Florists – and what exactly do they do?

The women behind the flowers The versatility of flowers allow them to be presented as decorations to spruce up any event space, expressions of love & affection towards loved ones, housewarming gifts & even a form of goodwill to the unwell, the grieving. So, what does it take to work with nature’s blooms? We took this chance to speak with our in-house florists to get a better understanding of what it’s like to work with flowers daily – is it really as glamorous as we think? Speaking with us are Sophia (62), Wei Wuan (34) & Winnie (32) who, altogether, pocket more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Why did you join this industry? S: *laughs* I picked up floristry because I wasn’t good at school & my father referred me to his friend who was in the floristry industry. Win: It started as an interest and when I decided to take up a floristry course, the interest grew as I learnt! WW: My sister was the one who introduced me to this industry about 14 years ago! Back then, we didn’t know that this industry existed but we came across a company who was looking for those without any experience & decided to give it a try. Since then, I’ve stuck around because I enjoy what I’m doing! How does one become a florist, are courses necessary? WW: Though it is not necessary, it is always better to learn whether from a floral school, workshops or on-the-job training, especially for wedding and funeral related arrangements before becoming a full fledged florist. I personally think it’s better...

Planning your final funeral – why, how & when

Planning your own funeral – why, how & when Things that are commonly planned in advance – weddings, parties, vacations and the likes. What about planning a funeral? “One of our customers who planned their funeral in advance had requested specifically for Lionel Richie’s top hits to be played during the course of the wake.” – Darren Cheng Planning one’s own funeral ahead of time may seem like a morbid undertaking for some. However, this is a service made available to the masses in Singapore. This begs the question, how far in advance can one plan their funeral, can it be done at any age and most importantly, why? For those who don’t shy away from this service, it provides them with a say on how things should be carried out when they are no longer around. It provides a sense of reassurance for those who value control and certainty, especially for those who have specific tastes and preferences. Aside from this, pre-planning one’s own wake may be helpful for their loved ones when the time comes as it lessens the need to sort out logistical aspects during the grief process. Experiencing grief is not the easiest thing for anyone to go through as it requires one to cope with weighted emotions that affect the mental and emotional state. Afterlife planning also helps with finances – it provides one with the rough knowledge of how much is needed financially and allows one to start setting aside the projected funds needed (however, it’s important to note that all planned contracts have a 5-year validity period and are required to undergo...

Logistics – and what exactly do they do?

Our Unsung Heroes Walk into any funeral organised by Direct Funeral Services and you will immediately be greeted by the sight of fresh florals. Next, your eyes focus on the photo wreath before darting around to locate a familiar face. Finally, a black “RECEPTION” stand captures your attention. You quickly walk up to the reception table to find it well-prepped with the message book where you can write a note to comfort the family, safe box for the condolence money, thermometer, hand sanitizer, and a now-familiar Covid-19 health declaration QR code. Wake locations are usually well set up before the arrival of the family and guests, thus many overlook the careful planning and effort behind the scenes. Our wake locations are put together by our very own logistics department – the ones many rarely think of when the word “funeral” comes to mind, yet, they are integral to our day-to-day operations. This department does not only maintain the stock, quality and cleanliness of the items required for the wake, they also ensure that every wake location is perfectly arranged for you to receive your loved ones. At Direct Funeral Services, 7 robust men between the age of 29 to 61 form our logistics department. Together, they hustle all over Singapore to set up and tear down wake decorations for us to offer our respects to our loved ones. Today, we sat down with our logistics team leader Hoe (age 61), logistics crew Ken (age 43) and Danny (age 29) to learn more about their job and the challenges that they face. Why did you join this trade and were...

How Do Funerals in Singapore Differ From Those Overseas?

While researching on how wakes and funerals in Singapore differ from those overseas, we’ve learnt of Taiwan’s tree and flower burial, the Benguet tribe’s practice of seating their blindfolded dead next to the main entrance of their homes and so much more! How does Singapore fair in terms of uniqueness in the funeral industry? Singapore’s Crypt Burial System (CBS) was introduced in 2007 in an effort to improve the traditional soil burial system. These burial plots consist of baseless concrete crypts, laid out in grid formation to allow for more efficient land use (https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/after-death/crypt-burial-system). What else is there to know? Take a look at our bite-sized infographic on how wakes and funerals in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and United States of America are like! Download...

Embalmers – and what exactly do they do?

Embalming – a word that either incites curiosity or makes one’s insides squirm. This seemingly macabre word refers to the practice of preserving the human body to forestall decomposition. This practice dates back to ancient Egypt where bodies were mummified after death with the belief that the physical bodies are part of the soul and that the soul will be lost in its afterlife journey, should the body be destroyed. Centuries later, embalming has become widely adopted in many cultures. In present times, it is done to better present the body for viewing purposes, a process which helps the family cope with grief. At Direct Funeral Services, we have a team of four certified embalmers between the ages of 26 to 36 years who are from the Philippines and Malaysia. Between them, they share 27 years of embalming experience. Today, we sat down with our lead embalmer, Ron and embalmer, Laizel, to learn more about embalming and to hear their experiences, and challenges faced in this line of work. Tell us, why did you decide to join this trade? RN: Since I was young, this business is very popular in the Philippines, hence I was naturally exposed to it and slowly grew an interest in it. LZ: I was inspired by my own family members who are in the funeral industry. They shared knowledge and experiences with me while growing up. Their passion and dedication gives me the drive to continue sharing the knowledge, help others and fulfill the family legacy we have. What kind of training or certifications do you need to be an embalmer in Singapore? LZ:...

Covid 19 updates: NEA requires families to abide by the safe-distancing measures. All attendees have to have their mask on at all times and only 20 persons are allowed at funeral wakes at any one time. Due to the crowd restrictions, customised live streaming services are available to ease the inconvenience, kindly contact us at 6555 1115 for any assistance. Thank you.