What would you like to know?

What is Poetic Endings?

Poetic Endings is a modern funeral service putting together funerals of style and substance, relevance and meaning.  

We're a totally new kind of funeral director, based in Ealing in West London.

Who is behind Poetic Endings?

Poetic Endings was founded by an eclectic team who work within death and dying - Louise Winter, Don O'Dwyer and Anna Lyons.  We were dissatisfied with the funeral services currently provided and believed that funerals can be done differently.

Do I have to hold a funeral in a church or a crematorium?

Here's the headline news - no! 

You can do whatever you want to do.  We work with venues to host funerals and wakes outside of traditional settings.  You may be surprised by what is possible, from restored chapels to art galleries, barns and museums.  You can even hold the funeral at home, or in your garden.

Don't feel restricted to the often strange and restricted environment of the outdated crematorium! Life doesn't fit into a 30 minute time slot, and neither does death.

What kind of funeral can I have?

Pretty much anything you like.  The funeral can be whatever you want and need it to be.

Your funeral may be joyful, solemn, sad, relaxed or formal, depending on the circumstances.  You may choose to call it a funeral, a festival, a celebration of life, or something entirely different.  It might be extravagant, it might be blissfully simple.

Whether you're full of ideas or don't know where to start, get in touch and we can talk it through.

Is this expensive?

No.  We believe that personalised funerals should be affordable for everyone.

We've created a new kind of funeral service.  We offer the essentials for a set fee and then allow you to make the funeral your own by adding the extras you want.

This allows us to create simple, stylish and affordable funerals that cater to your individual needs.

Do you have any examples of families who have done it differently?

When Josh Edmonds died in an accident whilst travelling, his family decided they didn't want a traditional funeral.  This moving film tells the story of the healing power of creating a funeral ritual without using conventional funeral directors.

Funerals don't have to fit into the conventional format.  You can read about a natural burial where everyone wore white and no one said a word here.  The only sound was the singing of the birds and the rustling of the wind in the trees.  It was powerful, moving and very brave.

Can you help me plan my own funeral?

Yes!  We'd love to help.  We offer a funeral planning service that combines creativity, planning and knowledge of funerals.  It's not just designed to help you create a meaningful funeral, but to help you live your life.  Together we'll explore who you are in life to work out who you might be in death.

A funeral plan is about so much more than the music you choose and the dress code you'd like.  We'll help you to work out who your funeral is for, how your death will affect the people you leave behind, and how best to help them in the process of acknowledging and accepting your death.   

Your funeral plan might be as simple as giving your loved ones permission to do whatever it is they need to do.  But without a plan in place, they may be left wondering.

Planning your funeral is a powerful process to go through and not just for people who are facing the end of their life.  We've worked with everyone from a 21 year old to a young mum concerned about the impact her death might have on her children.  Everyone is going to die, and we don't know when that will be.

Remember that your funeral wishes aren't legally binding.  We really recommend having an honest and open dialogue with your loved ones about your wishes.  Putting together a beautiful funeral plan is a way of opening up what can be a difficult and awkward conversation.  

We can work with you on an individual basis to plan your funeral, or work with you and your loved ones as a collaborative process.

Someone has died.  Can you help me arrange their funeral?

Of course.  We can help you to work out what kind of funeral you'd like to have and then make it happen.  

Please get in touch and we can talk it through.

Where will the person who has died go?

They'll be collected by experienced funeral director Don and brought into our care.  They'll stay at our brand new and eco-friendly mortuary in Ealing in West London where they'll be looked after by our experienced team.

If you want to, you will be able to come and see them in our candle-lit family room.

What do I do when someone dies?

Don't panic!  

Whatever you do, don't pick up the phone to the local funeral director without considering whether they're best suited to your needs.  Give yourself time and space to consider the options.  Some local funeral directors are big corporate chains disguised as independent family businesses and may not offer you a flexible, transparent and understanding service.  Consider whether the funeral directors you employ are profit or purpose driven.

There's no rush to make a decision.  Even if you're overwhelmed with grief, take a look at the Good Funeral Guide to make an informed choice. 

Louise has written a comprehensive guide to arranging a funeral which can be found here.  

I'm a celebrant looking to work with a modern funeral director.  Can we talk?

Louise began her journey into the world of funerals as a celebrant.  Frustrated by the way most funeral directors operate, she launched Poetic Endings as a way of prioritising the funeral software (ceremony) over funeral hardware (coffins and limos).

If you share her philosophy and would like to offer a truly incredible and holistic funeral service to your clients, please get in touch.

We are extremely selective about the celebrants we work with and won't consider anyone who works from a template.

Who knew death was so interesting!  I want to know more!

If you're intrigued by what you've read so far and would like to learn more, here are a few people worth checking out.

  • Take a look at the not-for-profit, independent guide to all things funeral related at the Good Funeral Guide, managed by Fran Hall, Charles Cowling and Louise Winter.  The GFG is a small team who go above and beyond in their commitment to improve the world of funerals, and have had a big impact on forcing the industry to behave transparently.  They know where you can find the good guys in Funeralworld.  If Poetic Endings isn't the right funeral director for you, check out the GFG's recommended funeral directors.  
     
  • The Natural Death Centre has been helping people stay informed and empowered for 22 years.  Don't let the name put you off!  Even if you think you have no interest in the world of death, the charity's three part handbook is fascinating and totally life-changing.  It opens up a world of options and is essential reading for anyone who works in the world of death and dying, or is just curious about how things can be done differently.
     
  • If you're struggling to pay for a funeral, call the no-nonsense Fiona at Quaker Social Action's Down to Earth.  She'll help you to reduce the cost of a funeral, and access government support and charitable grants.  Don't let the cost of a funeral force you into debt.  Fiona's on hand to help in a kind yet practical way.
     
  • Based in New York?  Please take a look at Amy Cunningham's new funeral service, Fitting Tribute Funerals in Brooklyn.  She's an all round proper person, running a much needed service for people who want something inspired and inspiring.  We wouldn't hesitate to use her services for our own loved ones, if we were based in New York!
     
  • If you're curious about making preparations for the end of life, follow Anna Lyons on Twitter.  She's an end-of-life doula and art lecturer, and posts informative and interesting content on issues related to death and dying.  She's a lovely and kind hearted person too.
     
  • We love the Twitter feed of Canadian documentary makers When You Die.  Their content is always straightforward, beautiful and oh so enlightening.