People have grave concerns about a traditional funeral and are opting for cremations instead.
Four out of five funerals in the UK are cremations and relatives and loved ones are looking for more memorable and unique ways to celebrate their loss.
Spreading ashes has become more important than the funeral service, with families and friends paying tribute to their deceased love ones by launching ashes into the skies in fireworks; scattering them during a skydive and burning them in the furnace of a fired up steam locomotive.
Others prefer to keep the ashes and their memories close.
That includes making a tattoo from the ashes or keeping them in a car or rucksack so they are constantly with them.
The information comes from a huge survey of funeral parlours and families taking part in funerals during the past five years by funeral director Co-Op.
Funeral services also take place in some surprising locations.
Farewells are regularly held in zoos, at golf courses or on beaches. Even a drive-thru burger bar and a cattle auction have hosted the tributes.
The research found one in five want their funeral service in a rural setting, 15% would opt for their favourite beauty spot and 14% favour a beach.
Another trend is to take pets to a funeral service, with 57% of funeral directors confirming they have had this request.
Final wishes not shared
Samantha Tyrer, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare said: “The funeral sector is rapidly changing. Whilst 16.5 million of us still feel uncomfortable talking about death, we’re clear on what we want and in the majority cases, it’s no longer a traditional funeral service.
“Our funerals represent the unique life an individual has lived. More so now than ever before we’re seeing requests for wonderfully personalised ceremonies, whether that be on the eighteenth hole of a golf club, or having a pet dog present on the day. The choices are endless and so it’s absolutely crucial that people make their wishes known to ensure they’re not missed.”
Tyrer adds that although 45% of people have considered a non-traditional funeral, they have not told their family and loved ones and only 7% have included their final wishes in their will or funeral plan.