More than a third of funerals in the UK aren’t followed by a wake
Funeral plan expert, Perfect Choice, recently conducted a survey in the UK, polling 1,578 residents who were all over the age of 18 to discover whether the funerals that were being organised included a wake following the service. We initially asked participants if they or an immediate family member had organised a funeral within the last 5 years.
48% said no; we then asked the remaining 52% whether they had held a wake after the service. A wake is usually a gathering held by the family or close friends of the deceased where attendees of the funeral gather to celebrate the memory of their loved one, usually there is food and drink provided too.
63% of the respondents said they had held a wake, with the majority of them saying that the wake had been held at their home or in a hired venue. We than asked the remaining 37% why they had not held a wake after the funeral. (Respondents could pick all applicable answers).
The majority of respondents (63%) said it was because it had been a small funeral with only a few attendees. The next most popular response was that it was not part of the deceased’s requests (54%). We then discovered that 43% of respondents said they could not afford it. We found this especially worrying as there is a big debate at the moment surrounding funeral poverty and the problems that families face when having to organise a funeral, and often later finding themselves in debt.
The other responses were that they thought it would be too upsetting for the guests (29%) or that there was simply not enough time to organise one (20%).
So we could greater understand the issue with affordable wakes for funerals, we asked those who had said they couldn’t afford it whether they had pursued alternative avenues after the funeral. The majority said they had visited a local pub or bar to raise a glass in memory with their close friends and family. 19% said that the funeral was the end of the day and all family and friends went home to their homes, and the other 10% said that they had done something else to mark the occasion.
Unfortunately, mourning friends and family can be a potentially expensive experience which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead. A wake can be the less formal outlet for us to mourn in a reflective, yet positive way, so it is important that, where applicable, this tradition is maintained.
We are glad to see that many of those who are unable to provide something pre-arranged are still finding a means of acknowledging their nearest and dearest by raising a glass.