Meet Ewan, funeral arranger at Fosters Livingston.
Ewan talks fitting tributes, his passion for cooking, and being a football coach.
What’s the best part of your role?
The most rewarding thing about being a funeral arranger is knowing that we’re making things that little bit easier for a family at what can be a very upsetting time. When people first walk through the door, they are often very upset and unsure what needs done or where to start. My job is to take that worry off their shoulders and look after every single detail from organising paperwork to booking a piper. Putting the needs of the family first is always my priority, it’s important they feel comfortable and know that we will take care of them.
Can you give an example of how a family can personalise a funeral?
There are countless ways really, it all depends on the individual person and what the family believes is a fitting tribute. A recent example is a gentleman whose wife sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. They had got married not long before she died, and he requested that the photo of their wedding was on the cover of the Order of Service as it had been such a special day for them both.
Other examples would be personalising the flowers. One family chose to have the flowers designed as a football badge and our funeral conductors wore ties to match the team colours. All these little touches can be very comforting to those who gather to pay their respects.
What questions do people ask the most?
To be honest a lot of the questions are price driven as people often have no idea how much a funeral will cost, and they are working to a specific budget.
Another popular question is about when their loved one will be collected and brought into our care. Families feel comforted knowing that they can visit our viewing rooms and have time to say a personal goodbye before the funeral itself.
What role does technology play in a funeral?
Technology has always connected people and in the funeral sector that goes to a whole new level and can be very comforting. For example, it is possible to take a digital fingerprint from the person who has passed away and imprint it onto jewellery or paperweights or other items. One gentleman even got his wife’s fingerprint tattooed into a heart on his chest.
Away from work, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m a big football fan and I coach my wee one’s primary school team on Saturday mornings. I really enjoy that and it’s a great way to get involved in my local community. My other interests are food related, I used to be a chef and still love to cook. Like most people I enjoy getting lost in a good box set on the TV.