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Almost a third of Britons have missed the funeral of a family member or friend

A new study has revealed that a majority of Britons’ first experience of death came from a film. Furthermore, almost half of Britons revealed that they had lost a loved one whilst they were under 10 years old.

New research from a provider of funeral plans in the UK has revealed that almost a third of Britons had their first experience of death from a film. Furthermore, almost half of Britons revealed that they lost a loved one before their 10th birthday.

The study, conducted by Perfect Choice Funeral Plans which are offered locally by Ian Hazel Funerals Ltd, polled 2,858 British adults, all of whom were aged 18 or over. The survey was conducted as part of research into the British public’s experience of death. There was an even gender split, whilst all respondents disclosed that they had experienced death during their lifetime.

Initially, all participants were asked ‘how old were you when you first lost a loved one e.g. family member or close friend?’ The participants were free to provide their own answers, which revealed that 44% of respondents had experienced death before their 10th birthday.

Following on from this, respondents were asked to reveal what their first experience of death was. Respondents were presented with a list of possible answers and were asked to select which answer was applicable to them, revealing the below top 10:

  1. Death in a Film – 31%
  2. Celebrity Death – 27%
  3. Death of a Pet – 22%
  4. Death of a Loved One – 16%
  5. Death on Television – 11%

In order to delve a little deeper, respondents who said that they had their first experience of death by watching a film were asked to reveal which film this was. They were provided with a list of songs and also free to provide their own answers. The majority of respondents (24%) said that their first memory of death came from the ‘Lion King’ film, whilst 16% said it came from ‘Bambi.’ A further 13% said it came from ‘Titanic’, whilst 11% said the ‘Star Wars’ films.

Finally, respondents who had their experience by watching a film were asked to reveal what effect this had on them. More than half of respondents (54%) revealed that it prepared them in some way for the death of a loved one in the future, whilst 39% said that it made dealing with death harder. The remaining 10% of respondents said that they didn’t feel that it affected them.

Ian Hazel from Ian Hazel Funerals Ltd, a local independent funeral director based in Sutton Coldfield & the surrounding area said:

“I think it’s very important for children to gain an experience of death early on in their life. Obviously no one wants to lose someone they love, but if a child can be gently introduced to the concept of death through a film, television or even literature, then it can make the whole process easier.

We offer free bereavement guides for families. The guides have been developed by a specialist child bereavement charity to give advice to parents and carers of bereaved children.


About Perfect Choice Funeral Plans
Perfect Choice Funeral Plans are provided by NAFD Services Limited which was set-up by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) whose member firms carry out over 80% of all funerals in the UK. NAFD Services Limited is a founding member of the Funeral Planning Authority, the official body that oversees the operation of companies offering funeral plans.

Perfect Choice Funeral Plan funds are held securely in a guaranteed whole of life assurance policy. For maximum security NAFD Services only works with UK-based life assurance companies that are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the PRA and Financial Conduct Authority. A key difference with Perfect Choice Funeral Plans is that the pre-payment monies cannot be used for anything other than the client’s funeral for total peace of mind.

For more information call us on:

0121 308 7777