Can I have dance and electronic music played at my funeral?
We’ve covered a few different genres on the funeral-notices.co.uk blog, but dance and electronic music is one that is not in my personal wheelhouse, so it proved to be an interesting one to research.
What really struck me is the emotion that people draw from these songs that have little to no actual words in them. Take a look in the comments section on YouTube for some of the songs below, and you’ll see just how much these songs mean to people.
The answer to whether or not you can have dance or electronic music played at your funeral is of course yes, you can! Funerals should reflect the person that they are memorialising, and one great way of doing that is through the music that is played.
Charity Spotlight: Histio UK
As I start writing this article, I genuinely have no idea what Histiocytosis is.
It came to my attention through the notice for Olivia Courtenay Spencer, the friends and family of whom raised over £1,000 for Histio UK, a charity I was not at all familiar with.
So I thought we could learn together as I write this, as it was clearly an important cause to Olivia and her family, and I want to know more about it.
Decluttering Your Mind and Space: Autumn Cleaning for Mental Clarity
Many people associate the season of spring with cleaning and decluttering, but as the leaves start to change colour and fall to the ground, it reminds us of the beauty of letting go, making autumn the perfect season to clean up our physical spaces and also declutter our minds. Just as we clear out the old and make way for the new in our homes, we can do the same for our thoughts and emotions.
Can Artificial Intelligence write a Funeral Notice?
Artificial Intelligence, or A.I., has been in the media a lot recently. It’s a technology that has been around for a while, but has become more widely available thanks to websites like Chat GPT and Google Bard.
But what can you really do with these publicly accessible A.I. programs?
In its simplest form, you can get A.I. to write an essay for you, suggest good titles for your blogs, or even write a Funeral Notice for you.
Now, we like to think we know Funeral Notices pretty well, so we decided to test Chat GPT and see if they could write a good Funeral Notice. I started off by asking:
Can you write a funeral notice for a family member who has died
The response said that it could, but first it needed some details like name, date of birth, date of death, and any other details I’d like to include. I entered the following made up details:
Name: John Smith, Date of Birth: 17/05/1964, Date of Death: 19/09/2023, Wife: Jane, Children: Jack and Jenny
I think I expected it to come back with something quite simple and straightforward, but it actually produced something a lot longer and more detailed than I ever imagined. It included all the details I had given it, along with extra aspects I would hope for, such as a place to include the time and date of the funeral, and whether flowers or donations were being asked for, but then it also included some extra detail that I wasn’t expecting.
John's passion for life was evident to all who knew him. Whether he was tending to his garden, cheering on his favourite sports teams, or sharing stories with friends and family, he brought joy to every moment. He had an infectious laughter that could light up any room, and his warm smile could comfort anyone in need.
Tending to his garden and cheering on his favourite sports teams? Laughter that could light up any room? They seem like very specific details to include when I never mentioned them, but I guess they could be used as prompts that you can delete and change as applicable. Personal details definitely do make a Funeral Notice stand out and be more meaningful, so it’s not a bad suggestion at all.
I decided to try another approach, so I started again and this time I asked:
Can you give me a template for a funeral notice
And that’s just what it did!
I’ll add the whole response below so that you can see what it gave me, but I have to say that I was impressed, and I think A.I. could be a great tool for people who are struggling to know what to say.
Autumn Self-Care: 10 Ways to Boost Your Mental Well-Being
As the leaves change colour and the air turns crisp, the arrival of autumn brings with it the perfect opportunity to engage in some much needed self-care. While many of us eagerly anticipate pumpkin-spiced lattes and cosy scarves, the transition to autumn can be a challenging time for some. The shorter, darker nights can bring about feelings of melancholy, and the shift in seasons may exacerbate the struggle that some individuals experience with their mental well-being.
Here are ten ways you can embrace autumn self-care to help boost your mental health and make the most of this enchanting season:
Spend time in nature
Autumn is a beautiful season; trees are stunning in hues of red, orange and yellow, their leaves crunching underfoot, and the air starts to turn crisp. Go for a leisurely hike, a peaceful walk through the woods, or simply find a park where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves. Spending time outside can work wonders for your mental well-being.
World Mental Health Day 2023
As we mark World Mental Health Day 2023, the theme ‘Mental health is a universal right’ resonates profoundly in a world where access to mental health care remains a challenge for many. This year’s theme underscores the importance of recognising mental health as a basic human right, equal to physical health.
World Mental Health Day 2023 takes place on 10th October, and aims to raise awareness and drive positive change for everyone. It provides an opportunity to talk about mental health, how we can look after it, and the importance of getting help if you are struggling.
Baby Loss Awareness Week 2023
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place this year from 9th-15th October, and is in its 21st year. The aim is to raise awareness for baby loss, and to let people who have lost a baby know that they are not alone, helping them to find support, and offering them a space to share their experiences. To read more, head to the website babyloss-awareness.org
Poems & Quotes about Grief by All On The Board
In 2017, two workers on the London Underground took it upon themselves to spread a little joy by writing poems, quotes, and words of encouragement on the information white boards dotted around the different stations. They seemed popular, and so they started an Instagram account where they could post photos of the boards, and six years later they’ve had two books out and have 1.2 million followers.
Ian and Jeremy call themselves @AllOnTheBoard, and they write about everything from The Beatles to eating disorders, from arthritis to bullying. Here we have collected a few of their posts about grief, starting off with two poems.
6 of the Best TV Shows about Grief
I think it’s probably a safe bet to say that “I’d like to watch a show about grief” is not a phrase you hear uttered that often when browsing streaming services like Netflix or Disney+.
I always find it to be a really interesting device for character growth though, as such an intense emotion provides a lot of scope for a whole array of feelings. Plus, for those who have experienced grief personally, it gives you some instant relatability, and that moment of realising that you’re not the only one who has felt that way.
I have tried to choose quite a broad spectrum of TV shows in my list below, in order to find something that will suit a whole range of different people and experiences. Some are funny, some are intense, but they all share a common theme and show just how grief can affect people from all walks of life.
“One day you’ll eat your last meal, smell your last flower, hug your friend for the very last time. You might not know it’s the last time, so that’s why you should do everything you love with passion, you know? Treasure the few years you’ve got because that’s all there is.”
I think Ricky Gervais’ character of Tony is one of the greatest examples of character development ever written.
Tony is grieving the loss of his wife by being cantankerous, aggressive, and just downright mean to everyone he meets. As we go through the show though, we slowly get hints of the loving person that’s hidden behind this stony exterior, and it’s his relationships with his friends and family that ultimately save him.
Each episode is incredibly funny, while also being so intensely sad. It’s certainly a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, so make sure that you’re in the right headspace to appreciate it.
This Is Us
“I think that's sort of how it works, you know? We go through life slowly but surely collecting these little pieces of ourselves that we can't really live without until we eventually have enough of them to feel whole.”
This one is a big commitment, with a total of 106 episodes, but it really is worth the effort. Essentially it is a family drama series, but it all revolves around the death of Jack Pearson, who leaves his wife and three kids behind to navigate the grief together.
There’s so much more to this show than grief, but it does always keep coming back to that loss and how each person dealt with it differently. There’s a lot of love and laughter, but there are also a lot of tears, so have your tissues at the ready for this one.
“Grief is like a splinter deep into every fingertip; to touch anything is torture.”
This one is a little different, as the grief is not perhaps quite as obvious at first glance, but it is there in two ways.
Firstly it’s a murder mystery show, and the grief for the young boy who has been killed is felt throughout the small town. The grief is almost felt universally throughout the town as we learn how each person knew him or his family.
And secondly, the detective is dealing with a double dose of grief himself. He grieves over a child who died in a previous case that he could not solve, and he also grieves the loss of a loving relationship.
The mystery is gripping enough to keep you watching, but the smaller character moments are what really makes this one stand out.
Dead To Me
“If you love someone, they’re always with you, no matter where they go.”
A comedy about grief that’s also a mystery drama..? It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but the writing here is pretty great and the twists and turns keep you coming back for more.
Two grieving women bond during therapy, but one of them is not being honest, and the two flit between friends and enemies as the series progresses. Despite the over the top plot, there’s a lot here that people might see as being familiar in their own experiences of grief, such as avoidance, denial and anger.
“I don’t know what to do with it … With all the love I have for her. I don’t know where to put it now.”
Fleabag gets categorised as a comedy, and it definitely is funny, but it’s also so much more than that.
It is 100% about grief, as the titular character has lost both her mum and her best friend, and is lashing out at the world because of it. She breaks the fourth wall to let us know what she’s thinking and feeling, and then we also get flashbacks to time spent with her best friend.
This show won Baftas, Emmys, and Golden Globes, all rightly so. It is quite foul mouthed though, so just be aware if that’s not your thing.
“What is grief, if not love persevering?”
Now, if you’re not a fan of the Marvel superhero movies, then you might want to skip this one. It starts off as a 60s sitcom, but as you go through the episodes you realise that there’s something else at play. Basically, Wanda has magic powers, and she had to watch the love of her life die in front of her, so as a way of running from the grief she creates this whole world around her where she lives happily with her husband, and even has two children.
I won’t give away any spoilers here, but we see this extreme form of escapism used as a way to avoid dealing with the grief, and then we see anger when she finally has to confront it.
Despite how wild and crazy it sounds, it does contain one of my favourite lines written about grief which I’ve quoted above, and it trended online when it was first released, showing that it quickly resonated with a lot of people.
Have I missed anything out? I always love to hear your own recommendations, so please leave them in the comments below!
Charity Spotlight: Farming Community Network
With so many Funeral Notices being added to the site each and every day, we come across so many different charities that people want to raise money for in memory of a loved one. A lot of them are the big charities that we are used to seeing regularly, but then there are some that come along that we would have never thought about, and shining a spotlight on these lesser known charities has become a way in which we can make sure more people learn about them.
One example of a charity that we may never have come across otherwise is the Farming Community Network. The families and friends of both Lionel George Bagg and Tony Edmunds raised fantastic amounts of money for this charity, so we thought we would take a closer look at who they are.