Meet Angela, a funeral arranger from our Stirling parlour.
Angela explains why she loves her job, pottering in her garden, and driving around the stunning Stirling countryside.
How long have you worked for Fosters?
I’ve worked in the funeral industry for 7 years and joined Fosters 2.5 years ago. I originally was based in the Rutherglen branch and now I’m here in Stirling. I’m from Falkirk so it’s lovely to work with the local community as I know the area so well.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is knowing that I’m making a difference to families as they are going through such a difficult period in their life. It is hugely rewarding to help people when they are grieving and need someone to take care of all the little details that make a funeral unique for their loved one.
We get a lot of enquiries for funeral plans, and I enjoy meeting with people who want to plan ahead and make their wishes known so everything is organised when the time comes. They take comfort knowing it’s in place and their family don’t need to worry.
How can families personalise a funeral, so it feels special?
There are lots of little things that can bring comfort when saying a final farewell to your loved one. I once arranged a funeral for a mum who lost her young son. When talking about her son she mentioned that his best friend was his dog who never left his side. So, we arranged for his coffin to be decorated with photos of his beloved dog, so he was beside him on his final journey.
These small touches mean so much to a family and it’s something that they remember long after the funeral.
It’s important to listen to the detail of what a family tells me about their loved one, so I can make hobbies or interests a feature of the funeral, incorporating it into Order of Service or decorating the venue in a specific way. Sometimes it’s a subtle thing, like our funeral staff wearing a tie in the persons favourite colour. Or it could be that those attending the funeral wear a certain flower in their lapel.
What question do you get asked the most?
Oh, that’s easy. When a person passes away the family or friend planning the funeral will select an outfit for their loved one to wear. We always get asked if they should bring underwear. My advice is unless the person went commando in life, we suggest that underwear is a good idea.
What songs are most popular at Fosters funerals in Stirling
We get everything from Tina Turner to Glenn Miller to Ed Sheeran and Supermarket Flowers. And Highland Cathedral by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is a popular choice for those who enjoy the skirl of the pipes.
Relatives often ask, ‘Is this a silly choice?’ My answer is always that no music is a silly choice as it’s about what your loved one would have wanted and it’s how you remember them.
Tell us about your Stirling branch
I take great pride in making sure the branch is welcoming and order fresh flowers every week. As a team we are always well presented. I think that’s very important as we want to make people feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible at such an upsetting time.
I’ve recently discovered a love of gardening and have planted roses and carnations at the entrance which are currently in bloom and looking lovely.
What’s your favourite funeral tradition?
I think it’s so respectful when the funeral director ‘pages’ in front of the hearse. This involves the funeral director taking a step to mark every year of life for the individual who has passed away. They do this at the house and also at the crematorium. I find it very touching.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
I love gardening and spend a lot of time pottering with my plants or visiting garden centres to get ideas and buy new plants. I’ve not long passed my driving test so I’m enjoying the freedom that gives me. I like going to Callander for a day trip, we are lucky to have such beautiful scenery in Stirlingshire. It’s a lovely place to live.