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Owner of Rich-Gray Funerals, in Harleston, on a mission to reframe the conversation about death in south Norfolk

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A father-of-two is looking to break down some of the taboos about death as he opens up his own funeral parlour in south Norfolk.

Daniel Rich-Gray has big plans to visit schools and care homes around Harleston to reframe the way we think and talk about death, loss and grief.

For the 38-year-old, it was the loss of his own grandmother two years ago that sparked the decision to open his own parlour, where he could dedicate as much time as necessary to the bereaved.

Daniel and Jacqueline Rich-Gray with their children Brogun and Saphirre. Picture: Gary Donnison
Daniel and Jacqueline Rich-Gray with their children Brogun and Saphirre. Picture: Gary Donnison

At the time, he had already worked in the industry for several years, working as a funeral operative for a number of large, national funeral directors after moving to East Anglia from his native Essex.

“My nan passed away two years ago, and I could see it would be very rewarding to be able to dedicate more time to families,” he said.

“Corporate companies don’t have the time – it’s just one in, one out. You’re not given enough time to prepare the deceased.

“That’s what upset me – I could see the families were wanting more.

“When you’re preparing someone’s loved one, it’s so important to give the time that’s needed.”

Last week, he celebrated the opening of Rich-Gray Funerals.

A family business, his wife, Jacqueline, 36, runs the accounts, while his two children, Brogun, nine, and Saphirre, eight, can be seen milling around the premises, in The Thoroughfare.

“We’re very family orientated,” added Mr Rich-Gray.

“My children understand a lot about death. We look at it through a different eye. People think of it as such a taboo subject, but we talk about it a lot.”

Having already visited a number of care homes across the region, Mr Rich-Gray has plans to start holding talks at schools, too, reshaping the conversation around death for people at both ends of their lives.

“I’ve been to care homes in the area to introduce myself, and my door is always open for anyone to come in for a cup of tea and a chat,” he said.

“My plan now is to go and speak to the children so I can give them information that’s not scary, and put things in a way that they understand.”

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