Grief depression


We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that a part of us shall remain inconsolable and never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it is completely filled, it will nevertheless remain something changed forever…

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)

The process of grieving is different for everyone, many who struggle to cope with their loss feel disconnected, unable to focus, overwhelmed, scattered in their thoughts, extreme sadness and a million other emotions as we try to make sense of death. Some people feel they are losing their mind. Unfortunately many do not understand that these emotions and feelings are normal and natural, as are feelings of depression associated with loss.

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A code of good practice

code of practiceWhen a family experiences a loss their lives changed in that moment forever become emotionally exposed and vulnerable.  They put the arrangements of their loved one into their trusted Funeral Director who usually takes charge in making all of the arrangements. For most families their experience is a positive one, for some, the experience is less than acceptable.  Like all industries, open to abuse and poor practice and inconsistency. This poor practice and inconsistency is now being addressed by the NFDA (National Funeral Director Association) the industry’s leading trade association, associated Funeral Directors must now adhere to a code of good practice,  this new uniform code of professional standards and best practice must be complied with by all NFDA members.

What A code of practice says?

Funeral Directors;

1) shall act in a courteous, sensitive and professional manner;

2) will not pressurise or exploit clients in the difficult circumstances following a bereavement;

3) will respect and maintain the dignity of the deceased at all times;

4) shall, at all times, offer the best advice and provide the best possible service;

5) shall observe and respect the confidential nature of the information given to them;

6) shall disclose the ultimate ownership of their funeral business on their premises (including branch offices) in a visible position to the public, and on letterheads and publicity material;

7) shall do nothing liable to bring the funeral profession into disrepute.


1) will respect consumers’ rights and abide by, and comply with, all consumer legislation relative to their dealings with their clients;

2) shall provide clients with full and detailed information, including prices, on the range of funeral services available;

3) shall make available to clients price lists, Code of Practice and Funeral Arbitration Scheme leaflets and information about other services available, wherever the funeral arrangements are being made;

4) shall have on display in premises price lists and Code of Practice and Funeral Arbitration Scheme leaflets;

5) shall use best endeavours to ensure that the client understands the range of services offered, the prices and also any known disbursements, these being the fees to be paid on behalf of the client to doctors, ministers, cemetery or crematoria authorities and other third parties involved;

6) shall inform the client in writing, either at the time of making the arrangements or with the estimate, of the terms and conditions on which services will be provided. These terms and conditions must be drawn up in line with the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations;

7) shall give guidance to the client with regard to registration of the death and the availability of relevant Government benefits.


1) Within their price lists, which should be on display and available, members shall list the itemised charges and descriptions of the constituent elements of their services, which should include professional services, removal charges, coffins or caskets available, embalming, hearses, limousines and other services available.

2) Members shall make copies of their price lists available to be taken away by clients or prospective clients.

3) Members shall ensure that all literature detailing coffins and/or caskets available includes prices, and that coffins or caskets displayed on the premises are accompanied by the price.


1) Members shall, in all cases, provide a written confirmation of the funeral arrangements and a written itemised estimate of all funeral charges consistent with the price list, and all disbursements known at the time of making the arrangements. The estimate shall make it clear that the client has accepted, and signed, to the effect that they have accepted personal responsibility for the funeral charges that will complete the contractual arrangements for the funeral. (“Estimate” includes a quotation and is an offer to carry out the specified funeral for the specified price).

2) In circumstances where disbursements may not be known in advance of the funeral, the member shall give a best estimate of such disbursements on the written estimate. The actual amount of such disbursements shall be detailed and shown in the final account.

3) If the client amends the instructions, the member shall endeavour to inform the client of any possible changes to the original estimate and, where possible, obtain written consent to any variation from the initial agreement.

4) In the event of a funeral being cancelled the member shall, within thirty days of the date on which the funeral was to be performed, repay to a client any advance payment or deposit made by the client, less any amounts which were paid by the funeral firm to third parties (ie 3
cremation fees) pursuant to the funeral contract and for which the client has received goods or services.


Members shall provide the client with a detailed itemised final account that is comparable with the estimate provided.

Code of Practice enforcement

The code has been updated and or the first time will be backed up with be enforced by NFDA inspectors who have responsibility for inspecting all areas of the Funeral Directors premises ensuring that the highest standards are met and although most Funeral Directors currently comply with Codes of practice, not all do, so it’s important that you the consumer know your rights.

For further information you can contact the NFDA by following this



Grief – The tangled ball of emotions

The tangled ball of emotions.  H Norman Wright

If you have or are currently experiencing a loss you will recognize some of the tangled ball of emotions that you are experiencing in the following diagram.

Tangled Ball Of Emotions

The diagram helps us understand the complexity of emotions we could experience.  It’s hard to read the diagram, so here are some of the emotions; sadness, anxiety, confusion, dismay, apathy, rage, disappointment, resentment, fear, pain, anger, jealously, abandonment, envy, betrayal, loneliness and anguish.   Knowing that they are part and parcel of the process is in itself very beneficial in helping us understand that what we are experiencing is normal as we try and come to terms with our loss, most people will experience most if not all of the emotions within the diagram. [Read more…]

Coping with Grief

Coping with grief can be very difficult.  When we loose someone we love, most people don’t know what to expect, we feel helpless, fearful, alone and the pain we feel is immense. Bereavement counselling is one of the most important services that you could avail of to help you through when you are coping with grief.  In an attempt to help understand the grieving process, we at Funeral Friend have interviewed one of England’s most caring and popular grief counselors Diana Street.   Diana has years of experience counselling and has turned her passion of helping people into her full time job. [Read more…]