Is a Traditional funeral really just a Victorian funeral?


The Victorians really did death in a big way. Enter the words “Victorians and…” into a search engine and Google will fill in the blank with “Death”.  Such was the Victorians link to all things death it’s almost their biggest legacy of their era.

Just take a look at the ginormous tombstones they left.  Scarborough has an enormous cemetery at Dean Road that spans a very wide area.  It’s so glorious and grand that its secret garden is even on Trip Advisor as a sight to see for tourists!  Luckily huge tombstones like that are no longer the norm, as we’d soon be running out of space if it was.

So the mourning period and massive tombstones are gone, but the grandeur of what is ‘expected’ or seen as ‘normal’ at a traditional funeral is not so very different as it was then: a black hearse, coffin bearers dressed in black top hat and tails, walking ominously slowly at the front of the car.  The whole thing is designed for maximum sorrow.  For some people that’s absolutely right – traditional markers of respect and formality may provide a comfort to some at such a time.

But if you’ve never considered an alternative, it may be time to open up the conversation and look at what other options are available for your special send-off.

It’s every person’s right to have the funeral they want, whether they are planning it themselves or whether it falls to their nearest and dearest loved ones.

At Special Send Offs, our ethos is to recognise what is right for some may not be right for others.  With that in mind, let’s take a respectful look at why the traditional Victorian funeral may be distinctly NOT the right choice for everyone:

  • Some people feel a stigma attached to doing the right or expected thing and go with it because it’s expected rather than what they want – at Special Send Offs, we don’t pressure you into ‘doing what’s expected’. Guilt is the last thing you need to pile on top of your grief. The right thing is what you want.
  • Some people may find that their grief is extended by these ominous triggers of tradition. Whoever felt happy in an old black Limousine?
  • Depersonalisation of the funeral doesn’t feel respectful, unique or true to the individual
  • The price of a traditional funeral: all the paraphernalia really adds up. Having your grief exploited by paying over the odds doesn’t feel right to some – and why should it?


So, what is right for some is not right for others.  We’re living in an age of information, where, if you choose to open up your mind at the same time as you open up your internet browser, you can find some truly different and beautiful ideas for your special send off.  We’ll be happy to discuss all your ideas with you and accommodate your wishes as far as possible.

To talk to Mark Hancock, you can contact him by telephone on 01723 267346, email or pop into the shop at 36 Newlands Park Drive.