We’re used to seeing unconventional coffins at some funerals now, tho not many people decorate or paint their own.
It does happen – I know an artist who’s painted someone else’s coffin for them and to their instruction. And twenty years ago I knew a woman who, on knowing her cancer was definitely terminal, began to paint her own coffin as part of preparing for her death – she was back in New Zealand at that time.
So maybe there’s something in the Kiwi air that makes people get creative with coffins?
A Guardian article tells of a Coffin Club craze across New Zealand with people getting together to build coffins and then often decorate them too. Dozens of groups have sprung up across the country in a creative and cost-saving activity that’s also led to new friendships and ‘sidelines’, such as making and donating baby coffins for the local hospital.
I’m not sure it’ll catch on in the UK, although my home country is full of surprises lately…