Justin learns about pre planned funeral arrangements – how and why that happens across Dublin branches of Jennnings Funeral Directors.
As a trainee Funeral Director, I’ve had an interesting week being involved in making edits to a new useful booklet – Jennings Advance Funeral Guide, which is downloadable from the website of Jennings Funeral Directors.
Traditional funerals, modern services.
I’d been curious about people who made their funeral plans before they died, but had no chance to explore this aspect of Funeral traditions in Dublin. And now, apparently, there’s a marked increase in advance funeral plans – mainly because modern funerals these days have so much choice in terms of service, that people feel the need to clarify things for their family – not unlike a will – so that there’s no added stress for a family already grieving. I’ve seen the advance funeral files – they are a part of all branches of Jennings Funeral Directors – Amiens St Five Lamps, Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock, Jennings of Raheny and also the Blanchardstown office of Jennings Funeral Directors. Carefully protected archive files containing the wishes of people who have put the shape of their own funeral in writing.
Why do people make advance funeral plans?
The reasons why a person might take steps to inquire about this advance funeral planning route is as broad and varied as the multitude of flowers and floral arrangements you might see at a modern day Funeral service here in Jennings of Coolock.
A person might decide to pre plan a funeral because that’s why their Mam or Dad or grandparents conducted their funeral arrangements before them.
In that case, it’s simply a matter of history, generations of Dubliners trusting the funeral habits of those gone before them. In a year where we remember 1916: Dublin’s history, the living and the dead, the people who died for principle, it’s easy to see how Dublin people keep the links alive to their families gone before them – and that includes funerals.
Jennings of Amiens Street – spirit of old Dublin
Dublin funeral patterns hold many long-standing habits. Jennings Funeral Directors often pre-arrange a funeral for a local person who is following the procession of people in their own family. If the mother of a large Dublin family near Amiens Street branch of Jennings made advance funeral arrangements in the 1950s, chances are this will be a fresh and vivid memory in the family, and is often why later family relatives follow suit in light of their own bereavement.
Illness, trauma, bereavement
But as one of our Senior Jennings Funeral Directors explained to me – sometimes it’s not about Dublin history, but sadly, and more immediate, a reflex action in the trauma of serious illness. One of our professional and very experienced Funeral Directors only last week had a long discussion with a widower in his 70s who had just been told he had not long to live. For this person, it was deeply important to put some order on his family affairs and his funeral arrangements – after that, well, it was one small burden off his mind. He told the team here at Jennings that it was slightly easier having made his funeral arrangements to seek solace from family, and just spend precious time with his adult children.
Funeral ritual, personal choice around funeral services
Sometimes it’s just because a person has a deep and finely-tuned sense of ritual. Makes perfect sense to them to pre plan a funeral – how they’d like to be remembered and more to the point what they might not like in terms of funeral flowers, Reposing plans, church services, funeral music, funeral flowers, songs, poems, eulogies.
But no matter what impulse behind the need to pre plan a funeral – peace of mind lies at the core of the question. Peace of mind on the issue of bereavement underlies all these reasons as to why people often come in here to Jennings to make advance funeral arrangements. Jennings Funeral Directors have established this over the course of many years helping people to pre plan their own funerals.
Pre planned funeral – peace of mind
As one woman called Lily pointed out ‘For me it’s not about money, or paying for the funeral in advance – I can save for that. But pre planning my funeral – it saves me anxiety and worry – and at the same time it means my family won’t have added stress after my death. And Lily added another good reason. ‘Now that my funeral arrangements are in place – the peace of mind will hopefully mean that I live longer! Jennings Funeral Directors have seen at first hand how this is possibly the best reason ever for making advance funeral arrangements. ‘Best case scenario for the customer is to know that their pre planned funeral file gathers dust for a long time to come. Their advance funeral plans are safe but the file can gather dust for many a long year.
Coming soon: a link to Jennings Advance Funeral Plan booklet, which will cover all the aspects of funeral arrangements offering guidance and advice.
Names have been changed.