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Exit strategies: Funeral people's own departure plans

David Gresty has been in the profession for 24 years and owns Arthur Gresty Funeral Homes, which has three branches in South Manchester. He and wife Clare have three cats and a little dog.

"I’d really like something a bit wacky, a bit geeky and a bit different. I’d also like a bit of tat, which my wife would probably hate, but I’m sure she’d put up with it for me.

"For transport, it would have to be a motorcycle hearse – I love my bikes – and coffin-wise, I’d go for a Colourful Coffin that would show off my hobby of collecting autographs. I’ve got loads – particularly film stars from the 1980s onwards. I buy a lot on eBay but I also drag my wife down to specialist fairs in London. My favourite is probably Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000 in Terminator 2, so that would have pride of place.

"I’d want the general mood at the funeral to be happy. I’d go for a light humanist service and make it short and simple. I don’t want much said nor much sentiment – I’m not a big waffler about myself. I also think that most of the people at the funeral would already know a lot about me so they wouldn’t need to hear it at the funeral. I’d really like to keep it to just my nearest and dearest.

"What I really would like though, is a nine-hour session at the crematorium so that everyone can watch the Star Wars trilogy! That’s unlikely but maybe in another venue?  I’m opting for Star Wars at the moment but a few years ago I might have gone for the Matrix set, and I’ve recently watched the Batman trilogy, so, if my mood changes, maybe I’ll choose that instead.

"I’d like my wife to choose some music but I do definitely want my two favourite rock numbers played: Resistance by Muse and November Rain by Guns ‘n’ Roses. That one lasts 11 minutes, which is the time it takes to fill in a grave!

"Not that the grave would be an issue for me, as I want to be cremated. I’d like my ashes scattered in Cornwall, which is a favourite holiday destination for my wife and me, although the Star Wars ride at Disneyworld is another possibility.

"After the service, it would be good if everyone could go for a nice meal and remember me. I think it’s easier for people to talk informally rather than having to stand up and speak in front of an audience.

"My wife and I have written most of our wishes in our wills and I think that’s important. About two out of every 10 families we see don’t really know what funeral their loved one wanted because it was never discussed – and they then worry about making the right decision.

"Anyway, now mine know and if I don’t get what I want, I might find a way to come back and haunt them …"

The picture shows David in a potential departure outfit of a Star Wars helmet.

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