“Singapore Casketmaker” by Helen Ong has become one of my top book picks for the past three years. I received this book as a guest writer and two of Singapore’s most respected citizens – Dr. Wee Yean Een and Dr. J. Mark Young. This is not your run-of-the-mill Funeral Director’s Bible, but a heartfelt, honest account of how they dealt with their loved ones after death. And because it is based on their own life experiences, it becomes a personal portrait of the deceased.
The book contains an eight-page preface, a glossary of terms, a table of contents, with each page containing a review or introduction of a topic. Illustrations add to the reader’s delight as they depict the various Singapore casket makers and mortuaries and the range of funeral packages they offer. Illustrations are also found throughout, both within the book itself and throughout the reviews and pages devoted to customer reviews.
The book’s primary focus is on six topics – funeral services, funeral parlors and embalming, religious rituals surrounding death, alternative treatments for terminal illness, and deathbed comfort. They also cover the topic of Singapore caskets and Singapore mortuaries and provide a brief history of the early inhabitants of Singapore and the various cultures that have intermixed over the years. The topics are briefly discussed, with humorous anecdotes interspersed. Overall, the book is an enjoyable primer on all aspects of Singapore casket making, from pre-death preparations through the body’s transportation to the final resting place.
However, one aspect of the book that may not appeal to a larger audience is becoming a licensed funeral planner in Singapore. The book’s primary purpose is to assist the client in planning a fitting funeral for their life, which makes sense. However, it sometimes means that the intended customer becomes a bit confused about the necessary licensing requirements. The reviews do not shed any light on whether the Singapore casket or International Funeral Planning Registry (IFPR) is the appropriate certification to pursue.
The Funeral Casket Project was developed to assist families in planning and carrying out funeral services in Singapore. However, the book is not designed to be a resource for anyone considering Singapore casket prices or casket designs. It provides a simple set of steps for families to follow in preparing and executing their loved one’s death. Each step begins with purchasing the casket, followed by a short funeral service and burial packages. One thing to note is that the Funeral Casket Project is not affiliated with any specific funeral providers, so it may not be helpful to consumers looking to find a particular casket manufacturer.
Other reviews of Funeral Plans in Singapore note that the book contains several helpful service highlights. It includes several helpful recipes, including a “recipe of Life” and “services provided,” as well as a glossary of basic terms. The recipes section includes serving suggestions, which are helpful when planning for different types of meals, such as an open or closed casket service. There are also service options pre-planned in the menu choices section.
Service and burial packages are the following sections of the book. The service highlights of the book include a variety of options and a quick primer on “funeral protocol.” Other highlights include an explanation of embalming, which involves removing a human body from the remains to be buried in the ground (usually done only by an accredited embalmer). A thorough discussion on the use of an autoclave, as well as a glossary of medical terms, are found as well.
In summary, this helpful book provides several helpful service and funeral services highlights. The book is designed so that the consumer can read and use the information without going through a detailed introduction about death and funeral etiquette. The customer reviews of Funeral Plan provide additional insights and give consumers an overall positive impression of this popular book.