Writing your story to be read when the time comes

Living Eulogy

Our Specialist Living Eulogy Services (also known as "Living Funerals") are designed with unparalleled support and flexibility. Whether you want to plan your whole funeral in advance, or have a pre-paid funeral plan, here at Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors we offer more. Working with you capturing your life story that you wish to be retold when the time comes during your funeral ceremony or during a celebration of your life. Popular for people who want to be prepared, living with a terminal diagnosis or at end of life.

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services - Somerset's female led funeral director

Living Eulogy - Your Story Retold

Advance funeral planning is becoming more popular today, making arrangements for the type of funeral you want removing the need for those left behind to make those important decisions.

We at Amanda-Louise Funeral Services are a compassionate and experienced funeral directors, based in Minehead supporting families across Somerset and Devon, offering genuine support, choice and value. As modern funeral services, we understand everyone has different needs. So our holistic and fresh approach to funeral planning sets us apart from other funeral director services.

Not only do we support families to plan traditional, alternative and green funerals whilst looking after their loved one once they have died, we at Amanda-Louise's help individuals while they are alive, not only to plan for the type of funeral they want when the time comes, and by offering pre-paid funeral plans paying for the funeral in advance. But we go further.....

We can support individuals to record their life story (this is known as a "living eulogy" or "living funeral") to be read when the time comes, perhaps during their funeral ceremony or during a celebration of life (very popular with a direct cremation). Families tell us that this service was empowering and uplifting experience. Read below to find out more....

Your Memory Book Of Life

Capturing your life story so that it can be retold at your funeral is a very meaningful thing to do. It enables you to think about your life, what bits you want said within your eulogy spoken at your funeral service, and it can be updated as you journey through your life.

But its not an obituary. Its a mixture of a biography of your life history, elements of your autobiography and your memoirs as a collection of memories that are important to you. So it doesnt need to capture every detail from the moment you were born, but it will contain the precious moments you want to share.  

Lets Together Create Your Living Eulogy

"Hello, Im Amanda-Louise a compassionate Funeral Director and also a professional qualified Celebrant. It would be honour to support you. Heard the phrase 'heard it from the horses mouth'? Well thats what I offer - I meet with you to listen to your memories, as a trained creative writer I then write this along you, with sense checking it, and provide you with a professional script as your Living Eulogy document for your safe keeping.

I will keep a copy too, so when the time comes, I can either have it to hand when you wish me to conduct your funeral service and ceremony, or can pass it onto whoever you choose to read it on your behalf.

Your Life Story Unfolds

You may wish to have a contract with terms scheduling in with me to review your Living Eulogy every few years or so, to either slightly edit your Living Eulogy or completely update it.

Or, you may wish to opt for me to write your whole funeral ceremony while you are alive, choosing the format, any readings, poems, or prayers, the music you adore, even down to whether you want the curtains to be closed or left open (if its a cremation) and so on."

Expected Costs

This service is for the person planning their own funeral - whether it is imminent or just a future plan (much like writing a Will is prepared in advance). Typical fee is from £200-£250

Are you Ready For Us To Write Your Story?

Why stop at planning in advance whether you want to be buried or cremated, when you can now advance plan your funeral ceremony too? We help you to do this.

Contact Us Today To Write the First Page of Your Story....

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What to expect from us
The enduring strength of women

We care for you and your family

As your Lady Funeral Directors, Amanda-Louise can meet you in the comfort of your own home, or in our peaceful office, or via video call if you'd prefer. We will never tell you how 'things should be done', or rush you, but support you to understand and consider your choices, so that you can decide what is right for you and your family and friends.

We will listen to you, and can help you plan a funeral ceremony. We'll respect your personal beliefs, values and culture and ensure your requirements, and those of the person that has died, are reflected in the funeral. You may prefer a religious funeral, a more secular service or might want to include a number of different religious and spiritual perspectives within the same service.

We can help you to reflect on the life of the person who has died and enable you to create some positive memories to support you at a time when people can often feel sad and alone. We can support you to have a farewell that you desire - so we will support you to understand the wide range of options such as visual, musical, floral, donations, readings/poems for example, as well as organising venue and/or hospitality for your after funeral wake or reception, if you wish.

Importantly, we will be flexible to your needs and wishes and give you our time to help put your ideas into action. You can take as much control as you like. We are able to support families from across Somerset or Devon, are not regionally restricted, we can help you create an event at a time and place that is best for you.

Amanda-Louise Funeral Director, can also personally deliver a heartfelt celebrant led service on your behalf should you wish, or we can recommend other talented professional ceremony leaders including religious ministers, celebrants and humanists.

We work hard to support the wellbeing of every family we support (adults and children).We can also provide a wealth of practical bereavement information for adults and children, and we'll ensure the funeral is meaningful for you, which helps in coming to terms with loss too.

We care for the person who has died

In our care you have trusted us to look after your loved one and we take enormous pride in treating people with respect and dignity. From the very moment the person who has died comes into our care, to the moment they leave, we will treat them with compassion, kindness and consideration. We see this as part of the cycle of life

We reach out and support people from 15 to 50+ miles away from us, as we safely transfer the deceased into our facilities. We'll care for the person entrusted into our funeral home with compassion and dignity, and treat everyone as guests in our home. Or we can assist if you prefer the deceased to remain at home or liaise with a repatriation company for deaths abroad.

We provide a comprehensive range of coffins in different materials, including coffin accessories to suit all tastes. This is a very personal choice, so we happily talk about them or can show you the differences.

We can provide the ability for family to spend time with their loved one, and to change clothing if this is important to you. Plus you can be involved in as little or as much of their care as you desire. We will gently prepare them for their funeral following your wishes including hairstyles or makeup, and whilst we do not routinely embalm we can provide this if you desire. We’ll take great care of any person effects, and give them to you ,or they will remain with the person Plus we can arrange for your items to be placed in the coffin if you wish.

We can even support you to keep your loved one at home right up until their funeral if you wish.

On the day of the funeral

We understand that attention to detail is really important, from considering the way people enter the service to carefully calculating the journey time.

We can provide our professional pallbearers to convey the coffin. We can help you bear the coffin if that's important to you. We can arrange special routes to the funeral if you wish, or alternative hearses and limousines.

We can arrange to collect family from railway station or airport if helpful.

Some families prefer not to hold the funeral ceremony at a crematorium chapel or in church, so we can support you to have a service in a chosen hotel, hall or alternative venue that is meaningful to you.

Amanda-Louise will be by your side giving you that reassuring presence ensuring everything is going to plan smoothly, and we leave when you are ready for us to go. We can also provide attendance cards so you know who has attended the funeral ceremony service.

After the funeral

We remain connected should you need us. If we collected donations, we will provide you with audit trail so you know they have been forwarded to the relevant people, organisation or charity. We'll collect ashes if that's helpful & deliver them to you. We can arrange for you to scatter them or preserve them if you wish.

We will have spoken to you about the arrangements of the funeral flowers and carried out those wishes. And if required, we can organise graves and headstones to be put in place at a suitable time after a burial or ashes placed.

And we welcome you to stay in touch. Often our clients pop in to talk about how life is treating them, or to attend one of our coffee afternoons as life can be isolating at times following the loss of a loved one. Our kettle is always on, likely biscuits too. Rest assured, we will never stop caring - here for you whenever you need us, wherever you are.

Do you need more help?

"We all felt totally safe opening our hearts to Amanda-Louise and were so impressed in the skills and empathy she has to understand how we all felt."

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Living Funeral Services

Our frequently asked questions to guide you

Can a Member of our Family read a Eulogy?

Yes of course. You don’t need to have a professional ceremony leader, and even if you do have one, sometimes a family or friend stands up to read their written eulogy. We have had military personnel get up too to share words in honour.

Dear Amanda, our deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to you for the lovely service you gave for our Mum/Sister and Nan Myra. Although a day of sorrow for all the family and friends, you helped the day pass with an air of smooth tranquillity and sincere friendship. thank you Amanda, Dawn and Carol

Dawn

Dear Amanda-Louise, I am writing this card to say a HUGE thank you for all your help and expertise, that I found so helpful while organising my son's funeral service. It was so comforting to have you by my side along that path, and it was wonderful having you conduct the service on the day. You were so calm and professional, and gave me the strength to get through it. I would not have the slightest hesitation in recommending you and your services. thank you! Warmest regards Sally

Sally Priddy

Thank you for your pack with Dad's service details. It was presented brilliantly and was great to read over. Thank you again for your touch on things. Unfortunately, you are someone I hope not to see again in the near future, but if I do, I know the ceremony is in the best of hands’

Dean W

‘I just wanted to thank you for dad’s funeral. It was presented so beautifully and the personal letters to us all was a really thoughtful touch. I know Mum is grateful too, she thought you did a wonderful job celebrating Dad’s remarkable life. He truly was one of life’s funny and happy people. In addition, your support and gentle manner on the day of Dad’s funeral hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Thank you for introducing yourself to my son….and offering him some reassuring words as well as noticing the scarf he was wearing for his Grandad.’

Donna W

"I used Amanda-Louise Funeral Services for the funeral of my husband, & I'm so pleased that I did. What an amazing lady she is. From the very first phone call right up until after the funeral, her care for me & my family was wonderful. So much love & compassion was shown to all of us. The service & everything connected to this, was of the highest standard. I highly recommend her services." Linda Baker (Small Cars, Big Hearts)

Linda Baker

"I selected Amanda-Louise because I wanted someone that could provide a funeral service tailored to the requirements that my family had in mind. Experience has shown that Amanda-Louise has certain delivered everything that we asked for and has been extremely supportive at time that has been difficult for us. I would highly recommend Amanda-Louise." Adrian Naude

Adrian Naude

'Amanda-Louise is a wonderful person, who helped us say good bye to our Dad in a personalised and positive way, for which we will be forever grateful.'

Anna Lienka

'Amanda gave us as a family, the service we wanted and that my dad would have been very happy with and arranging to have him brought back to Northern Ireland with us and accompanying him on his final journey . Nothing was too much trouble for Amanda and she is a very kind and understanding lady.'

Rachelle Coggins

'Amanda had the difficult job of creating a beautiful ceremony that brought together many different parts of our lost loved one’s life. She rung up and spoke to each sibling to get stories and details needed for the ceremony. I never felt more at ease knowing she was here for the funeral. What she came up with was beautiful and she treated my dad with the utmost respect and honour. She made a bad day manageable, and it was simply beautiful.'

Mrs P Potts

‘I wanted to say how lovely the service was. I loved what you said, and it was just right for Dad. You were so professional, considerate, and caring and both me and Mum felt looked after.’

Heather H

I'm so glad we met you Amanda, we all talk about how smoothly it flowed. I think your right Dad would of been proud of us all. Thank you for your services, Ian :)

Ian Mitcham

"Using Amanda Louise for our father's funeral arrangements has been a seamless stressless procedure. Amanda Louise from the very first meeting when I popped into her establishment in Minehead was warm, welcoming and kind at a really difficult time in our lives. After a cup of tea and biscuits plans were made for our father to have a simple cremation but Amanda Louise reassured us that our father would be treated with the utmost respect and kindness from being collected from Minehead hospital where he passed away at 92 after a short illness to being taken to Taunton crematorium for his little service where his favourite music was played and a little bunch of roses from our garden were placed on his coffin all overseen personally by Amanda Louise and her kind assistant. I cannot praise this business enough where at all times we were gently guided throughout the difficult time of saying goodbye to our loved one. More tea and biscuits are on offer if we need a kind shoulder to lean on with the care and compassion that Amanda Louise and her team offer going into the future. Thank you so much Amanda Louise xxx"

Iris Larbey

What a wonder lady, Amanda-louise was excellent at creating just the right service for my dear fathers funeral. She is sensitive, adaptable and has a lovely sense of humour. You will not regret using her. Sue x”

Sue Babey

'Amanda-Louise is an amazing positive and kind lady who has gone above and beyond my expectations of a funeral director. Particularly as my husband chose a direct cremation (unattended) yet I was able to have a local, personalised cremation, with me making my own floral tribute along with other personalised touches, that I don't believe a large organisation (TV advertised) would be able to do for you . She gave me a lot of time, care and attention to detail, with practical and emotional support as well. I would highly recommend this caring respectful and professional funeral service.'

Carol Coutts

'Amanda Louise helped with all the practical details of organising my father's funeral. She really listened to what we wanted and helped us design a service that was a personal reflection of his personality and his relationships. She mixes great organisational skills, getting things done behind the scenes, with practical and emotional support. Amanda-Louise ensured everything ran smoothly and was always available for questions and support and her role of celebrant on the day played a big part in making the service something to reflect on with pride and fondness.'

Amanda M

‘I cannot praise Amanda enough. Clearly professional in her role she brought direction and comfort in equal measure, and yes, some humour to a very special Celebration of Life. A separate session with the young children attending gave them a role in the proceedings and an understanding of the meaning of the meeting. I recommend her services for any celebration, happy or sad.’

Dudley P

'I’ve met Amanda on two occasions two years in a row now for both my grandparents funeral. I can say our family felt in such great hands and so looked after by Amanda. She listened to what we’d like as a family as well as taking the time to get to know our loved ones we were saying goodbye to! Our family is forever grateful for her services and are so thankful to her.'

Abi Wong

‘A friend recommended Amanda-Louise…at my mother’s funeral. Like most people in my position, I found the prospect of organising not only a funeral but my own mother’s funeral during Covid19 times. But Amanda-Louise was absolutely amazing. She was so caring, compassionate, understanding and most of all friendly. She listened intently to the type of funeral service we required (I didn’t know there were so many options), made notes, asked questions to get to know not only us but my mother too – consequently offered suggestions. The result was amazing if you could say a funeral was perfect – this was genuinely it. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to Amanda – Louise’s professional and compassionate approach to a very emotional event. Whatever the event if I could employ Amanda-Louise again I would have no hesitation whatsoever.’

Julie

Dear Amanda, just a note to say a huge thank you for all your support and the wonderful service you conducted in honour of my Mum. I cant think of anyone better to conduct the service and Im so proud to call you my trusted friend, along with knowing it was Mum's choice to have you here today - she knew what you had supported with me in the past, and knows you always give sound advice. Thank you once again for everything, love Sharon x

Sharon Hilleard

'Finding a funeral director is not something I’ve ever wanted to do because the death of a loved one becomes VERY real. I searched around my local area and all I could see were ‘traditional’ websites with not a lot on them. Owning a website myself, I know how important it is to give as much detail as possible..Amanda-Louise has absolutely done this. Her website is welcoming and full of information. My initial in-person meeting with her was fantastic! Amanda-Louise made me feel so comfortable and her office is very calming and not ‘traditional’ in any way which I think is a great credit to her and her business. From beginning to the sad end, (and beyond!) Amanda-Louise has been with myself and my family through the whole process and no question or suggestion is any trouble. She goes above and beyond for her clients and I’m so incredibly happy we chose her to arrange everything. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else and although I don’t want to think about another death in my family..Amanda-Louise will be my ‘go to’ for any I will need in the future ❤️'

Calley Owen

Thank you Amanda for looking after my close friend and her partner’s funeral. You were so professional, caring and lovely from the moment we spoke on the phone to the day of the funeral. I knew they were in safe hands with you. Everything you did was what they wished for. We can not thank you enough. Sharon (Admin) Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors

Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors

'At a time when as a family we were in the depths of sorrow at our loss Amanda - Louise arrived. It was as if the weight of trying to make sure that my husband’s life was remembered and honoured was completely understood by Amanda and we all relaxed. Our memories were brought to life in the service and I found it such a comfort. We all felt totally safe opening our hearts to her and were so impressed in the skills she has and empathy she has to understand how we all felt.'

Claire W

‘Beautiful service for my late husband John. Amanda did him proud, she took the service with feeling and respect. Thank you Amanda.’‍

Pippa B

‘You have been so helpful during this whole process and I would recommend you and your services to everyone’

Lynn M

‘Amanda-Louise was from the outset very friendly, caring and thoughtful. Such a good service provided to us in our time of grief and the service was more than we than we could have expected. I feel like I have known her for years and that if I ever need to talk she will be there for me.’

Lesley W

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"Dedicated to giving you the funeral you deserve & want"

A message from Amanda-Louise

"With my vision on providing wrap-around-care from start to finish. Our team are here to help you with every aspect of planning and organising your funeral needs from the preparation of the body to events and memorial services, I will be with you every step of the way"