Frequently Asked Questions

Many of the enquiries we receive are naturally quite similar, and we have endeavoured to provide some useful basic information here. If you wish to obtain more detail on any of the following items, or have your own questions to ask, we would be happy to answer them directly.

Can I make funeral arrangements before a death is registered?
Yes, although arrangements can be made with the funeral director before a death is registered, it may not be possible to finalise the day and time of the funeral or place the death notice in a newspaper until registration has taken place.

The coroner is involved. Do I have to wait before I contact the funeral director?
No. Contact a funeral director as soon as you feel ready, as most arrangements can be made for the funeral. Arrangements cannot be finalised until the death certificate is issued by the coroner. It is better to have preliminary arrangements in place than to wait a period of time for confirmation of death from the coroner.

How soon can the funeral take place?
It is sometimes felt the sooner the funeral is held, the sooner life ‘returns to normal'. On the other hand by taking time to reflect on the options available and to ensure suitable decisions are made can actually help in the healing process, therefore a period of a few days before the actual funeral can be beneficial.

Can I expect personal attention from the funeral director throughout?
You can be assured of personal service throughout the arrangement process by one of our funeral directors who will guide and advise you on every aspect of the type of service you require. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Can you find a minister or celebrant for me?
It is your choice who should lead the service, whether it is a member of the clergy, humanist / non-religious celebrant, a family member or a friend. We can consult with your chosen clergy or introduce you to one who can assist and support you through the service.

How much does a funeral cost, is cremation less expensive?
The cost of a funeral depends on the type of service chosen, either at the crematorium or cemetery chapel, in a church or at the graveside.We can provide a service at all cemeteries, crematoriums and Woodland burial sites. Prices can vary and detailed estimates are available on request. A cremation service is less expensive than burial primarily due to the cost of the grave, but costs vary depending on your individual needs. We will guide you through the planning process and the costs involved.We can arrange to meet you at your home or in one of our offices in Gosforth which ever you find more convenient.

Can I see my loved one again?
A viewing is a special time to say a final good bye. Ideally the viewing can take place a day or so before the funeral ceremony in the privacy of one of our chapels of rest in Newcastle. A viewing provides a last opportunity for family and friends to express thoughts, feelings and maybe to place a card or letter, photo, small keepsake or memento in the coffin. Having a viewing satisfies the need to see someone one more time. When there has been some suffering, it can be comforting to see your loved one at peace and rest. It is the beginning of acceptance, painful as it is, but vital for the healing to start. Often, immediate family may not feel the need for a viewing but consider the needs of other relatives and friends and allow them that opportunity.

What should I include in a eulogy or address at the funeral ceremony?
It is an honour to be invited to write and deliver the words that will sum up another persons life. Your first step should be to collect the facts such as age, family information including children and marriages, places lived, career information etc. Think about the person you are remembering. What stories come to mind? What kinds of stories or quotes capture their personality? It is a good idea to talk with other friends and family so their thoughts can be included as well. Eulogies can be serious, full of family history and humorous, with anecdotes remembered and shared. It is preferable to be brief rather than too long. Most importantly, remember to be yourself and speak from the heart.

What do I say to a grieving person?
There are no ‘right’ words to choose when speaking with someone who has suffered bereavement. Just by being there your support can offer great comfort and your honesty can be more valued than clichéd statements. Be yourself, be there for each other, in ways to provide both emotional and physical support.

What happens to the ashes?
There are four options available. They can be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium. They can be scattered by family and friends in a favoured place of the deceased. They can be buried in a family grave or cremation plot in a cemetery you choose. Ashes can be placed in an urn or vase and be kept at home, or buried in the garden.

What about environmentally friendly or alternative funerals?
Our subsidiary funeral service Acorn Funerals will give you all the necessary details you require in connection with a simple cremation, woodland burial or for a more bespoke/tailor made funeral.
Telephone 0191 284 5400 or 284 0777 at any-time for any further advice you require.