Our attitude to death is fast changing from the Victorian view that it had to be marked by utter grief and sadness to a more balanced approach that a long and good life should be celebrated.
When Prince Albert died suddenly in December 1861 at the age of 42, Queen Victoria was overwhelmed by grief and remained in mourning until the end of her life.
The whole country shared her grief, and was deeply affected by the funeral and their beloved Queen's bereavement.
At My Last Song, we believe that a good life deserves a good end.
Victoria's grieving and public mourning coincided with a 19th century custom which formalised mourning.
Victorian society demanded that a strict etiquette was followed that emphasised the wearing of black, and outward signs of sadness and desolation.
Poor diet, health and medical practice in early Victorian times resulted in high infant mortality and short life expectancy. Death and grieving were pervasive in society.
And when in the late 19th and early 20th century, life was fast improving, two world wars resulted in funerals marking lives ended too young.
Now, the main cause of death is old age, which means the life which has ended has been as long as could be hoped for.
So rather than the terrible and understandable sadness and grief that typified funerals of an earlier era, there is a growing realisation that the life that has ended should be celebrated.
A good life deserves a good end
That is not to say that the human reaction to the death of a loved one can be anything but utter sadness. And of course the death of a child or young person is the most devasting and terrible experience the parents and loved ones can face.
However, with most deaths now caused by old age, we should celebrate a full and good life. If My Last Song has a mission statement, it is that we want to help a good life have a good end.
We want you to be remembered in a positive, honest way, recognising that you are a unique individual and that your departing of this world should also be unique.
We want you to be in charge of your ending, so that your loved ones can celebrate your life, as well as or instead of grieving because it has ended.
The choices you make about the event that marks your passing should include the important details, such as ensuring the music played is what you want to be remembered by.
My Last Song will help you achieve this, whether you are planning your own funeral or that of a loved one.
To ensure your funeral wishes and end of life decisions are carried out, we offer you a secure digital Lifebox to store your instructions and also to hold your memories.