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“Just wanted to say thank you so much for supplying the shroud for us – it was absolutely beautiful and the quality was superb! Everyone was impressed by the different choice and I just wanted to pass on our thanks to you”. Jennie, Co-op Funeralcare, South Manchester. April 2022
“If ever I have a say in a burial vessel again, I wouldn’t choose anything else. I wanted to tell you how beautiful the Oseberg cradle coffin looked at my husband’s service. We had chairs curved around him instead of in rows like a church or crematorium and when I stood to speak about him it felt completely natural to put my hand on the wool cover. I could see how it brought others comfort too. He was in the middle, as he was in life, drawing a crowd and enjoying the stories. At the end of the service, I told people to go and say goodbye….the sight of a bunch of huge, rough and tough roadies placing their hands on him and patting him would melt anyone’s heart. We placed him in a natural burial ground in Pembrokeshire; the grave was lined with straw, flowers and vodka thrown in on top and he looked warm, settled and somehow content. I’ll never forget that sight, it brings me a lot of comfort, it would have been awful to nail him into a box that didn’t reference him nor his shape or his connection to people. I’m so glad I found you, how much more distressing this would have been without your beautiful, warm and embracing work. I know he would have been so proud of his final resting place.
My heartfelt thanks, Sarah ” Feb. 2022
“The material was creamy soft and so snug looking – it was like wrapping my sister in a duvet. Nothing stiff or rigid about the look, just a relaxing feel that she was warm, safe and cosy. I had needle felted a small posy of flowers to go on the cover. The whole affair, although a sad occasion, was serene and peaceful and yes we could hear the birds singing. These shrouds are beautiful.” M. Smart. March 2022
“The (Heritage) Shroud was perfect. A beautiful, soft, warm, enveloping shroud. I added needle felted decorations, it was beautiful to work with. Thank you Yuli.” V. Hopfinger. Feb. 2022
“I just wanted to let you know that the cremation took place today and that the shroud was so very well received. I think people’s perception of a shroud, was suitably banished once they saw your crafstmanship. I know it gave some of them the realisation that a funeral does not always have to have the traditional wooden ‘box’! For my own part, thank you for all the assistance you have given.” A.Croft, Towners Funeral Directors, Hastings. Jan. 2022
“All friends and family at the green burial site had no idea what to expect but stood in awe at the beauty of Steve cocooned and festooned with sweet peas. A very hard day made so much easier with the addition of a Leafcocoon. The funeral director was very impressed with functionality and ease of use”. H.Millard. July 2021
“We were very satisfied. It was thoughtfully constructed, well made, beautiful and very sturdy. I love all the internal features but also the external stitch work was fantastic. The video showing the internal features was very useful and comforting to see how Mum would be wrapped”. S.V. May 2021
“It worked perfectly. The Swan Cocoon felt perfect for Z….. It was so beautiful and it felt as though we were wrapping her in love, ready to let her go so she could fly free.” Thank you”. Josie A. March 2021.
“It was beautiful – the funeral directors found it simple to use. Lovely product and service. My Mother was a woollen crafts enthusiast and this was absolutely the perfect resting place for her. I actually love to think of her snuggled into her Leafcocoon – it’s a comfort”. Nikki Dayton February 2021
“We were really pleased with the shroud and the experience of ordering it was personal, but still simple and easily navigated.” B.R. February 2021
“The family said it was beautiful and over the “moon that it was just what she had wanted! Thank you again.” Anna Iles: Iles & Vincent Funeral Services. Warminster Jan 2021Leafcocoon burial
“The [Oseberg] Cradle was absolutely beautiful, looked soft and was just what we were looking for. Stylish but not too formal. It really helped the occasion”. S.M January 2021 Newton Abbot
“After Toni died it seemed to be a lonely place to be organising his funeral. Yuli was one of the first people I called. Not expecting to be able to afford one of her burial shrouds, it was such a relief to find her so kind and supportive and in my budget. She helped me through the emotional and practical maze and I am so very grateful to her and the funeral directors, Sillifant & Sons for being there for me. Toni looked so peaceful and safe in his burial shroud and even though it was a plain piece, it was so thick and beautiful in its simplicity. Along with Yuli’s shroud, we had a natural rite of passing at Crossways Woodland Burial at Cheriton Bishop and it was beautiful and personal and outshone any funeral in my mind. Thank you for being so kind Yuli, when I needed it” Fleur, January 2021, Plymouth.
“The kindest service at the hardest time of my life. I found it comforting to have something unique for my husband”. D. Sussex, Dec. 2020
“I felt the family were extremely happy with the Cocoon, in their words: “He looks just like a highland chieftain”. Thank you very much for the speed of delivery.” C. Esslement, Scotland Dec. 2020
“We chose a plain one. We sprinkled petals and flowers over it and it was completely beautiful. The wool used is the most amazing I’ve ever seen. So rich, yet fine. Soft as soft can be. And warm; so very warm. It was right for my son. Thank you.” Gill, Sept. 2020
” It makes the whole experience of sitting with death so much more real than a coffin. And her body just seemed incredibly well held, and entrusted to the felt. Thank you for providing this service. It is a real gift”. Gladys Paulus, September 2020
“It performed beautifully. It was light and easily manageable. We were all very pleased with it and thought it was perfect for an environmentally based woodland burial” – R. Lovett. May 2020
“It more than met our expectations” – Sally G, March 2020
“Dave was always cold during his long illness and I wanted to feel that he would be cosy in his last resting place. The felted wool and curved shaping made him look safely wrapped rather than in a hard unforgiving box. Thank you” – Q. Morgan March 2020
“We wanted to thank you both for your prompt and gentle response to our needs around Mum’s shroud, body preparation and burial. It was a very precious and unbelievable week for us and the advice we received from you gave us great confidence to manage the whole process as a family led burial. The weather was amazing and we celebrated mum’s life in an open barn before walking her to the woodland grave and having our burial ceremony there. Later when others had had a chance to visit and place flowers and mementos in the grave we had a communal grave filling with friends and relatives sitting in the glade.
“Yuli, you could not have been more helpful, going out of your way to send me pictures in the evening to make sure the delivery could happen the next day. The Leafcocoon was perfect. The delivery was quick and the driver was also lovely, giving me a big hug before he left” – LM, March 2019
“I am a funeral celebrant, well used to dealing with ‘wooden’ boxes but a recent burial used a leafcoccoon. A body prepared for a funeral has never moved me so much. I knew the deceased, but that wasn’t the reason and the ‘moving’ wasn’t all sad. The simple beauty of the shroud, its dignity and the hope it held out for the way the energy contained in this body would be recycled by nature, brought me a degree of comfort that was most unexpected and gave me strength to conduct the ceremony. Thank you for helping to make grief more bearable, softer, gentler – everyone should be buried this way.” Lesley Mary Close,
A group of friends and family gathered to decorate the cover for the coffin [Leafcocoon]. It was so beautiful. Thank you, it made a painful day so much more beautiful.” Pam January 2020
“I love the detail in the craftsmanship – the toggles… the sturdiness of the frame, the strength and simplicity of the ties, and above all the softness of the felt… I am grateful to you for processing our request so quickly and getting J’s Leafcocoon to us in time for a couple of days at home before his cremation”. C L. 2019
“Beautiful quality. Great delivery time” . Miles & Daughter, Funeral Director. Sept 2018
“A huge thank you for the beautiful cradle that you did for JS last week. The funeral service was on a barge on the canal in West London, which meant that we carried J through the busy Paddington Basin area to board the barge, and then later off again past the busy café of Ladbroke Grove Sainsburys. I was very proud to be carrying something so beautiful, and additionally the carrying handles were extremely practical for getting him safely below deck for his service. Needless to say that L was so delighted with it (she has kept the cover) and so many attendees commented on how beautiful it was”. Hannah, Funeral Director, Poppy’s Funerals, Nov. 2019
“Why would anyone want anything else when you can have one of these?” “The knowledge that my brother was snuggly wrapped in his cocoon plus its beauty meant a comforting memory for me.” C. Courtney, Aug. 2018
“We are very happy with all aspects of your service: from the opening phone call through to the delivery it was a clear and smooth process… It was beautiful, thank you!” L. Harris. Sept. 2018
“It felt so much more appropriate to see my mothers body swaddled in this way, rather than in a wooden coffin” B.Parker
“Thank you again for a beautiful alternative to the traditional options available” L. Philpott
“Bellacouche Leafcocoons and Leafpods are beautiful to use and behold, thoughtfully designed and very well made by hand, as well as being ethical and sustainable using locally sourced natural materials. Every detail has been carefully considered and well thought through – the natural wood to provide rigidity to the base, the folds of felt to gently envelop and protect the body, spaces for head and feet, the contours of the felt subtly honour the form inside, strong carry handles, hand made wood toggles, a choice of decoration or simplicity, right through to the reusable protective packaging bag.
The design is practical and really works. I have used these for both my mother and father in the past year. On both occasions my family undertook the entire funerals and burials, so I really appreciated the practical design and beauty of it. I had to help lift and tie in my father’s body into the leafpod in the mortuary, then I had to store the body for 24 hours before burial, I had to load and unload the heavy leafpod into and out of my van, there were no issues whatsoever and it functioned perfectly. The 6 grandsons carried the leafpod to the bier, then the graveside trestles, and finally lowered it into the ground, it was perfectly balanced and stable throughout.
The Leafpod looked profoundly beautiful on the bier as we decorated it with cut flowers and ivy, and in its final resting place in the grave. The natural materials of the leafpod looked just right and in harmony with the natural context of the field and the earth.
I think the leafpod is absolutely perfect in every detail and could not suggest any way of improving it. Yuli has spent many years developing and perfecting the Leafpods, and I know that she has a deep and heartfelt connection to her work and in helping people honour their loved ones as they pass on.” Richard Gomme
“The Leafcocoon is the most beautiful and tactile coffin there is. Easy to use and functional too, you feel like you are really taking care of the person who has died, cocooning them up in such loveliness” Green Fuse
“The shroud was beautiful, exactly what we wanted.” B. Mulvihill
“…There is a special grace in your product… Your Leafcocoon was perfect for my Dad. So many people love it. There is something extraordinarily different, a gentleness that people yield to…” A. Hoefkens
“Both myself and my administrator think they are lovely” Exeter & District Funeral Service
“Perfect coffin. The family loved it, just what they wanted for mum” Lel Wallace Funeral Directors
“Yuli was a delightful lady to deal with when we were all so upset. The young people at the funeral thought the Leafcocoon was less frightening than a coffin”. J.A.
“It was so much better than a coffin. It felt warm and cosy to touch. It was easy to carry and handle. Just to say that the Leafcocoon allowed us to feel much more involved in the burial because it was so much more accessible and intimate than a coffin would have been”. P.R.
“Sensitively and swiftly accomplished. I would happily recommend Bellacouche to anyone in the process of organising the specifics of a burial, green or other. It was a comforting and comfortable part of the proceedings and adds a dignity to an otherwise often dry and functional process”. M.R.
“… it’s hard to fully appreciate them in a photo, so much of it is how they feel”. J.S.
“Just wanted to let you know that everybody last Thursday thought the leaf cocoon was lovely. So unusual, not as harsh as a coffin, just like being wrapped up in a blanket were some of the comments we received. Thank you once again.” Paul
“Thank you again for being so accommodating and prompt in preparing her cocoon” R and C
“Thank you so much for dropping off the Leafcocoon. It’s amazing, great quality. As a funeral director, I think it’s the way forward using wool, wood and recycled materials. Such a wonderful idea.” Martin Hooper (Coombes & Son Funerals)
“…[the Leafcocoon] gave a strong sense that his body was held cosily in the felt wrapping. We carried it without trouble over slippery uneven ground and it lowered easily and smoothly in the grave. The natural colours complimented the surroundings of the natural burial site which was inhabited by sheep!” E.M.
“It was amazing. To handle Mum into the Cocoon felt the most perfect thing to do – each day we tucked her body in, after changing the ice packs. No smell. No leakage. Perfect design!” C.Pyke
“The Leafcocoon, with it’s beautiful individual design, played a major part in turning what could have been an upsetting ordeal into a beautiful and personal occasion. We loved it”. R.P.
“I can honestly say that it made it a little more bearable to lay her to rest in it. I could not have been doing so in a Gothic horror box. Thank you”. S.C.
“We absolutely love the Cocoon you created for our baby. To have something so soft and comforting to wrap him in felt so much more loving. It was like wrapping him in warm blankets. We felt as though we can lay him to rest so peacefully now – thank you”. C.S.
“…She loved the idea of being cocooned in the felt and somehow it felt much nicer seeing her all wrapped up snugly in your beautiful felt rather than in a hard wooden coffin”. S.A.
“Everyone’s needs are so different. I can’ t understand why those around the grieving person are often so keen to curtail this really vitally important time. My sister and I quite literally locked the door and stayed with mother’s body for at least 24 hours after she died….against mounting pressure from nursing home staff to call in the undertakers and get her body ‘moved on’ within just a couple of hours of her death.
I really think if we can be more open, accepting and comfortable around the ‘normality’ of death we can live richer and fuller lives. I really think we don’t do death very well in this country. There is a huge industry that profits from ( and in our experience) encourages a resistance and embarrassment to discuss death and practical issues around it…
…I’ve been wanting to thank you for your help and advice last September. It was empowering and reassuring at the time and really made a difference. In retrospect it was invaluable.
It set me on a course of asking questions and taking control of what subsequently happened to our mother’s body and how we organised the final ceremonial goodbye to her.
Over the last 6 months I’ve talked to a number of people and am planning to write about death/dying and the need for pause just as long as is needed… despite all the pressures of others to ‘move the process on’ by calling in undertakers too quickly.
Our own experiences both good and bad with trying to use the ‘fridge facilities ‘ of funeral directors (due to the absence of community mortuaries) also raised many important issues around how difficult it is to retain control and ownership of a loved one’s body and how problematic it can be to resist the ‘conveyor belt’ of funeral director controlled processes around dead bodies…
We were so uncomfortable about having a coffin and to have such a beautiful soft cocoon to wrap our mother’s body in, made all the difference. It feels the most natural thing in the world to wrap a loved one in a soft warm blanket. The children were all very relaxed and comfortable seeing her body held in that way…a wooden box wouldn’t have felt approachable at all!
It was a beautiful day in a beautiful natural place and all was as it needed to be. It’s good to be able to know and feel that. I honestly feel that without your support and guidance in directing us towards finding the Natural Death Centre, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did. Thank you Yuli. ” Fiona Scimone (Fiona has given me permission to include her full name.)