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Death of teenage son in road crash inspired a business to help other families

PUBLISHED: 12:31 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:31 01 August 2019

Lynn Forman owner and sales director of Handled With Love, in memory of her son Tom Forman. Photo: Emily Thomson

Lynn Forman owner and sales director of Handled With Love, in memory of her son Tom Forman. Photo: Emily Thomson

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A woman's devastating loss of her son in a motorcycle accident led to her founding a unique business she hopes will help other families.

Lynn Forman owner and sales director of Handled With Love, in memory of her son Tom Forman. Photo: Emily ThomsonLynn Forman owner and sales director of Handled With Love, in memory of her son Tom Forman. Photo: Emily Thomson

When Tom Forman, from Watton, died in 2011, at the age of 18, his family were left with the heart breaking task of arranging his funeral.

Tom's mother, Lynn Forman, of Bluebell Close, wanted everything to be perfect as she prepared to say her final farewell, but felt something was missing.

Ms Forman said: "From my experience when I lost Tom the funeral is the final thing you do and other than the headstone it just wasn't enough for me.

"He had a white coffin but I didn't want those plastic, brass handles, he was young I felt they looked too old, I wanted something to represent him."

Cremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily ThomsonCremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily Thomson

Ms Forman's brother, John Harvey, eventually sourced the handles the family felt happy with, but still felt there was nowhere that could offer exactly what they wanted for Tom's coffin.

Eight years later, on the anniversary of Tom's death July 8, his mother and uncle, announced the launch of their new business, Handled with Love.

The pair offer bespoke and personalised coffin handles, boards, coffin ends, cremation ashes caskets and dedication plaques for loved ones and pets.

The funeral of Tom, who was described as funny and loved by all, was attended by 500 people and it is a day that has stuck with his mother ever since.

Cremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily ThomsonCremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily Thomson

Ms Forman said the company was founded in Tom's memory.

She added: "If it hadn't of happened we would never have created this business but it gives me comfort.

"Even though it came about through tragedy if we can make a difference with our products and it helps people with their final farewell then that's why we started it."

Handled With Love says it wants to make coffins more personal and representative of the person who is being buried.

Cremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily ThomsonCremation ashes caskets with dedication plaques made by Handled With Love. Photo: Emily Thomson

Customers can choose colours, inscriptions, fonts, designs, and boards to write eulogies, which will be hand-crafted by Mr Harvey.

Ms Foreman said: "The whole point is so people aren't restricted with their ideas. If John can design it, they can have it.

"If I had 'I love you always Tom' which I do and I will, then I would know that it is with him which would bring me comfort. Hopefully other people will feel the same."

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