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Holding your hand in times of sorrow


by Ruth Lawrence


confl icting emotions that seem utterly overwhelming. Days pass in a blur, things can fall apart, nothing seems normal. This is precisely the time when support is needed. Family and friends can share the process but when faced with the immediate concerns of trying to organise a funeral, it can be a relief to hand the practicalities to someone else. Masters & Son are a fi fth generation, family run fi rm of Funeral Directors. They have been in the business of support since 1854 and are an integral part of the community. Ian and Sue Masters and their


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colleague Tracey Osgerby met me at their premises, a beautiful and welcoming space that felt nothing like the austere bleakness normally associated with a funeral parlour. As I


SUSSEX LIVING October 2011


When a loved one dies, your whole world changes. Masters & Son of Lindfi eld offer a guiding hand, strong shoulders and open heart that can ease the way through a diffi cult yet necessary time.


eath is such a short word for the grief, pain, change and fear that accompany the passing of someone close and the


have recently lost my own father, I am particularly aware of how important it is to feel comfortable and understood at this sensitive time. It felt like stepping inside a warm, friendly place where I could be listened to and fully heard. Sue explained to me how “people tend to put on a brave face after a death but they can come here and just be themselves.” There are no time limits or schedules; people can walk through the door and simply share their feelings, secure in the knowledge that they will be helped through the process by expert hands. As Tracey said, “our role doesn’t end with the funeral,” and they often fi nd that people keep coming back after the service, sometimes to look through the books of poetry available to read or just to talk. Ian described how people are offered a choice of coffi n. Although the company that produces their traditional coffi ns has been voted overall Sunday Times Best Green Company, many


“There’s a real feeling of attention to detail here, the advantage of a family business that can do more than the large funeral


groups, with more time and care.”


people now opt for an alternative. Coffi ns can be made from, among other things, wicker, banana leaf, water hyacinth, cardboard or even wool; a person can request a customised coffi n or even one that can be drawn or painted on. The important thing is that the person who died is celebrated in


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