Hayley Cropper’s Humanist Funeral in Coronation Street

As a Funeral Director I always feel strangely compelled to watch how funerals are portrayed by soap operas and I am usually frustrated by the sacrifice of attention to detail for the sake of additional drama. However, I applaud ITV for the way Hayley Cropper’s funeral was written. Hayley was far from your average woman and certainly her humanist funeral was a reflection of her character in that it did not follow the norm but demonstrated how moving this untraditional and dignified ceremony can still be.

The “usual” rules were broken: cardboard coffin, no flowers, mourners in bright colours, female pall bearers, a Humanist celebrant, rock music and friends standing up and speaking about what a difference Hayley made. I hope the legacy is that more families will be brave enough to organise a celebration of life service that is totally personal to their loved one, rather than feeling pressurised to conform to the conventional format.