On the 25th of July 2016 we received a phone call to inform us of the passing of a gentleman Geoff Thomas at his home. Who had been ill for a while and finally took his last breath in the comfort of his own home. We receive calls like this often…this one was different. Something in the tone of David’s voice suggested when he first met with the family this was not to be a traditional funeral.

Geoff has made his wishes clear to his family. He wanted an eco-friendly woodland.

We really endeavor in making sure someone’s last wishes are followed to the finest detail. When talking through the details with ourselves, the family shared their worries and concerns with regards to planning the logistics of the day of the funeral and the care and attention that Geoff would need. They soon realised the extent of the task in hand. The reason became clear as to why you need a trained professional funeral director to help advise, support, arrange and carry out your loved one’s wishes. There is a certain level of skilled work that goes into care of a family’s loved one and preparation for a funeral.

We took our time with the family, something that they really appreciated, nurtured each of their thoughts and guided them to help make Geoff’s wishes a reality. This reassured them that we are a funeral director that care for them and are here for them.

As a huge cricket fan Geoff had a coffin covered in a cricket pitch, wicket, ball and scoreboard – this was a must. It didn’t seem appropriate to have a traditional hearse for Geoff as it was not in-keeping with his eco-friendly woodland burial. We offered the family the use of our Land Rover Hearse and they thought this would be a great tribute to Geoff’s memory. Sometimes, it’s the small details which really make the difference.

A small service was held at Geoff’s home with close family and friends in attendance, all of course wearing cricket outfits. We arrived in the Land Rover at the family home, to be greeted by what seemed like a full cricket team.

In cortege we made our way to the woodland burial site in Eastham. We had the Anderson team waiting as we arrived ready in all white cricket jumpers. We had set up a cricket pitch alongside the unused field, something which the family really appreciated. The cricket theme tune played in the back ground, with family members gathering around the grave side. We played ‘Time to say goodbye’ as the coffin was gently lowered. A fitting poem read, roses and cricket memorabilia placed with Geoff and a final piece of music ‘The Chain’ which is used by the BBC for the Formula One Theme tune, another of Geoff’s great loves in life. A great chance for the family to gather their thoughts and say their last goodbyes.

We would like to thank Geoff’s family for allowing us to share his story, as well as to use the photographs in this blog. They wish to let other people know that anything is possible when it comes to the final arrangements for your loved one, no request too unusual or achievable. Just so long as you choose the right funeral directors for you.