Doris Day’s Final Wishes Expressed No Funeral or Memorial

Following the recent tragic death of legendary Hollywood Icon, Doris Day, she confirmed in her Will that she did not want a funeral or a memorial service.

Day had made her wishes known to her manager and close friend, Bob Bashara confirming ‘No funeral, no memorial, and no [grave] marker’.

The “Calamity Jane” actress’ much-loved animal foundation revealed that she wanted to be buried in an unmarked grave and fans wishing to pay their respects can do so by visiting the charity.

A spokesperson for the charity said:

“Doris’ passionate work on behalf of dogs, cats, horses, sea lions, raptors and other animals in need of rescue, veterinary care and adoption will not end.

“The Doris Day Animal Foundation is committed to continuing its work as a grant-giving organisation, funding smaller animal welfare non-profits across the country.

“Doris’ wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker. Friends and fans wishing to remember Doris Day, are encouraged to visit”

The news of Doris’ death, at age 97, was broken by the animal foundation which confirmed she had been in good health until recently.

The foundation said:

“Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death. She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed.”

Close friend Bob Bashara said that Day did not “like to talk about” a funeral or memorial. He said:

“She didn’t like death, and she couldn’t be with her animals if they had to be put down. She had difficulty accepting death.”

He added:

“I’d say we need to provide for her dogs [after she died], and she’d say, ‘I don’t want to think about it’ and she said, ‘Well, you just take care of them.

“She had several when her will was written, and she wanted to be sure they were taken care of. She didn’t like to talk about the dogs dying.”

Bashara further added that he was unsure as to why the singer did not want a funeral, he said:

“I think it was because she was a very shy person.”

Consequently, a recent Dying Matters Awareness Week campaign’s mission to break the taboo around talking about death in the UK followed hundreds of events being organised around England to encourage people to become more comfortable in talking about grief, death, wills, and funerals.

Furthermore, earlier this year, a campaign was kick started after research found many Brits avoided talking about death. Research by Lifesearch started a #LetsStartTalking campaign after their findings revealed 24% of Brits avoid talking to friends, family, and colleagues about death.

With the UK population getting increasingly older, talking about mortality, for many, can be a very uncomfortable conversation and can seem a long way away. A study commissioned last year by Co-op into post-life matters revealed 18 million people find it increasingly difficult to consider and talk about their death.

How important are these awareness events and campaigns for the Wills and Estate Planning Sector? Do you think people are more open when it comes to talking about death and preparing for the future?