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From themed funerals to death masks and ashes tattooed onto loved ones, discover the variety of strange and sensational ways to make your mark when you die.
Nottingham-based bespoke-coffin specialists Crazy Coffins will take on any request from skips to Rolls Royces, no matter how strange. One client, 78-year-old Malcolm, has commissioned a bright-orange aeroplane coffin as a homage to his favourite football club. He has also written his own crematorium committal song, called 'Burn me, turn me, roast me tonight'. To his wife's dismay, he even rehearses his own funeral.
Wendy had other plans when her mother died. After collecting her from the morgue, she took her on a four-day trip around her favourite spots before digging her grave – proof that all you need for a
funeral is a big heart and a shovel.
Death masks are not new, but they are unusual in this day and age. Nick Reynolds has made one for his mum, but he has also had commissions from the rich and famous, including Ken Russell and Malcolm McLaren. Former client Rachel finds her ex-boyfriend's mask a powerful reminder of her loved one and tearfully reveals that she hides it in her closet.
Another hoping to cash in on the fad for fantastic funerals is self-confessed Delboy Darren Abey. His promotion campaign for his 'Only Fools and Horses' hearse stretches from the annual 'Only Fools' convention to Peckham, before he realises that life in the funeral trade is tougher than he thought.
Meanwhile, the death of Julie White's husband has left such a huge hole in her life that she is taking the radical step of having his ashes tattooed as a portrait into her skin. It makes a huge difference that his indelible 'cremains' will be with her always.
As these and other peculiar partings reveal, death can be full of black humour as people find their
own unique ways of meeting their end.