Three-quarters of adults comfortable discussing funeral wishes, survey says

·2-min read
Funerals (PA) (PA Wire)
Funerals (PA) (PA Wire)

Three-quarters of adults now feel comfortable discussing their funeral wishes, new research has shown, suggesting Brits may be more open to talking about death following the coronavirus crisis.

Some 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds have already thought about the way they would like to say goodbye, according to a survey commissioned by Co-op Funeralcare.

The My Wishes, My Way report, which polled 2,003 adults, found that 69% said it is not important for their funeral to be in a religious setting, while just over a fifth (22%) would prefer mourners to dress in bright colours.

As we have lived through the pandemic and seen such a tragic and unimaginable loss of life, the nation’s attitude towards death and dying has been changing

Samantha Tyrer, Co-op Funeralcare’s managing director

A similar survey of 4,186 adults conducted by the provider in 2019 found that only half (49%) had given their funeral some thought, while 45% of people had not done anything by way of sharing their wishes with anyone.

However, the poll in June of this year found that 75% of those who intend to have a funeral now feel comfortable discussing their final wishes with loved ones.

Over a third (37%) said that funerals were generally too sombre and should be more uplifting, with 81% of those who intend to have a funeral wanting their funeral to be a celebration of life.

The funeral provider, which has been tracking attitudes into death for more than a decade, said that the events of the past 18 months had caused a shift in the nation’s attitudes towards mourning and death.

Co-op Funeralcare’s managing director Samantha Tyrer said: “As we have lived through the pandemic and seen such a tragic and unimaginable loss of life, the nation’s attitude towards death and dying has been changing.

“It’s incredibly poignant that society is gradually becoming more comfortable talking about the inevitable and that more people would like their final farewell to feel more like a unique celebration of their life.”

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