Christmas and the New Year period are meant to be a time of joy and celebration and for many that is exactly what it will have been this year.
To lose a loved one is never pleasant or easy, but it must add a particular strain over the festive period when everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves.
And while we appreciate that local councils are under significant financial pressure and that extra staff and administration costs may arise, it does seem particularly unfair to the families who have the bad fortune to lose a loved one at Christmas that they may have to face additional costs.
But it also raises the issue of how cemeteries – many of which run at a loss despite what can seem like quite steep charges – are funded across Northumberland.
Those in Alnwick and Amble may feel hard done-by that they help to fund their own cemeteries via the precept paid to their town councils, but also fund the county council-run cemeteries in the likes of Morpeth and Berwick.