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What happens now?

Following your instructions, we will contact the necessary organisations on your behalf. This includes the officiant, church or chapel, reception venue, florist, caterer, newspaper and anyone else necessary to ensure the service is conducted in accordance with your wishes.

We will place a funeral notice in the newspaper/s of your choice. We appreciate that it is not always possible for you to confirm some of the required details, particularly when some family members are overseas or in the process of travelling here. In this case it is perfectly acceptable to place a death notice in the paper, stating that a funeral notice will follow.

The next step is for you to meet with the funeral officiant who will be conducting the service. They will talk to you about the service content and explain the options available to you. Once this has been done, we will prepare the service and provide you with the details in writing for your approval.

We will let you know when all the funeral arrangements are confirmed. If you need to make any changes, please let us know as soon as possible.

The main newspaper notice serves the following purposes:

-To identify the person who has died, and communicate this to the community.

-To identify the primary mourners and immediate family.

-To communicate the service arrangements. Sometimes family, close friends and clubs like to place notices beneath the main notice to express their own personal sentiments. Below are some verses that have been used in sub notices to assist in expressions of love and loss.

-Deep are the memories, special they stay, no length of time can take them away.. We do not part from those we love, no distance can divide, for every day in memory lane, we still walk side by side.

-To hear your voice and see your smile, to sit and chat for just a while, to have you back in the same old way, would be the greatest wish I have today.

-A chapter completed, a page is turned, a life well lived, a rest well earned. -Your memory is the greatest treasure to have and to hold in my heart forever. -It’s not what we write, it’s not what we say, it’s how we remember you in our own special way.

-If I could have a lifetime wish, a wish that would come true, I would want a wish with all my heart, for yesterday and you.

-With tears we saw you suffer, we watched you fade away. Our hearts were slowly breaking, as you fought so hard to stay, you did eventually leave us, but you did not go alone, for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. Please ask your funeral director for more suggestions.

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognise the reality of death. We have dedicated rooms to enable you to comfortably and privately say your goodbyes.

We encourage you to allow children to be involved at this time, provided the situation is explained to them and their involvement is voluntary. Feel free to talk to us about how you would like your loved one to be presented at the viewing, especially if you have specific instructions.

We understand the importance having your loved one look their best for the viewing, so if something is not quite right please let us know.

The funeral service is an important part of both the grieving and healing process, and time should be taken to ensure the arrangements are not only well organised and appropriate, but personal and meaningful. We all want to honour our loved ones at their funeral as much as we possibly can. Take some time as a family to think about the special touches you would like to add, to personalise the service and create a memorable occasion.

The service is largely for the benefit of the bereaved. However you choose to commemorate the life of your loved one, it is important to arrange a service that will provide comfort to family and friends. There is no such thing as a typical funeral service and many traditions that you might associate with funerals are no longer considered compulsory by modern day standards. Your funeral director will work with the officiant to advise and assist you with the following options.

Music is a great way to honour and acknowledge our loved ones. Did they have a favourite song or tune that could be played? It does not have to be a well known or recent song – maybe one from the past, a war song, a song that mum and dad used to dance to, or a tune your loved one used to whistle to. When choosing a song to play at the service, pay careful attention to the lyrics, as what may seem like a great song today may not be appropriate for a funeral service.

Here some suggested titles from our music library.

– Angel Unforgettable

– Time to say goodbye

-What a wonderful world

– Flying without wings

– Have I told you lately that I love you

– Somewhere over the rainbow

– Unchained melody

– I will remember you

– The last farewell

– Goodbye’s the saddest word

– A mother as lovely as you

– My heart will go on

– Georgia on my mind

– Swallowed in the sea

– Bridge over troubled waters

– The rose Memories

– Wind beneath my wings

– You’re always on my mind

– Tears in heaven

– Take me home country roads

– One more

– We’ll meet again

– Visual slide show

The history of a person’s life and the times they have shared with their family can be a wonderful way to personalise the service and provide a focal point as people remember special days gone by. The slideshow can be accompanied by a piece of music and it can be played either during the service as a time of reflection, or as people are gathering before the funeral.

Balloon Release

For many people, a release of balloons is a visual symbol of saying goodbye. This is an especially helpful and tangible way for children to say their farewells. Balloons are best released after the service, normally at the graveside.

Photo Board

A collection of photos can be mounted on a photo board and placed at the venue for people to view and reminisce as they arrive. After the service you may choose to take the photo board to the reception venue. Memorial book Have a memorial book for visitors and friends to leave messages, at home and/or at the service.

Record the Service

A video recording of the service is a way to share the day with friends and family who cannot attend, and for personal reflection.

Personal Items

Placing personal items such as a hat, photos, a flag, or a toy on top of the casket; or larger items around the base of the casket, may assist in creating a personal and meaningful atmosphere before and during the service.

Headstone

Memorialise your loved one by designing your own headstone, plaque or urn.

Some practical considerations

Does anyone in the family require wheelchair access or have other special requirements? Are any organisations likely to attend who may require reserved seating, such as the RSA, service groups, clubs, etc? Will there be a guard of honour from such organisations? We aim to provide a comfortable and safe environment for your family to express their personal sense of loss. If there is anything we can do to enhance your experience, please do not hesitate to ask.

Planning the funeral of a loved one is never easy. Take a moment to reflect on the questions below – they can help organise your thoughts and allow you to plan a more personal, meaningful ceremony.

As Eda LaShan said, “Nothing can help us face the unknown future with more courage and optimism than remembering the glory moments, and everybody has a few of them.”

– What qualities or traits did you admire most?

– Did they ever give you any words of wisdom?

– What relationships were important to them?

– Other than family, who will be affected by their death?

– Who had the most influence on their life?

– What did they do for fun when they were younger?

– In later years, how did they enjoy spending their free time?

– What type of things gave them pleasure?

– What things interested them?

– What accomplishments made them proudest?

– Were they a member of any clubs or organisations?

– How would they want to be remembered?

– What stories would they want passed on to future generations?

– Are there any humorous anecdotes from the past you could mention?

– Humour can be helpful as long as it is in good taste and not seen as disrespectful.

Even though it is an honour to present a eulogy, it can also be and emotional and daunting experience. It is a good idea to write everything down in a legible format, in case someone needs to take over for you. A eulogy usually lasts for three to five minutes. Finally, if you truly feel you cannot present, then do not. Why not write a tribute together with other family members and offer it to someone else or the officiant to present it on your behalf.

Our main objective is to ensure you and your family are completely comfortable and confident with all the arrangements, and that the day unfolds as smoothly as possible. The hearse will arrive at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the service begins. We suggest your family arrive either 20 minutes before the start time, to allow you to greet people as they arrive; or five minutes before the service, should you wish go directly to your seat.

We ask that the pall bearers arrive at the venue 10 minutes before the service, so they can be briefed by the funeral director. Your funeral director will ensure the service does not commence until all family members are seated. Once the service has concluded there is a time for fellowship which can be done at a venue of the family’s choice. We can arrange venues and catering options to suit the family’s wishes. If for any reason you have any concerns or questions prior to the service, no matter how small they may seem, please do not hesitate to talk to us about it.

Our association with your family does not end after the service. As part of our complete care, we will provide you with a bereavement support package. This includes information about some of the issues you may be faced with in the weeks ahead. It also includes information on topics such as: personalised thank you cards to respond to expressions of sympathy memorial bookmarks designing a monument or headstone how to select an urn information on death certificates writing thank you notices for the newspaper frequently asked questions.

Costs paid on your Behalf

Where appropriate, we will make donations on your behalf to the minister, organist, verger, etc. These and other payments such as flowers, catering, doctor’s certificates and other fees associated with the funeral will be paid by us and itemised on the funeral account.

Burial and Cremation Fees

A separate account for the burial or cremation fees will be sent to the nominated personal by the appropriate district council (as indicated on the application form). These are not included on the funeral account, unless the funeral is fully pre paid.

Airfare Discounts

Often there will be members of the direct family travelling by air to attend the service. In some situations those family members may be eligible for a discounted fare from the airline. Please ask your funeral director who can assist with the necessary paperwork.

Financial Assistance

In some situations your family may be entitled to financial assistance to help with the payment of the funeral account. This is most likely to come from either ACC (where the death was attributed to an accident) or WINZ (where the deceased has insufficient funds or assets to cover the funeral account).

Service content

– Meet with officiant and finalise date, time and venue

– Prepare eulogy and tributes Select hymns and music

Service sheet

– Confirm number of service sheets

– Provide photo for service sheet Provide names of speakers and pall bearers

Miscellaneous

– Confirm number of people for seating and catering

– Provide clothing Account for all jewellery and personal items

– Decide what to do with casket flowers

– Complete information necessary for registration of death Provide photos for slideshow