On Friday 5th February 2021, K.E.Rolfe Independent Family Funeral Directors (www.kerolfefuneraldirectors.co.uk) saw the first funeral to leave the premises. As the funeral director I was very nervous to carry out this duty. I have been a funeral director for many years and have conducted hundreds of funerals for bereaved families but to do the first one with my own name above the door and representing myself was a different story.
The hearse arrived at the funeral home two hours before we needed to leave. This would give Nick Dillnut of NHD Limousine & Repatriation Service time to clean the hearse so it left the funeral home as clean as possible.
The coffin was closed by myself and Nick to which we checked the identity of the deceased and the jewellery. The flowers were placed on top of the coffin as the day before the funeral Andrea from Elizabeth's Florist in Chatteris www.elizabethsflorist.co.uk placed the garland round the coffin.
The coffin was then placed onto the hearse and we was ready to go. By now my stomach felt like I had butterflies flying all round it. We arrived at the house where we were meeting the bereaved family. The son and daughter asked if they could have a moment in private with the coffin and their request was respected by myself and the hearse driver. Once the family were ready we set off again. A few of the neighbours ours nearby came out of their houses to show their respect as due to the restrictions were unable to attend the funeral service.
On arrival at Fenland Crematorium quite a few of the mourners attending the funeral service stood outside and watched the hearse drive round to the front doors. I walked in front of the hearse as its a tradition still carried out at all funeral services where applicable.
The coffin was carried into the chapel at the crematorium and the service took place with civil celebrant Peter Thompson leading the service.
At the end of the service I showed the family out to the flower gardens where they were able to speak with the mourners attending but socially distance and look at the floral tribute.
After the funeral service took place the family contacted me to say how pleased they were with how the service took p[lace and how professionally the funeral arrangements and service was dealt with.
It was a privilege and honour to look after this family and care for their loved one who they lost very suddenly.