A good friend, kind and trustworthy – New research reveals how Brits in the Southeast would like to be remembered

24th June

The last year has been a difficult one for all of us, with the changing world brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic encouraging many of us to reassess our own personal circumstances and change our outlook on life.

Cooper & Sons Funeral Home in Heathfield

New research released by CPJ Field – the UK’s oldest funeral directors and 10th generation family run business in the Southeast – reveals that many of us have thought about how we would like to be remembered when we have died

Over half (55%) of Brits living in South East England believe it is important to be remembered fondly after their death with two in five (42%) admitting that their everyday lives are shaped by how they hope they will be remembered when they have died, especially when it comes to being a good friend to others.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of us (85%) hope to have made a positive impact on our communities after we’ve died with 52% of those surveyed hoping to leave the world in a better place after they’re gone.

When asked how they would like to be remembered by others, the number one desired trait was to be remembered as someone who was a good friend (56%), followed by being kind (54%) and trustworthy (52%). Being someone who is geniune (47%) and someone who loved their family (46%) completed the top five.

Brits also believe that it is important to live their lives without regret, with 54% wishing they had spent more time doing the things that made them happy rather than what they think they should do. According to the research by family run funeral directors CPJ Field, there is a number of things that Brits wish they had done differently during their lives including learning from their mistakes (42%) and not sweating the small stuff (39%).

With this in mind, passing on their advice to help the younger generation live their best life, older Brits wish they’d worried less about:

  • Trying to please others all the time: 40%
  • My looks: 28%
  • Having a good social life: 23%
  • Finding a partner: 22%
  • Having plenty of savings: 22%

CPJ Field found that just under half (45%) of respondents in the South East aged 60 and over have spoken to their loved ones about their funeral wishes, while nearly two in five (38%) had considered planning their own funeral and just under three in five (58%) know the type of funeral that they would like. This indicates that there is a need for further discussion among families and for loved ones to share these wishes and avoid adding extra pressure on families once their loved one has passed away.

Photo of woman
Paula O’Neill

Paula O’Neill, Funeral Arranger Administrator at Cooper & Sons’ Heathfield home part of CPJ Field, said: It is not surprising to see that over half of Brits in the Southeast find it important to be remembered fondly after their death. With the conversation around death becoming more open, it is clear that our everyday lives are being shaped more than ever by how we want to be remembered when we die. Here at Cooper & Sons, we’ve seen more people coming in to speak about pre-planning their funerals in order to relieve the pressure on their families and ensure that their final wishes are being met.

Jeremy Field, Managing Director at CPJ Field, family owned funeral directors caring for bereaved people across the South East, added: “The past year has made us all look at our lives from a new perspective and really get to the core of what we value. The conversation around death is more open than ever and it’s clear that the legacy we leave behind is important to many of us. At CPJ Field we understand more than most the importance of a proper goodbye for families that is in line with what the person who has died would have wanted and is unique to the loved one who has died. Caring for the living is the most important part of what we do. While it may be a difficult subject, having conversations around wishes for your funeral so that the responsibility is not left to your family is a huge support for those who are left behind.

CPJ Field is the UK’s oldest funeral directors, with a rich heritage dating back to the late 1600s.  The 10th generation family business is actively owned and managed by the Field family, operating over 30 funeral homes across Southern England.

CPJ Field is a 300-year-old family business, creating personalised funerals for the 21st century supporting thousands of families in their time of need. It offers the highest standards of care and commitment through what can be a stressful and highly emotional time. The company prides itself on its core values, that no two lives are the same so no two funerals should be the same, as every life is unique.