“My sister told me, after meeting you in the bank recently, that you had been accorded public recognition of your sympathetic services at times of distress when people have lost someone close from this life. I sincerely endorse this, especially as your sympathy extends beyond the boundaries of the necessary services. One feels as if these services had been rendered by a family member” (Oct 2013).
“Heaven on Earth is an icon”. Charles Cowling (The Good Funeral Guide) July 2010
“‘He loved The Oldie; he hated funerals’. When X died his widow determined to have the most dignified, plain ceremony possible. Having tried the traditional route “our daughter asked if I would compromise. She knew Paula, who owns Heaven on Earth in Bristol, an international award-winner for improving the quality of death & dying. Would I meet Paula and see if we could work out a dignified, plain funeral, attended by only the immediate family? I liked Paula, and she understood exactly what we wanted. They had their own funeral car – not a dismal black hearse, but a silver estate car …simple and just what we wanted”. The Oldie, Issue 100, July 1997. This feature was also included in The Oldie Annual, 1999.
“While it is always sad to say farewell to an old friend, and especially an old friend who is too young to die, it is to my mind helped enormously by the nature of the going. We are particularly fortunate in Bristol to have the remarkable ‘Heaven on Earth’ funeral shop and service run by a couple who have such a refreshing and genuinely sympathetic attitude to death. George Ferguson, now the Mayor of Bristol, in The Bristol Evening Post. April 2008
“I just wanted to thank you both for the enormous comfort and support you gave me. I was dreading coming to make the funeral arrangements but from the moment I met you both I felt at ease and calm; you made a very difficult time bearable for me. You do an incredibly difficult job with dignity and love and for that you are very special people.”
“I just wanted to write and say thank you for all your quiet support and professionalism, which helped us both through the last couple of weeks. Meeting you both was a like a shaft of sunlight in what was and still is a very dark period of our lives.”
“The fact that we did not have to say goodbye to our Mum surrounded by outdated pomp and Victorian aesthetics really made a huge difference to our last goodbye. My mother would have entirely approved of the simplicity and directness of her last stand and it was through your respect and understanding that we were able to achieve what we set out to do for her”.
“Many of the people who attended the funeral were amazed that this option is open to them and some of them told me that they were going away to drastically re-think what will happen to them when their time comes. I have become a real champion of yours and intend to spread word of what an amazing service you provide.”
“I would like to thank you for all you did. The funeral was flawless and seamless – all we could have hoped for. Your efficiency and compassion were special to us and any additional stress there might have been was removed. You made us feel more than just another set of customers and I can’t tell you how much that mattered.”
“We are so glad we decorated the coffin as we did and that he was borne in by our other son along with his friends, as this involved many more family members than would ever have been the case had we opted for the traditional approach”.”Heaven on Earth really has put the fun back into funerals.”
“Coffins to die for….”
“Yours is a service not many would envy – but in your uniqueness you give dignity and a source of great empathy.”
“We were satisfied with the arrangements you made…they were smooth and on time and we are deeply grateful for the courteous and efficient way in which you dealt with all our various requirements. All without unction!”
“Your mixture of professionalism and ‘ordinariness’ (please forgive me!) were enormously reassuring.”
“I was so glad I had a chance to feel the weight of him.”
“Tears of grief were mingled with tears of joy…..it gave a sense of humour amongst the pain at the saddest time of my life.”
“Your sympathetic, tactful, discrete and efficient help and your personal interest and touch were much appreciated.”
On lending a CD to a nurse overheard in our shop Urbi et Orbi October 2011: “Thank you so very much for your kindness which helped a wonderful man pass away peacefully. Classical music was his passion and I feel he took Handel with him on his journey”
“The funeral was exactly what we wanted. It was a stark contrast to the funeral we had two years ago for my mother in the same location which left us feeling so cross. At a time when we wanted to say a quiet goodbye, we were surrounded by the funeral directors in their top hats, suits and shiny hearse. It all felt obtrusive and not linked to my mother in any way. It is really good to know that there is an alternative, gentler way. I hope we won’t need to use you again but I will certainly spread the word as a new fan of alternative funerals.”