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A different kind of funeral

These are unusual times and with social distancing we will need to do everything differently for a season. Doctors are encouraging us to talk about dying.  A few months ago Claire’s Dad who is in his late 80s started thinking about instant cremation. Here is what he said way before the pandemic. Claire and family are deeply grateful to have had this conversation early. It might be useful for you and people you know?

“You will probably know, if you are reading this, that I have a problem with crematorium funerals. Many years ago, I was asked to do the eulogy for a BBC colleague, and it was without much doubt the worst address of my life. So this may have affected my judgement.

But I think that one of the most important aspects of any funeral/memorial is for friends and particularly family to say goodbye, in a way that marks the end of something and the beginning of something else.

Different cultures have different ways of doing this. In our culture until not that long ago, this was marked by the body in a coffin going into the ground, and soil going on top of the coffin, neither the coffin nor the body being seen again. A proper farewell.

Not everybody saw it that way. Some thought that their loved one was still there under the ground. When I was a churchwarden, one grieving mother was very insistent that her son’s grave plot should be in the sunshine because he liked being in the sunshine. And a grave is a place which many feel that they can visit to remember and sense the connection with their relative or friend. But a proper farewell has been said.

Today it is much more likely that people wish to be cremated, for many good reasons which I share. However, this normally involves a crematorium service/ceremony, which I find troubling.

  1. If there is also a service in church (or wherever), which is the goodbye event?
  2. If the crematorium service is the goodbye event, it is a pretty strange one. You arrive to see a wooden coffin (or wait for one to arrive). And when you leave it is still there. And who knows where or when it is going. And you have to identify this box, which you have never seen before, with a person whom you have known intimately for years. And you do this in a strange building which says nothing to you about either of you.
  3. If this isn’t the goodbye event, what is it for? It does not mark the moment of death nor the moment of cremation. You briefly pass by the coffin on its otherwise unseen and unknown journey from one to the other, for 30 minutes, at a time which has been specified to you to fit in a schedule.
  4. At a time when you have lost someone who is very dear to you, do you really want to be involved with (necessarily commercial) dealings with an undertaker about the logistics (how, when, where)?
  5. The significant moments for the people left behind are the moment of death, the moment the body is taken from you (a real goodbye), and the moment of its disposal. Not the time of the crematorium service, which is definitely not the time of actual cremation.

I think this needs a rethink. So I am attracted by the idea of direct cremation, which a number of undertakers perform, more or less well. I am particularly interested in the organisation Pure Cremation. It is possible to make an agreement with them in life. With such an agreement, they will come to your home or hospital at death, and respectfully take the body away. It will not go from undertaker to undertaker. They will tell the relatives of the moment of actual cremation, so that they can remember their relative when it really happens. And a proper and unique goodbye service/event can happen anywhere at any suitable date and time.

I think this is a no-brainer. What do you think?”

3D Ideas: Using Zoom for Training

Strange times bring a different kind of blog post.  Anyone who has a Zoom Room has a space to offer to others.  And coaching is future focussed and optimistic – just what we need.  Hope this is useful? Feel free to share it.  And while you’re here, have a quick peek at the rest of the blog. It might be useful in the coming days! If you would like to get the blog by email every week, you can do that here!


Video – Don’t Talk to The Wavy People

Coaches: We need to talk about safeguarding

This is the text from an article posted on LinkedIn February 2020

This morning I was listening to a recording of someone coaching, as part of their professional development. The person who was being coached made a disclosure of historic abuse.

This is the second time that I have seen this in my role as a mentor coach/supervisor. But as much as we speak about standards and ethics in the coaching community, I have never heard conversations about safeguarding. And yet ethical practice is about what we do in the room when the rubber hits the road.

Our profession depends on confidentiality. And you if you caveat everything at the beginning of your first conversation with someone it could be perceived as being legalistic in tone. I say ‘this conversation is confidential unless there is a risk to self or to others’. The field in which we operate is working with people in their lives, teams and organisations and in the world. I need to be clearer ‘this conversation is confidential unless there is a risk to self, to others or by others’. When we over focus on the individual, I think that we are blind to the needs of others in the wider system. It is possible that there are children at risk today from the person mentioned in passing in a coaching conversation about something else altogether.

Do we know what to do when someone discloses to us? Is the coaching community wilfully blind to safeguarding? Are we reluctant to look at safeguarding to protect the confidentiality of those with whom we work. Does thinking about it make us anxious? I may not be looking in the right place, but if we really aren’t talking about safeguarding, is what we are doing safe enough? Might the feeling “It’s not for me to do anything because that was confidential” actually be an action taken in service of our own anxiety?

As a volunteer in a church, I am trained in safeguarding. The Church of England is accused of being late to the party and of having been blind to many small pieces of information heard in conversations that could have protected vulnerable children and adults. I am learning that it is not for me to decide what to do – or indeed not do. If I hear a disclosure it is my responsibility to the wider system to report to someone who knows more about this than I do. In service of the wider world.

When this first came up, I consulted with other people I perceive to be leaders in the coaching community and was told that we work with adults who we believe have agency. Yes we do. And how I engage with someone believing they are robust enough to deal with their own stuff is critical. Focusing on that alone misses the point. We know something that we did not know before. And we need to decide what to do with that – in service of the individual and others in the wider system who may still be at risk.

What will you do when you hear a disclosure in a coaching conversation about abuse by a third party? Choosing to do nothing is a decision which you are making. Margaret Hefferman might describe that as wilful blindness. The first place to start is to ask the person what do we need to think about together in relation to the disclosure? Are they safe?

This is not only about their safety. It is also about the safety of vulnerable children or adults in the wider system. Do you know where you can get good advice? In the UK, you can get advice from the NSPCC hotline 0808 800 5000. The reality is that we don’t know what to do. And when that happens, we need to seek advice from someone with more experience than our own.

Claire Pedrick MCC

3D Coaching

February 2020

3D Ideas 837: It’s Not Magic

Claire writes: “This thing we do, that we call coaching, changes lives and organisations. It’s also not magic. It’s not weird.  And it’s not me doing something to you. If your experience is that’s what has happened in a conversation, be astute.

A coaching style is having a conversation with someone.  What’s weird is that it’s a conversation between two people about one person.  Be normal! What’s distinctive is that when we learn to stop doing all the things that stop transformation happening, the results can be extraordinary.

So if you’re using a coaching style at work, there is no need to start calling your colleague a client or a coachee.  They are a person. And if you want to try this way of working out, ‘Would it be useful to have a different kind of conversation?’ is a great start!”

© 2019 3D Coaching Ltd

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

3D Ideas 789: Music and Movement

Claire writes: “Su’s daughter was at a piano masterclass with a famous pianist at school last week. He asked them to describe what a beat was in music – they struggled. He described it as movement. He said without movement music doesn’t live, it’s dead. In the same way, without a heartbeat we don’t live. He described how world class musicians move as they play their music and it makes it live.

We are learning that people are often more able to think when they are moving, or even standing up. It may not always be possible, and when it is, conversations can come alive!”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

Useful Stuff – Shadow Consulting

We had a few organisational sponsors on a development call this morning.  Interesting connections about the value that noticing and listening to headlines and underbelly brings to Action Learning Sets.

Here is an article from Leadership and Change Magazine

Useful Stuff: Imposter Syndrome

Interesting to notice the connection between that last blog post and Imposter Syndrome in this blog from Alison Hodge

3D Ideas 762: A general sense of direction

Claire writes: “I’ve always been someone who prefers a general sense of direction over goals and targets.  Reading David Megginson’s Beyond Goals affirms that I’m not the only one.  So it was with mixed feelings that three weeks into 2017 I committed to a goal and a target: doing the same 13.6 mile sponsored walk every month for a year to raise £12000 for research into Motor Neurone Disease.  The friend who was part of the good idea over a coffee had recently been diagnosed with MND – as had our next door neighbour.  We calculated that if ten people walked every month and each raised £100, we would reach our goal.


That was 11 weeks ago.  10 people walked in February, 19 in March and 59 in April – and we have already hit our £12000 target.  We are learning that it’s easier to build a movement when you don’t think that’s what you’re doing!  And that backfilling systems and admin support isn’t the end of the world.  And that our new direction of ‘onwards and upwards’ is enough of a motivation to keep recruiting walkers and sponsors.


Most of the 3D team will be walking at some stage and we promise that we will only speak of the walk in this blog twice in the 12 months.  If you’d love to walk with us, or to donate, all the details are on our Just Giving page.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com   Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

3D Ideas 754: We’ve Always Done It This Way

Claire writes: “I was with a group of NHS Managers the other day and we were thinking about colleagues who have worked in the same way for many years and ‘have always done it this way’ and see no need to change.  It reminds me of the words of Marshall McLuhan (born over 100 years ago): “Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.”

Change is weird sometimes.  On courses we invite delegates to suspend disbelief and try a different way of working. Only when you have experienced it can you really decide whether it’s for you.  In that group of managers, we were wondering what will happen if you invite a colleague to work in a different way for a contained amount of time and then review to see whether it’s useful?”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com  Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email
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