I would be honoured to visit you before you say goodbye. Or if your baby has passed I will visit your home, Vets practice or Crematorium as soon as possible. I make all memorial castings a priority. The process is the exactly the same as living pets, and you can be assured that I will look after your furbaby and give him or her a last cuddle if you would like me too. Please do not hesitate to contact Belle on: t: 07525 131 908 e: (Please do not use facebook to contact me as I may not receive your message.)

For more information on how we can help you commemorate your faithful friend, please contact us on:

Luton White Hill, Offley, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3DL

People’s memorial mason of choice throughout Herts, Beds & Bucks.

01462 372 371 •



The life of a pet is a story worth telling. No morning walks will ever be the same again. However, our pet's journey may have come to an end, but the memory lives on. Find a fitting tribute to honour their life in a discreet and respectful way. With many materials, shapes and sizes, Urns UK can help you find the perfect memorial. With the finest elements, skilled artisans of Urns UK lay dedication, effort, and expertise to the table to assemble a pet cremation urn mean't to shelter the little paws that brought happiness in your world. Let the wingless angels run free in your heart as you remember them through a personalised urn. info@ urns


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Coroner... Hertfordshire's Coroners Service Hertfordshire Coroners Service provides investigatory and administrative support to Coroners for the jurisdiction of Hertfordshire, in accordance with the Coroners & Justice Act 2009. The duties of the coroner are:

• • • • • •

• To investigate the circumstances of the deaths of all persons whose bodies are lying within his jurisdiction where he has reason to believe that

Deaths abroad of British citizens Suicide Acute alcohol poisoning Bone fracture within 3 months of death Industrial accidents Deaths during operations, anesthetic or surgical procedures

Hertfordshire Coroners:

the death was violent, unnatural, of unknown

Senior Coroner: Mr Geoffrey Sulllivan

cause or if the deceased died in custody or in state

Deputy Coroner: Mr Graham Rollason Danbury


Assistant Coroner: Alison McCormick

• To decide whether a post mortem examination is necessary for the purpose of the investigation and if so to give directions to the appropriate pathologist. • To hold an inquest with or without a jury as required under the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009. • To notify the registrar of the findings of the inquest or that an inquest is not required. Examples of deaths that are reportable to the coroner are: • Doctor not in attendance • Transport and road collisions

Assistant Coroner: Amy Street Assistant Coroner: Jacques Howell Assistant Coroner: Jonathan Stevens Assistant Coroner: Kevin Baumber Coroners are independent judicial officers. Coroner’s Officers investigate deaths on behalf of the Coroner and liaise with the bereaved and professionals involved in the case. Contact details: Hertfordshire Coroner Service The Old Courthouse

• Drugs or alcohol/poison

St Albans Road East

• Sudden infant death

Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 0ES

• Homicide

Telephone 01707 292 707

• Industrial accidents



Useful Numbers... Samaritans: 116 123 (this number is FREE) Macmillan Cancer Support: 0800 107 4448 Citizens Advice Bureau: Letchworth 01462 411 1444 Citizens Advice Bureau: Luton 01582 731 616 Citizens Advice Bureau: Mid Bedfordshire 01767 601 368 Citizens Advice Bureau: North Herts & District 0845 688 9897 Cruse Bereavement Care: 0808 808 1677 Gingerbread: 0808 802 0925 Turn2Us: Garden House Hospice: 01462 679540 Keech children’s hospice: 01582 492339 Hertfordshire Coroners Service: 01707 292707 Lister Hospital Bereavement Service: 01438 284208 / 288463 / 284185 Organ Donation Registration: 0300 123 23 23 Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 1122 Age UK: 0800 169 6565 or Carepod: or 0843 479 0130 Care Quality Commission: Find Me Good Care: Mind: 0300 123 3393 or Text 86463 Calm: 0800 58 58 58 Julie New Personal Recovery Coach: Chill Your Beans: 07971 858346 East & North Herts Hospitals’ Charity: 01438 285182 Winston's Wish: Freephone 08088 020 021 or Cradle: 38



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Harwood Park

The perfect setting to commemorate the life of your loved one

Crematorium and memorial gardens created and managed by the Austin family in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

40 Serving the local community for ten generations