Coping with grief on Valentine’s Day

For many, Valentine’s Day is a time to express their love for one another and spend time together. But for those who’ve lost their significant other, Valentine’s Day can be an especially painful time.

The Valentine’s theme is found everywhere from shops to social media and television. It’s hard to avoid, but there are ways to get through it. Here’s our guide to coping with loss on Valentine’s Day.

Give yourself permission to feel sad

Grieving is highly personal. How you do it depends on you – especially on days like Valentine’s Day, which can remind you of your loved one. The important thing is that you allow yourself to do what feels right – whether that’s embracing your feelings of sadness or enjoying the day in your loved one’s honour. Whichever way you decide to mark the occasion, or if you decide to ignore it altogether, how you spend the day should depend on what is right for you.

Talk to someone

Valentine’s Day can be an isolating and lonely time if you’ve recently lost someone. But remember, you are not alone. 14 February is a date that sparks feelings of anxiousness in many people who’ve lost loved ones. Speaking to friends and family about how you’re feeling may help, while some find it easier to talk to someone impartial like a counsellor or a support group.

Do whatever is right for you

Over the years, it’s common for couples to develop Valentine’s Day traditions. Continuing these can seem a fitting way to mark the occasion, but keeping these traditions could make you feel their absence even more, which could intensify your feelings of sadness.

Why not consider starting an alternative tradition? Something you can do in memory of your loved one every year. It could be anything from reminiscing over photos to cooking their favourite meal and enjoying it with family and friends.

If you prefer something a little more creative, you could write a poem or create a piece of art that expresses your feelings. This is a great way to divert your attention and occupy your mind.

You could even just do nothing. Book the day off work and have a peaceful day at home. With no pressure to do anything or see anyone, this can be your time to rest and relax.

Put your wellbeing first

If you choose to go out and do something – whether it’s dinner with friends or another activity – you shouldn’t feel pressured to be upbeat and sociable. Grieving is always difficult, and even little things can have an emotional impact.

You may wish to take the day off to do something for yourself like going for a walk somewhere, going to the cinema with a friend or whatever else you choose.

Avoid social media

You may wish to avoid your social media channels completely on Valentine’s Day. Seeing pictures of happy couples, flowers, engagements, etc. can trigger feelings of sadness, and be quite overwhelming.

Spend time with your loved ones

Valentine’s Day can exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness. The day has now been transformed into a celebration of romantic love but this, of course, doesn’t have to be the case. Plan to spend time with your closest friends or family, celebrating the love that is around you today. Doing activities to take your mind off the loss of a loved one will help with the grieving process. Taking the time to do what you want with Valentine’s Day is a great recourse to what can be an upsetting occasion.

Be your own valentine

This is a day when it’s important to practice self-love and to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel a full range of emotions without shame. Accept that Valentine’s Day will bring many different feelings that you can’t control and give yourself space to process your emotions.

For more support following the death of a loved one, there are many organisations that can help. Find out more about bereavement support.

Navigating Funeral Cars

Funeral directors play a crucial role in providing compassionate and professional services to grieving families during difficult times. One aspect that often requires careful consideration is the choice of funeral vehicles, such as hearses and family vehicles. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of funeral cars and address frequently asked questions.

Funeral cars are not just a mode of transportation; they symbolise respect, dignity, and the final journey of a loved one. A well-chosen hearse can provide solace and contribute to the overall atmosphere of a funeral, creating a meaningful experience for the bereaved.

Some of the most frequently asked questions for Funeral Directors are:

What Types of Funeral Cars Are Available?
A. W. Bryant offers a selection of modern hearses and family vehicles to accommodate various preferences. We can also choose from a selection of other vehicles and modes of transport including horse drawn carriages, tractors, motorcycles and even walking funerals, ensuring that the vehicle aligns with the family’s vision for the service.

Will chauffeur driven limousines be required?
We can provide transport for mourners attending the funeral. This can relieve the stress of making your own travel arrangements and overcome issues of parking.

Where will the cortege leave from?
Would you like to follow the hearse from your home, or do you wish to meet the hearse at the location of the funeral all of these are possible and we will help you decide what’s best for you.

Will it take a special route?
Perhaps there is a favourite landmark that you would like the cortege to pass or even stop at. We can personalise the route to the funeral making it memorable and special.

Funeral directors play a pivotal role in shaping the final farewell for a departed loved one. Here at A. W. Bryant our commitment to providing well-maintained, customisable funeral cars reflects our dedication to supporting funeral directors in creating meaningful and personalised experiences for our families.

How to register a death

Losing a loved one is a difficult time for all and there are a number of things you have to think about. During this blog we can help to explain the procedure involved in registering a death.

Registering a death takes place prior to the funeral and is normally carried out by a relative. However, if no relative is available then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place, or the person accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral. It will be necessary to arrange an appointment with the Registrar.

The Registrar will require information about the person, including:
• Date and place of death
• Full name
• Date and place of birth
• Occupation
• Home address
• If they were in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
• If applicable, the date of birth of the surviving spouse

The Registrar will also require the following documents:
• The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
• Their National Health Service medical card (if available)
• Their Birth Certificate
• Their Marriage Certificate (if applicable)

The Registrar will issue a green certificate for burial or cremation (a white certificate of registration of death in Scotland), which is required by us prior to the funeral.
Certified copies of the entry of death can be obtained for a small charge – these may be needed for legal or financial purposes.

We have produced a guide to the registration process including the contact details of the most local registration offices. Please collect your copy from one of our offices when you meet with your funeral director or download one here.

What is a memorial service?

There is often confusion on difference between a memorial service and a funeral service, one is a service with the purpose of honouring a life with their loved one present, whereas a memorial service is an event that takes place when a loved one is not present.

Today we are sharing in more detail the differences and what you can expect in the differing services held when a loved one passes away.

What is a memorial service?

Although memorial services are very similar to funerals, they are usually the go to service organised when the body of your loved one is not able to be present. These kinds of services usually take place when your loved one has already been buried or cremated therefore, the service doesn’t have to align with the time restrictions that are in place when a loved one still needs to be laid to rest, this particular type of service offers extra flexibility and more time when needed to plan a service.

Memorial services also don’t need to take place in any particular location, giving the families of the loved ones the freedom to select any location they desire, which could be somewhere sentimental to the loved one who has passed away or simply a more convenient location like a park, or local community centre.

There are several different types of commemoration events that families and friends hold when somebody passes away, a few of these are outlined below.

Celebration of life

This celebration can be held at any time, and usually takes place to mark a milestone so a year without a loved one or a birthday, giving family and friends the opportunity to come together in any setting to celebrate the life of their loved one.


Also known as a burial or graveside service, this is a small service held wherever your loved one is being finally laid to rest after a funeral, and allows family and friends to say their final goodbyes or make last sentiments in speeches beside the grave. Often people add items of sentiment to the grave on top of the coffin or throwing in a handful of dirt, which is a tradition for many.


A wake is a very common service that usually follows a funeral or memorial service, that allows people to come together to share their grief and spend time with people who knew and loved the person that has passed away. It is often an opportunity for everyone who attended the funeral to sit down with food and drink with their family and friends to reflect on the funeral and share memories of their loved ones.

Embracing simplicity:

Exploring the Benefits of Direct Cremation

Losing a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience, and amidst the grief, making funeral arrangements can be overwhelming.

In recent years, direct cremation has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional funeral services. We understand the evolving needs and desires of families during difficult times and offer direct cremation as a compassionate and dignified option. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of direct cremation and explore its many benefits.

What is direct cremation?

Direct cremation is a simple and cost-effective method of handling a loved one, however, this does not mean that any corners have been cut, or that the care provided to you and your loved one falls short of our usual high standards.

Unlike traditional funeral services, direct cremation bypasses the ceremonial aspects and focuses solely on the cremation process which means you can say goodbye in your own way. Many families choose to hold a separate special event or celebration to honour the life of their loved one.

Your loved one is respectfully transported into our care in Bude, Camelford or Holsworthy and then on to a crematorium, where it is cremated without a formal funeral or viewing beforehand unless arranged.

Is a direct cremation for you?

A simple cremation without a ceremony is a good idea if you’re wanting to save costs or want to avoid the formality of a funeral service. They are also a good option if the person who passed away didn’t want a lot of fuss. Below are a list of some of the different ways in which a direct cremation may be the best option for you and your loved one.

Simplicity and Convenience:
Direct cremation offers a streamlined and hassle-free process. Families can avoid the complexities associated with traditional funerals, such as coordinating viewings, scheduling religious or cultural ceremonies, and arranging for transportation of the body. This simplicity can provide a sense of relief during an already stressful time.

Funeral expenses can quickly add up, often placing an additional burden on grieving families. Direct cremation is an affordable alternative that eliminates many of the costs associated with traditional funeral services. By forgoing embalming, casket selection, and elaborate funeral ceremonies, families can save a significant amount of money while still honouring their loved one’s memory.

Flexibility and Personalisation:
Direct cremation allows families the freedom to plan memorial services or celebrations of life at a later date, providing ample time for grieving and making arrangements that truly reflect their loved one’s wishes and personality. This flexibility allows for personalised tributes that can be tailored to honour their life and bring comfort to those left behind.

Environmental Considerations:
In an era where sustainability is increasingly valued, direct cremation aligns with eco-conscious principles. Unlike traditional burials that require land and resources, cremation offers a more environmentally friendly alternative. With direct cremation, families can choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes in a meaningful location or opt for eco-friendly options like biodegradable urns, contributing to the preservation of the planet.

Emotional Closure:
Direct cremation enables families to focus on the emotional healing process without the immediate pressure of planning a funeral. It allows them to come to terms with their loss at their own pace and design a memorial that truly reflects their loved one’s life and legacy. This can help facilitate a more meaningful and personalised grieving experience.

Is a green funeral right for me or my loved one?

A green funeral may be right for you or your loved ones if you prefer an environmentally conscious funeral, a nature-focused service, or a non-religious service – or all three.

Many people prefer green funerals because they like the idea of a body returning to the earth and of planting a tree or flowers in memory of a loved one.

It’s also worth noting that a green funeral takes place in burial grounds that are designed to look as much like natural woodland as possible,. While your loved one’s exact burial location may be difficult to locate, many people consider the entire green space to be a memorial.

We recognise the importance of providing families with choices that suit their individual needs and circumstances. Direct cremation offers simplicity, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and environmental considerations while still honouring the memory of the departed. By embracing direct cremation, families can find solace in knowing they have chosen a dignified and compassionate option during their time of grief.

Renewing Hope: Coping with Grief in Springtime

Renewing Hope: Coping with grief in Springtime

Coping with grief is never easy, and it can be especially challenging during certain times of the year. Springtime is a season of renewal and new beginnings, which can make it difficult for those who are experiencing grief to navigate their emotions. However, there are steps that can be taken to help cope with grief during this time.

The healing power of nature

One of the first things that can be done is to embrace the renewal of life. While it may be difficult, taking the time to appreciate the beauty of spring can be helpful. This could involve planting a garden, taking a walk by the sea, or simply taking in the beauty of the blooming flowers. Embracing the newness around you can help to shift your focus away from your grief and towards the positive things in life.

Here’s 5 ways nature can help in the healing process:

  • Exposure to natural light and fresh air can help to boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Engaging in physical activity, such as taking a walk or doing some light gardening, can help to release endorphins and improve overall well-being.
  • The beauty of nature can provide a sense of peace and comfort and can serve as a reminder of the cyclical nature of life.
  • Spending time in nature can help to foster a sense of connection to something larger than oneself, which can be helpful when coping with feelings of loss and grief.
  • Nature can also provide a sense of mindfulness and present-moment awareness, which can be a helpful tool for managing difficult emotions.

Self-care activities for managing grief

Another important step to take when coping with grief is to practice self-care. Grief can take a toll on our mental and physical health, so it’s important to make time for activities that help to promote well-being. This could include meditation, exercise, or journaling. Taking the time to care for yourself can help to manage feelings of grief and promote healing.

Seeking support when coping with grief

Seeking support is also crucial when coping with grief. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s talking to a friend, joining a support group, or seeking the help of a therapist, having a safe space to express your feelings and share your experience can be incredibly helpful. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this experience alone.

Create a meaningful springtime tradition

Creating new traditions in memory of your loved one is another way to deal with grief during springtime. By creating new traditions, you can keep the memory of your loved one alive and find ways to celebrate their life. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • Hold a remembrance picnic: Invite family and friends to get together for a springtime picnic in memory of your loved one. You can bring their favourite foods and drinks, and share stories and memories of your time together.
  • Visit a special place: Take a springtime trip to a place that held special meaning for your loved one, such as a favourite hiking trail, beach, or park. Take some time to reflect on their memory and the time you spent together.
  • Donate to a cause: Make a donation to a cause that was important to your loved one. This could be a charity, a conservation effort, or a community organisation that your loved one supported.
  • Host a candlelight ceremony: Invite family and friends to get together at sunset for a candlelight ceremony in memory of your loved one. Light candles and share stories and memories of your loved one as you honour their memory.
  • Create a memory box: Fill a special box with mementos, photos, and other items that remind you of your loved one. Decorate the box with springtime themes, such as flowers or butterflies, and take time to reflect on the memories as you add items to the box each year.

Shifting focus from loss to memories

When a loved one passes away, it can be easy to get caught up in the sadness and grief of their loss. However, celebrating their life can be a powerful way to shift your focus towards the positive memories and impact they had on your life. By remembering and honouring their life, you can keep their memory alive and continue to feel their presence even though they are no longer with you physically.

Write a letter

One way to celebrate your loved one’s life is by writing them a letter. This can be a powerful way to express your thoughts and feelings, and to share with them the impact they had on your life. You can write about your favourite memories, the things you miss the most, and the things you are grateful for. Writing a letter can be a therapeutic way to express your emotions and feelings and can help you feel more connected to your loved one even though they are no longer with you.

Share stories and memories

Another way to celebrate your loved one’s life is by asking family and friends to share stories and memories. This can be a wonderful way to come together and remember your loved one, and to share in the joy of the memories you have. You can ask each person to share a favourite memory or story, and you can create a space where everyone can feel comfortable expressing their emotions and feelings. This can be a beautiful way to honour your loved one and to connect with others who are also grieving their loss.

Everyone grieves differently

It’s important to remember that everyone grieves differently, and there is no one right way to celebrate your loved one’s life. The key is to find a way that feels meaningful and authentic to you, and that allows you to honour the memory of your loved one in a way that feels right. By celebrating their life and focusing on the positive memories and impact they had, you can find comfort and healing in the midst of your grief.

Finding a sense of purpose

Finding meaning in loss is another way to manage coping with grief during springtime. It’s common to question the meaning of life when experiencing grief, but it’s important to find a sense of purpose in your loss. This could involve volunteering or giving back to the community in your loved one’s honour. By finding a sense of purpose, you can begin to shift your focus towards something positive and meaningful.

The importance of patience and self-compassion

Finally, it’s important to take your time when dealing and coping with grief. Grief is a process, and there is no set timeline for how long it should take. It’s important to allow yourself the time and space you need to feel the emotions that come with grief. This may involve taking time off from work or seeking additional support from loved ones. Whatever steps you need to take to manage your grief, remember that it’s important to do what’s best for you.

In summary, coping with grief in springtime can be difficult, but there are steps that can be taken to cope with this experience. Embracing the renewal of life, practicing self-care, seeking support, creating new traditions, celebrating your loved one’s life, finding meaning in loss, and taking your time are all important steps in managing grief. Remember that you are not alone in your grief, and there are resources available to help you through this difficult time. By taking these steps, you can begin to heal and find a sense of peace and comfort in your life.

Organisations that offer grief support

There are many organisations in the UK that offer grief support for individuals and families who have experienced a loss. Here are some examples:

Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse offers free support and advice to anyone who has experienced a loss. They have local branches throughout the UK, and offer a variety of services including one-to-one support, group support, and a telephone helpline.

Marie Curie: Marie Curie is a charity that provides care and support for people living with a terminal illness, as well as their families. They offer a bereavement support service for family members and friends of those who have died under their care.

Sue Ryder: Sue Ryder is a national charity that provides palliative care and support for people with life-limiting conditions. They offer a bereavement support service for family members and friends of those who have died under their care. is a website that provides information and resources for those who have experienced a loss. They offer a directory of local support services, as well as online support and information.

Winston’s Wish: Winston’s Wish is a charity that provides support and guidance for children and young people who have experienced a loss. They offer a range of services including one-to-one support, group support, and a helpline.

Samaritans: Samaritans is a charity that provides emotional support to anyone in distress, including those who have experienced a loss. They offer a 24/7 helpline, email support, and a text messaging service.

These are just a few examples of the many organisations that offer grief support in the UK. It’s important to find a service that feels right for you and your needs.

A W Bryant Sponsor St Piran’s Day Golf Competition

We were delighted to sponsor Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club’s St Piran’s Day Competition on Saturday 4th March. Despite the conditions being cold the competition was well attended, and players were in great spirits. Participants thoroughly enjoyed a hot pasty from us after 5 holes.

After some strong contenders the 2023 St Piran’s trophy was won by Adrian Parsons, Steve Tilbury, Ron Burgess and Brett Higham, with a team score of 90 points. We send well deserved congratulations to the winning team.

During the day it was lovely for us to see so many friendly and familiar faces and we really enjoyed catching up with you all. William’s son, Henry, also made his first debut, much to the delight of everyone there.

We’d like to thank Bude & North Cornwall Gold Club for giving us the opportunity to be part of this event again this year and we hope to continue for many more.

The Winning Team!
Pictured from L-R are Ron, Steve, Tony James (Captain) Adrian, and Brett.
William & Kingsley Sampling Pasties
Three Generations of Arthur W Bryant

Supporting the local community

As a local, family-run company, we understand that it’s important to serve and support the community in any way we can. This not only helps our company build positive relationships, but it also allows us to give back to the community that is the backbone of everything we do. As a local business, we believe strongly in our duty to be actively involved in the community and to support causes and events that align with our values and mission.

Over 50s say Queen’s funeral made them think about their own plans

Research carried out by OnePoll asked 1,000 people aged 50 and above whether the Royal Funeral made them consider their own arrangements.

The survey commissioned by pre-paid funeral plan provider, Ecclesiastical Planning Services, revealed that almost a quarter (23%) did indeed consider their own mortality and in particular their final wishes following the live broadcast of the State Funeral. This was highest across the younger age ranges, up to age 65. 67% of respondents revealed that the Queen’s funeral did not make them consider their own funeral arrangements and a further 10% weren’t sure. 

Queen Elizabeth’s funeral included many personal touches such as the presence of her beloved dogs and fell pony, Emma. The military theme reflected her lifetime of service and dedication and the lone piper at the service was also very poignant.

The service also included multiple locations and a procession, as well as a floral wreath with significant meaning including a sprig of myrtle, a flower used in the late Queen’s wedding bouquet and a handwritten note from King Charles. Members of the Royal Family were also part of the funeral and preceding period of national mourning.

It is not then surprising that for some people, the Royal Funeral made them consider their own funeral wishes and how they might want to be remembered. Anyone that has arranged a funeral will understand the number of decisions that need to be made. Even the choice of date and time can be complicated, especially when travel arrangements are factored in. Other major decisions include whether to opt for a cremation or burial and whether to have flowers and/or charitable donations.

Emma Simpson, Marketing Manager at Ecclesiastical Planning Services, said “As a pre-paid funeral plan provider, we encourage people to consider planning ahead, which can be as simple as discussing funeral wishes with others. This can significantly reduce worry and anxiety for those left behind when the time comes.”

As an Appointed Representative of Ecclesiastical Planning Services Limited, we are happy to offer you a free, no obligation appointment to discuss how a funeral plan could benefit you. Contact the team to book yours.