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Brian Stewart Barley

Service of Thanksgiving for

Brian Stewart Barley

Date – Wednesday 4th February

Time – 9am

Location – Teesside Crematorium, St Bedes chapel

Anyone wishing to pay their last respects to Brian are asked to meet the family at Teesside Crematorium. Any further information  please call 01642 756324

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Technology and the Funeral Service

Technology and the Funeral Service

 

With the increased technology that we have all around us I have been looking at the different ways that this effects a funeral service. There are some good and some that could be considered bad. I guess that depends on you.

 

  • Finding a funeral director i.e. Google – There are many people that know who their funeral director, or at least the company, will be. They have been there on the high street, part of their Church or other organisation or a tradition within the family. For others they do not know where to turn. There is the option to go with a national company but many these days want the personal service of an independent funeral director. Thanks to technology the search for a funeral director has been made easier by most having websites, social media, advertisements online even their own apps. These also give you an insight into what the funeral directors is like.

 

  • Communication methods – For many years that has of course been the telephone, fax, letter and face to face. With the increase in technology the ways in which you can communicate with your funeral director, other people involved or even to share ideas with family has been increased. It has now been known that funeral arrangements have taken place via Skype, an online video-link. I am by no means saying that this is for everyone, but for people out of the area who want to make arrangements, as an example, this opens up the door.

 

 

  • Record funeral services or webcasting – Many families can now be long distances away from each other. My own family has been spread out from the North East, London to Somerset. I also know of any people that have immigrated to other countries. It is in times like this, when someone passes away, that distance can be a big problem. That is when the service of having the service recorded or even streamed live over the internet can help people to still share, grieve and be a part of the loss that you are all feeling. Thanks to the increase in technology this is now possible.

 

  •  Music ie Wesley system – Music is a very big part of any funeral service and is a way of depicting your emotions, the personality of the deceased and a way to set the mood. In recent years there have been many changes to the way that music can be played at most crematoriums. There is a company called “Wesley Media” that provides an online library database for most crematoriums across the UK. This now means that music can be ordered online, through your funeral director, and the music is there ready for the day of the service. Long gone are the days when you would have to source your own CDs, label them up and hope that they play the right track. It has also helped people locate tracks that are less well known or could be diverse.

 

  • Funeral selfie – the most famous of these is where Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Danish prime minister), at Nelson Mandelas memorial service, took a selfie. This act went viral and there are many responses to this. Looking into this more there is a craze to take selfies at some part of the funeral service. As a positive you could say that this is someone who is expressing their emotions in a way that they know, celebrating rather than commiserating or you could say it is in very bad taste. There have been website that have dedicated themselves to the funeral service or #Funeralselfie. Good or bad, that is for you to decide.

 

  • Online memorials – These create a place where you can commemorate the deceased and a place where people can post their own thoughts and memories. Being online it can be accessed by all. The online troll (a person that wants to cause offence or harass) is something that has been reported on within this industry but many others. There are always improvements being made and security is getting stronger. If anyone was to post anything on my website, for instance onto a funeral diary post, then I would need to approve the post. That stops the troll problem full stop.

 

With technology ever growing this is only a short list of the ways it has changed the jobs we do and the service that I can provide. Even in the choice of funeral service, i.e. burial and cremation, technology is already looking to add another alternative. Whether these are good or bad, this if only for you to decide.

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New Years Bucket List

New Years Bucket List

It is the beginning of 2015 and people all around us have made New Years resolutions. A new idea that is starting to come about, taken from the famous bucket list, is a list of things to do in the New Year. This is something that I myself have taken up and have a list of 46 things big and small, that I would like to complete. Some things are a one off and others are weekly or monthly. I have looked to make changes to my life and this includes getting out and about more, seeing the beautiful sights of the North East, getting fitter, getting jobs and DIY tasks completed and being more charitable. I know of others that will write a list of 100 things, but as this was my first year I simple write down everything that I wanted to, or felt I should.

Of course, as stated, this was taken from the idea of a bucket list. This is usually a list of places or activities that you want to do before you die. Even if it isn’t formally written down I know of many people that have their own version of this list. These lists are there to encourage you to live your life, see the sights and smells of the world and to enjoy all that you can. Life is short and it is important to live your life to its fullest and to remember what is important. That is a big reason why I have decided to do my own 2015 list. Death is something that cannot be avoided, death and taxes as the saying goes. The people that I know to have written their own bucket list, or New Years list, you can get a feeling of what is important to them. This is spending quality time with the people that they love most. In this day and age of all things technology it may be a case of stripping this back and getting that personal touch back. For instance, one of mine is to make and write thank you cards for all gifts that I receive. I don’t want to send someone an email, I want to personally make that card, have it individual to that person, and write a heartfelt thank you. It is these touches that mean the most to people. I am looking to be more creative this year and that is also why every month there will be a new window display and many of the items will be hand made by myself.

If you haven’t thought of your own bucket list or made a New Years resolution it’s not too late. Think about what is important to you and make sure you do it. Be more giving, spend more time with family, spend time on yourself for once, make plans and live your life.