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The Funeral Director can't arrange everything - and you have enough on your plate!

Whatever your beliefs, saying goodbye your way is important.  

If you need advice and a little bit of help, contact Dara O’Shea and Louise O’Brien at RHEA

Dara and Louise are compassionate and very competent Funeral and Memorial Co-ordinators- this is a time when others need to arrange things for you so you have the capacity to grieve!

Bob Hamilton - Irish Urns and Memorial Trees


Funeral co-ordinators such as RHEA, take care of all the additional jobs and tasks that people often don’t realise form part of a funeral.

A recent survey of funeral directors, conducted by Dr Natalie Roche and reported on in Irish media by Lynne Kelleher, has described new trends among funerals as “crazy” with some funeral directors expected to cover a range of extra tasks requested by customers.

The survey findings identify a greater need among the public for a wider range of services, additional support and more personalised choices when they find themselves organising a funeral and perhaps these changes reported by funeral directors, point to a need for additional support for the family.

Funerals, taking place as they do so quickly in Ireland, tend to be short, intensely busy and stressful periods, however at RHEA we believe a funeral need not lack the personal meaning we have come to expect from other milestone events.


Funeral Director / Funeral Co-ordinator – what’s the difference?

The central role of a funeral director is to compassionately look after the person who has died and this involves considerable work in preparing them for their funeral and burial or cremation. This essential, private work must be done by the professional undertaker in the short few days following a death; they may not be able to attend to the many other tasks and concerns that fall on a family and their household at this difficult time. A grieving family are likely to be focused on ensuring a personalised funeral that truly honours the person at the centre, gathering friends and family together to remember.  A significant burden of organisational tasks accompanies this.  

Funeral co-ordinators such as RHEA, take care of the all the additional jobs and tasks that people often don’t realise form part of a funeral.  This can be anything from helping with carefully chosen music pieces and particular types of music or musicians, readings and ceremonial aspects, gifts and momentos, rituals or that unique Cremation Urn.  Outside of the funeral itself, support can be in the form of helping organise the gathering together of friends and family in remembrance by organising catering, looking after guests to the house, or after the funeral ceremony, making travel and accommodation arrangements for those travelling long distances and any imaginable little detail during those days. Their job is to do that extra work behind the scenes, to allow those in mourning to support each other, relieved of the stress of to-do lists and numerous phone calls so they can arrive at the funeral ready to say goodbye, without having to juggle and manage their way through various jobs on the day.

Growing trend for non-religious funerals

At the moment, 15% of funerals conducted in Ireland are not religious ceremonies and we expect, that, like other life milestones such as weddings and the arrival and naming of children, we will see greater numbers of people opt for customised ceremonies and events that honour their beliefs and the lives they live.  Over the coming years, we will see a growing need for a wider variety of services, as more people move away from the traditional church funeral. This will bring significant changes to the funeral industry and we are pleased to be at the forefront of serving bereaved people at a time when they have many questions and difficult decisions to make. 


Whatever your beliefs, saying goodbye your way is important.

Regardless of whether someone chooses a religious service or a secular ceremony, the wish to personalise the occasion and seek support with arrangements, for example, the family may prefer a very special Urn that the funeral director simply doesn't stock,and the family doesn't have the time or emotional capacity to find it. Help with these types of needs can mean that those in mourning can draw great comfort in their bereavement, in the months and years after the funeral itself, as they look back on the meaningful choices they made to honour their lost loved one.

Undoubtedly, funeral directors provide an essential service to the public, no more so than over the past 2 years. Perhaps, given the changing demands from the public reported by funeral directors, we are beginning to move forward to new forms in Irish funerals which can facilitate a more personalised approach with the help of a funeral coordination service, while allowing the funeral directors to continue to look after the person who has died with the specialist care and compassion required.

Article provided by RHEA at the request of Bob Hamilton - Irish Urns and Memorial Trees

Water scattering

A dignified way to say goodbye.

At Irish Urn[2] s, we wanted to create a sustainable business where we can do our part in the environmental emergency - The Sea Scattering urn which is a fully biodegradable urn. The Water Scattering Urn is designed to allow families to scatter the ashes of a loved one in a water burial in the ocean, river, lake, or beach with dignity and ease. The Water Urn comes packaged in a beautiful bamboo case, which serves to protect the water urn while it is stored and/or transported.

Once the Water Urn is placed in the water, it will float upright with the top portion easily visible above the water. The proprietary urn is designed to float like an upright buoy for up to a few minutes (time depends on the weight and water conditions) after which the bottom portion submerged in water will begin to dissolve and release the cremated remains, freeing them to spread underwater.  The remaining top portion may continue to be visible for a short time before sinking and dissolving out of sight.

The Water Urn [4] is completely unique and has some strong advantages compared with other biodegradable urns for water burials, other biodegradable urns used in burial at sea, and other options for scattering remains in the water. it is shaped like a buoy and floats upright and is made from a special biodegradable material. The shape, design, and special biodegradable and all-natural composition, made from plant-derived materials, is completely unique and important for performance. These factors enable the Water burial urn to float in a controlled manner and be visible to the family for a short period before breaking down and completely releasing and freeing the ashes in the water.

As a result, families can expect a smooth ceremony and predictable performance. The shape and special material are the keys as the weight distribution allows the urn to float for one to two minutes after which the bottom will fall out releasing and completely freeing the cremated remains. Shortly thereafter, the top will break apart and sink.  This gives families control and comfort knowing the ceremony will be beautiful and dignified.

The other products available for water burials are shaped so that the weight of the cremated remains is distributed and spread out across a large surface area and as a result, the urn takes a longer time period to break down which can make it a challenge for the family to know what to expect.  It is not ideal to not know how long the urn will float and this can result in uncomfortable and awkward situations.

Some other options like the sand urn and the salt urn will quickly sink and take a long time to biodegrade and release the cremated remains. Another feature of the Water Urn is that families can write special notes to their loved ones on the urn with a regular marker. This is something that has become very popular with families. The water urn also comes in a beautiful bamboo urn case which makes it easy, convenient, and safe to transport the Water Urn to the water burial site.

One company, Carlingford Lough Sea Tours help families scatter ashes in the most beautiful of settings - Carlingford Lough, and you can arrange boat hire for a group or a family to attend the Sea Scattering ceremony. You can contact Paddy or Marie by email - info@carlingfordseatours.com