Be kind to yourself this Christmas and make treasured memories

 

In this past year many of us have experienced loss and for the first time in a while, I count myself amongst you.

When my dear Mum died in June of this year, I felt the loss deeply.

I kept telling myself that she was 92 and she couldn’t go on forever, but that didn’t make a scrap of difference.

My dear Dad died aged 54 when I was still in my mid-teens and so now I’m an orphan!

Reflecting on the lives of my parents I have chosen to focus on the joy that they gave to me rather than dwell on the pain of their loss but you know it’s not easy.

I am blessed to share my life with many that I love dearly and who love me; family and friends alike and fantastic team of like-minded caring colleagues.

In all honesty, I’m not sure how I’ll feel on Christmas Day, as last year I spent much of it at the hospital helping to feed my Mum!

What I do know is that my parents showed me love, instilled great life values and encouraged me to be my best and whilst family life isn’t always plain sailing, I am truly grateful for all that they did.

Remembering those we have loved and lost will bring a tear to our eyes and that is the price we pay for loving, but I do I hope that each of you can find something positive during your grief, something that makes you smile and that will uplift you.

In my family, we have developed traditions which we keep, and I cherish these more than I would a new shirt or box of hankies, so it really is about people not things!

Above all, I hope that this Christmas you’re kind to yourself and that you get the opportunity to make Happy Memories too.

Sarah and I send our very best wishes for a Happy, Peaceful and Blessed Christmas.

Derek

Our funeral plans

We would like to reassure families who may have concerns about funeral plans following ITV’s Pay Now Die Later documentary, broadcast on October 11.

At Mortons Funeral Directors, we provide Golden Charter Funeral Plans which were not featured in the programme.

We’ve been providing reliable funeral plans to families across South Birmingham and beyond for many years and always provide certainty on two things:

Firstly, that the plan you’re taking out will pay for the funeral you want.

Secondly, you’ll have complete clarity around fees.

Indeed, the best person to advise on funeral plans is a funeral director, as they will always ensure your funeral plan meets your exact requirements.

If you are approached by a marketing company or administration firm offering a funeral plan, please feel free to pick up the phone to us and seek our opinion.

As a responsible member of the community, the last thing we at Mortons Funeral Directors want to see is families left out of pocket by a funeral plan that won’t cover the costs of a funeral.

The top 10 funeral songs

One of the most important elements of a funeral service is the songs – they often capture the identity of the person who has passed away and offer an opportunity for reflection.

 

Often the funeral songs are chosen by bereaved friends and relatives but in many cases the person who has died will have let his or her loved ones know their wishes in advance.

 

Having directed funerals for many years, the team at Mortons has witnessed a huge change in the songs that are sung or played. Hymns are still important but nowadays more people opt for non-religious music.

 

In recent months we’ve been monitoring the songs chosen for funerals and have compiled a top ten of the most commonly chosen numbers. In no particular order, they are as follows:

 

Time to say goodbye – Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman

Somewhere over the rainbow – Eva Cassidy

Wind beneath my wings – Bette Midler

Unforgettable – Nat King Cole

My way – Frank Sinatra

I will always love you – Whitney Houston

Simply the best – Tina Turner

You raise me up – Josh Groban

Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Ave Maria – Mario Lanza

 

Does the list contain any surprises? And what would you choose at your funeral?

 

We find the list interesting because it perhaps reflects the tastes of a generation that grew up in the 1950s. But we wonder what songs millennials will chose for their funerals. Taylor Swift, or Lady Gaga?

 

Further information about the types of funerals we deliver at Mortons can be found here.

 

How will you be remembered?

One of the blessings of being a Funeral Director (there are many) is that you get to meet people from all walks of life each with their own story to tell about a loved one they have lost.  Only last week I was chatting to a lady (as you’d expect, I have her permission to quote her) who recounted the wonderfully positive impact that her step-father had on her life; her Mother was widowed at quite a young age and she met “a new man” many years later in life.  The step-daughter spoke with a genuine love and appreciation for her late step-father, for the kindness he showed her, the interest he had in her life and the lives of her family and for the care he showed towards her Mum.  Summing up she said these words which resonated with me: “We have so many happy memories and they are grafted onto my soul.”  What a beautiful tribute!  How will you be remembered?

Tree of Light 2017 “Thank You”

We are overwhelmed by the number of people (over 850!) who came and joined us yesterday afternoon for our annual Tree of Light Memorial Service. The feedback we had from those in attendance was incredible and we are thankful to so many people who enabled it to be the success that it was. Read more

Tree of Light 2017

We are just a few days away from our annual “Tree of Light” Memorial Service at our Northfield Premises; the tree has arrived, it’s up and the lights are on!

We do hope you can join us this Sunday 3rd December at 3pm at our Northfield Office, B31 2JT (parking available in the multi-storey car park opposite) for refreshments and Christmas Carols accompanied by the Salvation Army Band. The Service is an opportunity to join together at this special time of year and to remember those dear to us that we have loved and lost.  You will also be able to write a message on a star, which will then be placed on to our Christmas tree.

Everyone is welcome!  Our maximum capacity is 850 people, which we came close to last year, so please do wrap up warm and arrive early for your seats!  If you can’t attend, but would like a star written on your behalf, please give a member of our team a call on 0121 476 9111 and we will happily write this for you.

The value of photographs

I don’t know about you but I love taking photos!  I’ve had a camera of my own since I was about 14 years old (a Christmas present from my dear Mum & Dad).  In those days of course the developing of celluloid film was pricey and the likes of Truprint managed to swallow copious amounts of my pocket money.  Looking back on those snapshots I realised how precious those memories are.  The moments were fleeting and it’s a fact that almost everything changes.  Some showed my dear Dad who sadly died only two years later when I was 16.  The memories are fantastic – they even proved that at one stage in my life I had hair!  In those early days, the photo’s I’d taken were carefully placed into albums – something I rarely do nowadays.  All is not lost though as the more frequent photos now get to be seen every day as I make them my screensaver which of course can be changed regularly.  Each of the images captured in a moment tells a story and transports us to a different time and place.  What joy they bring and what a reminder they are of happier times when we were all together.  Clients very often ask us to place into the coffin of their loved ones’ precious photos of family and friends, they can be used in the preparation of printed Orders of Service, are sometimes displayed upon the coffin or a collection of images used to create a storyboard for use at the gathering after the funeral.  Maybe now you’ll see these snapshots which were previously hidden away in a drawer somewhere, in a new light!