In this section you’ll find thoughts and observations
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4 months ago
This is a lovely article showing that the clergy are also adapting positively and creatively to this terrible situation. We need to change our rituals to stay safe but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are any less healing. Those who are willing to accept some changes are able to continue to hold truly personal and meaningful funeral ceremonies. We are working with each family individually to find new ways of doing things to bring them comfort in their unique situation. It can be done ♥️https://thetimes.co.uk/article/b41ddae2-96bb-11ea-97b5-8f15973668de/… ... See MoreSee Less
#livinglightFor all those who have died during the pandemic ♥️ ... See MoreSee Less
Grief during coronavirus - lockdown is particularly tough when you're grieving. Being surrounded by family and friends is so vital when you've lost someone you love. Hopefully you are still able to stay connected to others in some way, If you are struggling - some telephone/video grief counselling might help. It's difficult to 'unload' dark feelings onto family and friends, particularly those who might also be grieving, but it does really help to talk. https://www.griefchat.co.uk/ ... See MoreSee Less
5 months ago
My thoughts on funerals through coronavirus on NBC. We are often told that we only have once chance to say goodbye to and honour our loved ones.... I think we can look at this differently, and learn to hold rituals in other ways than we are used to, particularly during these times. They can still be healing. ... See MoreSee Less
‘That thing you’re feeling is called grief’...This is one of the wisest things I’ve heard in a while. Thank you Hughat GK Church for your kindness, and your comforting, and incredibly insightful words through such turbulent times. 🌈 ... See MoreSee Less
Another beautiful idea bringing people comfort when they cannot come together in their grief during the Covid pandemic. ♥️ ... See MoreSee Less
Brilliantly and sensitively compiled by a wonderful funeral director and author Louise Winter.... if you are grieving during these difficult times, perhaps sharing your thoughts will help.... ... See MoreSee Less
Five Things. — Life. Death. Whatever.
We were approached by The Independent on how we are managing funerals in these difficult circumstances. They seem to really understand and have produced a good article. https://independent.co.uk/news/uk/… ... See MoreSee Less
Undertakers struggle to cope with coronavirus death toll and shortage of PPE
I recently used Albany Funerals for my mother's funeral and I could not have asked for more attentive and caring people than Jo and her team. Living in Loose I frequently walked past Albany Funerals and so decided to call them after my mother passed away. That was one of the best decisions I made. Jo immediately made myself and my husband feel at ease when we met her and she has a natural yet unassuming manner when talking about the very sensitive and delicate matter of arranging the funeral of a loved one.
We decided to go for the slightly alternative option of a Direct funeral and Jo helped us along the way of the process and made sure every detail was covered, including helping us to find a beautiful venue for a celebration of Mum's life. Albany led a wonderful celebration, outside in the sunshine on their decking, and everyone said it was perfect for Mum.
I would highly recommend Jo and the whole team at Albany Funerals to help anyone through the emotional but necessary process of arranging a funeral.
Jo, thank you for all your careful support and advice over the arrangements for Jane's funeral. Only your kindness and patience made it at all possible and eased the pain of such a difficult task. I know the girls also valued your encouragement and help whilst we all said goodbye to Jane in your chapel. Your generous time, presence and comfort whilst they decorated with flowers their mum's coffin they will always remember. The funeral itself under your watchful eyes was perfect. Your whole team was superb.
We would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the sympathetic and professional way in which you conducted the funeral cremation ceremonies for our Parents during these very difficult and challenging times the country is experiencing at present.
As we know, all families losing loved ones during this pandemic is very difficult - and our losses have been no different - but made somewhat easier because of the way in which your company lightened the impact of losing our Parents in a matter of days of one another.
Once again, please accept our sincere thanks for your kindness, assistance and services - so gratefully received - and we send our kind regards to you all at Albany Funeral Directors.
We as a family had never had to personally deal with such a sad and upsetting situation such as the loss of a parent. Sam and Jo and their team helped and guided us through it with such ease. They made us all feel so welcome any time we called, emailed and visited..... Our Dad's funeral was a special day in our minds and we all look back and feel that it was done with such kindness, professionalism and care. They are a very dedicated hard working group of people that go out of their way to make sure a very sad day is completed with dignity. I believe they deserve a nomination for their work!
Upon my brother's death we felt a great vacuum and sadness in our lives and the thought of choosing a Funeral Director was an unwelcome necessity but an obviously important one. We had attended a funeral earlier that year and I was impressed at the smoothness of the proceedings. I found out it was Albany and we made enquiries.
Straightaway we were welcomed into a very relaxing meeting room and put at ease with Jo's sensitive caring and attentive approach. There was also a genuine feeling that she empathised with our grief and that she would do all that she could to make the funeral into what we wanted. There was no time pressure and she offered advice and support for the children and what may or may not be suitable. When you are in shock and grieving it is almost impossible to think clearly, yet Jo steered us through the issues and we were instantly happy to accept her help.
She ran through many options including a cardboard coffin, which the children decorated.
The staff were very friendly and supportive, punctual and providing the vital support on the funeral day.
When you have someone like Jo helping, you appreciate the vital importance in getting an occasion such as this right. We cannot praise Jo and all at Albany highly enough and would recommend her to provide the right balance and care at such a sad occasion.
During a difficult period of time, Jo and the staff of Albany Funerals helped ease my situation.
My late husband had very clear ideas about the type of funeral service that he wanted after his death, and he spent lots of time making decisions and finding the right people to support us in creating the perfect humanist celebration of his life. Jo was instrumental in helping us to achieve this and always took a positive approach, helping us to find exactly the right format for the service.
We found ourselves in a very difficult situation when the venue that my late husband chose for his own funeral let us down with no notice after his death. Since my husband did not want the service to take place in a church or crematorium, we had found it quite difficult to find exactly the right venue, so this created a significant problem. Jo responded with complete professionalism and within a couple of hours she had made a suggestion for an alternative venue. We were able to visit the venue and we confirmed the change the next day, after which Jo took over seamlessly. The last minute cancellation of our venue was immensely upsetting but Jo’s professional approach ensured that everything went according to plan despite the last minute relocation.
Jo and her team emanate kindness, compassion, and respect. They were reliable and efficient, and they went over and above to ensure that my husband’s funeral service was everything he wanted it to be.
We could not have chosen a better funeral director.
Bereavement is a difficult and stressful time, but from our first meeting we were cared for in a compassionate way and given time to consider our wishes with no pressure. Sam was caring and reassuring, completely putting our minds at rest over every little detail. Albany provided an excellent service from the start. The team were friendly, respectful and nothing was too much trouble. I would have no hesitation in recommending them!
I first heard about Albany Funerals when a 7 year old boy died suddenly in the playground of my grand-daughter's school, it was just before Christmas and we heard that Albany Funerals arranged for a member of staff to be at their premises during the Christmas period to enable the family to be with their child during that tragic time. When my Mother died a few years later Albany was the obvious choice for me, so consequently I met Jo and her carefully selected staff who acted like an extended family and helped in every aspect of what could have been a total nightmare.
Jo is a 100% kind, caring and understanding person which is a rarity in any walk of life and she can identify with families about their loss.
Jo annually arranges a balloon release in memory of deceased loved ones which is a very moving experience, attended by many people and also raises money for the Heart of Kent Hospice.
There is a coffee morning once a month for bereaved relatives, where Jo provides coffee, her home made cakes, companionship and love, with each visitor treated like a much loved relative.
I recently asked Jo why the lights were left on in her premises all night and she told me that to grieving families it looks like their loved ones are not alone. I have often thought about this and it moves me to tears because she is so right. If ever there was a person completely suited to their job then it is her. We have been back to visit her because she had the unique ability to make an undertaker's premises feel like a friendly home and everyone of her well picked staff feel like friends.
Our heartfelt and sincere thanks go to our and your team for such a lovely celebration of the life of Malcolm. It was absolutely perfect and we could not have hoped for a better send off for a man who has inspired many and of whom we are immensely proud. The flowers were stunning and all your hard work in making everything happen like clockwork will always be remembered. With our best wishes to you and your team of ‘gems’.
I wanted to let you and your team know how much it has meant to myself and my family, that you have made this most terribly tragic time for us, as bearable as possible.
Your kindness, helpfulness and expertise has been immeasurable in making our last farewell to Jim, a most beautiful celebration of his life.
It was a very dignified and moving ceremony, the best I have ever seen and we are truly grateful to you, Peter the Funeral Director (who really did look after me) and the pallbearers who were solemn, respectful, smart and normal looking. I have been to funerals where the pallbearers look like bouncers from a dodgy club or something out of the Adams Family!
So thank you all for a splendid job. Jim would have been so proud of what we all achieved on his behalf.
I have nothing but praise for Jo's team at Albany Funerals and in particular Sam. Sam was so caring and helpful at each of our visits and nothing was too much trouble. There was a brightness about her that put us at ease when dealing with the sad situation. She was very understanding at all times. The gentlemen who looked after us on the day treated us with every courtesy and made us feel very comfortable. I would highly recommend Albany Funerals. They are the best.
We had never had to contact a Funeral Director before so wasn't really sure where to start. My father had left fairly specific instructions as to the sort of funeral he wanted. We spoke to a few Funeral Directors who were very polite but we felt that they were more interested in us fitting in with what they offered. We then, fortunately, spoke to Jo and Sam at Albany and made an appointment to go and see them. From the outset, we liked how they wanted to help us arrange the funeral that Dad wanted rather than a funeral which fitted in with a 'package'. Our decision to appoint Albany was a very easy one to make and it made our lives easier at such a difficult time.
All the staff at Albany were extremely efficient and considerate at all times. My father's wishes were carried out perfectly, we cannot thank them all enough and wish them every success for the future.
We could never have wished for anyone more perfect to help us plan John’s farewell. Under impossible circumstances, it’s been a pleasure meeting you. Your incredible warmth and support has made this time as easy as we believe it could have been . A big thank you to all of you.
Albany Funerals looked after my father's funeral in November 2014 and the care and sensitivity with which Jo handled matters for us and supported the family was exemplary. Jo manages to tread the perfect line between professionalism and compassion and during the time she helped us made me completely re-assess my preconceptions of the role of funeral director.
It’s quite hard to put into words how grateful we are to Jo and Albany for how much support they gave to my family and especially my mum after my dad died.
I’m sure we weren’t unusual in wanting something personal and to do our best for Dad and Jo not only juggled all our ideas, but also had some great suggestions herself as she gently guided us through the process, making it as easy as it could be. She brings a huge amount of care, warmth and confidence which in a very tough time, we needed and made us feel very special.
To this day, my mum regularly attends the Albany Coffee Mornings for many of the widows and widowers, so Jo’s generosity and compassion doesn’t just end there…
Totally recommend and will be forever grateful.
Dear Jo, Matthew and team
I'd just like to express my utmost gratitude not only for Friday but over the last couple of weeks.
You were kind, helpful, and informative from the beginning; and then carried out the funeral in a very dignified and professional way.
My family and I have really appreciated the excellent, professional and compassionate service that you and your team have provided for us in such difficult circumstances, from the first point of contact, to the delivery of C’s ashes.
I chose your Funeral Service on the recommendation of a friend and am so pleased I followed their advice. I will recommend your services to others when the need arises.