Archive for the ‘Pre Planning Ideas’ category
Wednesday 6th October 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 1 comment
Anyone who reads Sentiment’s Blog will know how much we love music. Music is the driving force for Sentiment’s existence – That is why we love ‘My Last Song’
Music was also the driving force behind My Last Song, but it’s not all music! My Last Song have got bigger and better over the past few years and their recent updated website makes it crystal clear what they are all about.
Their ‘Lifebox’ is now a fantastic way to store your online funeral plans and all the things that are important to you from funeral track lists to special photos and your funeral wishes. You can even access advice and information based about all things ‘funeral’ .
Take a gander at their site – If you like the internet and use of online storage than you’ll love My Last Song . (And be sure to participate in their Poll on the right hand side of their website)
Monday 20th September 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 2 comments
I was reading the latest update on the Palliative care blog – Dying at Home Is Better For Cancer Patients and Their Families
It got me thinking about birth and death – such ends of the spectrum, yet both as important to plan for. Both in Birth and in Death, it’s our choice to choose the care we want, with or without the aid of doctors, hospitals and bureaucracy… isn’t it?
In Birth, women are advised to write a ‘birth plan’ as a general guideline for the midwives and doctors to ensure a labouring mother gets the care she wishes. It contains info such as: home or hospital birth, drugs or not etc.
In Death some people have a living will, often very simple documents stating personal preferences on resuscitation and the administration of life prolonging drugs., However these days you can find more comprehensive documents outlining your options. Fantastic Funerals and our sister company Sentiment Farewells both offer a more detailed Living Will section in their pre-planning documents, thus opening the door to discussing more details about death wishes, including desires to be at home or in hospital.
Home choices can often be limited due to care options, scaremongering and trends. However in the case of births, The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) support home births for women stating “There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby” .
And it seems this is the same in death as it is for birth: A new study confirms what hospice professionals have known for years: dying at home is better –both for the cancer patient and his/her family. The study, reported in the September 13th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that cancer patients who die in the hospital have worse quality of life than those who die at home. The study also found that caregivers of patients who die in the ICU are at an increased risk for developing psychiatric illnesses during the bereavement process, like PTSD.
At present more than 80 per cent of people express a wish to die in the comfort of their own home. But 60 per cent end up dying in hospital.
*With both of my babies, I requested a home birth because it felt the safest and most natural choice for me, as it turns out medically this was not possible, but I always felt empowered that I had that option. In death I feel the same , that we should all be aware of our options and of our rights to die at home… If we so choose.
Thursday 19th August 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, 5 comments
Once upon a time a wise old man asked me to do him a favour and my response was “I’ll do it tomorrow”, the wise old man responded in a low knowing tone “Louise, tomorrow never comes” …
OK, lets be honest. That old man was my old man! The conversation revolved around me tidying my bedroom and like most 15 year olds, I’d do anything other than tidy my bedroom!
At my wedding some 9 years later, my dad informed me (and the 150 guests in the room) that for years he used to pick all my underwear off my bedroom floor and throw it into a bin bag in the garages. He’d always planned on giving me the bin bag of underwear back, but he was bemused that after years I’d never asked where all my stuff was going! It seemed my diminishing wardrobe was something I just seemed to accept, maybe I just thought the washing machine had eaten them or maybe I just couldn’t be bothered to go looking for them!
So on my wedding day at the ripe old age of 24, my dad sent me on my way to a new life with a very good lesson… Procrastination has consequences. (and pick your shit up or you’ll lose it!!)
Come on then, own up, how many of you have got a pile of ‘stuff’ that needs sorting, a box of photos that are sat under the stairs, a box of old videos that you fully intend to sort out, a drawn full of ‘stuff’ and box’s of ‘things’ the kids made that you don’t really want but just cant throw away?
The art of procrastination is deep within most people, and its not just the mundane boring things like cleaning the cutlery drawer that we put off until tomorrow, It’s the important things too – things that if never done will have some very sad consequences (sorting and backing up photos, organising the old videos and documenting family history, etc).
We often only see the mountain, therefore we don’t even attempt to start chipping away – why not?
How many people do you know that say they’re going to do something important and meaningful such as…
- Calling an old friend
- Going to see Auntie Agatha (the last remaining relative on their Grandmothers side) to find out some family history.
- Sitting their mum down and getting her to write down all the people in the family photo from 1960
- Chasing an old friend for the video they took at their wedding
- Giving an old friend some photos they’ve been asking for for 5 years
- Getting a copy of a photo of their best friend from when they were 10 years old
- Organising their photos into albums
- Putting all their videos together and sending them off to be them edited and transferred into watchable digital footage.
- Writing letters and stories to their children
… but never quite get round to it! Then all of a sudden someone close dies and well, bugger.. now its too late!?
Even super women like myself *chuckle chukle* always have an excuse of why we’ve not done tasks, after all I’ve not updated my blog for nearly 2 weeks *tut tut tut* and my excuse is ” I’ve just had a baby and I’m still running a business” … But isn’t there always an excuse?
Today, please take away a bit of advise:
1) Imagine having done all those things you mean to have done – how would you feel?
2) Start a project - If you popped your clogs tomorrow at least your kids would have an idea of what those 100 photos are of even if they don’t know what the other 2,000 are!
3) Back up back up back up. It takes few seconds everyday to back up your files – if you don’t have an external hard dive buy one – from Amazon
4) Use digital photo sites like picasa
5) Share videos and photos from friends using dropbox
6) Start working on memory books and digital photo albums – if you want hassle free, high end, professionally organised, designed and printed memory books then on then come us Sentiment Ltd – or if you want to do it yourself then try photobox and snapfish
7) Send all your old video and cine film to be transfered - you can use digital copycat or come to us at Sentiment Ltd to edit all the best bits with music and interviews to make something truly special
9) Phone your aunt for that long awaited chat – you may learn somthing and make her very happy in the process.
10) Tell someone you love them.
So whats your plan? what are you going to do with all this ‘stuff’? Has tomorrow finally arrived?
Tuesday 27th April 2010 by Louise Carron Harris, No comments
Ever growing in popularity over the last few years, Sentiment’s Simple Photo Slideshows and beautifully edited Photo and Video Montages are a wonderful, unique tribute at a funeral service, wake or celebration of life.
Guaranteed to captivate the viewer and take them on a journey of reflection, our services help to tell stories that can be difficult to capture in a simple eulogy and give a personalised feel to any funeral that will be spoken about and remembered long after the service has ended.
Sentiment specialises in funerals, therefore we have a priority queue for any funeral related work. Once we have photographs, we can edit basic Slideshows and Montages in two days and have the finished product ready to post back to you or the family by day three.
The Slideshows or Montages can be shown on a screen or TV at the crematorium, church or wake – if the venue does not have a screen we can organise all of this for you
We provide a hassle and worry free service for both the funeral director and family.
Costs are from as little as £80 for simple slideshows, £175 for a basic one song montage and £250 for a standard two song montage and £350 for photo and video montages.
Hire of Audio visual equipment such as screens and projects start from £150 + mileage – please contact us for quotes.
Seeing the highlights of someone’s beautiful life, set to the perfect music, is something that you and everyone who sees it will always remember.
If you are a Funeral Director or service provider and would like to offer Sentiment products as part of your service please contact us for leaflets, we are happy to work for you directly of liaise with your clients on your behalf.
Visit our website to see samples of our work and read testimonials from our clients:
Monday 9th March 2009 by Louise Carron Harris, 4 comments
“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine”… It’s one of those phrases my Mum and Nan would use when I was a kid (in reference to keeping on top of things) I never paid much attention, I always ended up spending all day Saturday tidying a week’s worth of mess in my bedroom! I wish my Mum and Nan had taken their own advise when it came to organising their photos, memories and music. Trying to organise photos for my dad’s 60th birthday was quiet a task when crammed up in the loft with a torch trying to hunt through 6 box’s and a 2 bags of jumbled up photos!
I have this ‘super organised’ client who has asked us to create a life biography for her husband. On our first meeting she pulled out from her cupboard:
- 20+ photo albums, in year order.
- 10 CD’s each containing photo files all in order + a contact sheet for each file (A4 print out of all the photos) – not even I’m that organised!!!
- A box of photos all organised in date and event order packs with big bold back writing on each pack with details of what the photos are.
- A box of video tapes is labeled and in date order.
- Love letters, cards and trinkets all boxed up in order of year and everything is label in some way.
Tuesday 16th December 2008 by Louise Carron Harris, 2 comments
On the 3rd day of Christmas my accountant said to me “I don’t have a will” – * needle scratches record* YOU DON’T HAVE A WILL?? You have to be kidding me right?
The reason this conversation started is because he’s reading a Jeremy Clarkson autobiography – apparently Jeremy talks about the fact when you hit 40 years of age you begin to spend every day for the rest of your life thinking about your death (I’m sure Jeremy Clarkson has a much more humorous way of writing than I do)… anyway.
Since my accountant has turned the ripe old age of 40 he has in fact developed an irrational thinking of death – he fears his man flu is going to turn into throat cancer and his aching old leg joints are thrombosis, his acid indigestion is a heart attack, and the effects of last night curry is going to cause certain death!» Continue reading