The Funeral Arrangement
A funeral service is the customary way to recognise death and allows us to honour and show respect for the dead as well as to help those left behind begin the process of grief recovery.
Why have a funeral?
It is well documented by grief professionals that funerals are an essential part of the healing and recovery process.
When a loved one dies, we often see that people want to get on with
funeral planning as quickly as possible; they want closure and think that the pain will go away once the funeral has been held. It is true that funerals can be emotionally difficult, but a good funeral will provide the opportunity to share memories, gather support and put loved ones on the path to recovery.
Not only do funerals celebrate the life of your loved one, it is the coming together of families and friends that makes the difference. This
specifically created support network is a source of comfort and strength, both during the funeral and immediately afterwards.
Although families may be hesitant to choose a funeral service that means coming together, we often find it is exactly from this which people benefit most. The funeral ceremony helps to publicly acknowledge the reality of the death and when shared with friends and family it encourages the expression of grief. This experience actually helps to begin a healthy mourning process.
Benefits of a funeral
Rituals are symbolic activities that help us, together with our families and friends, express our deepest thoughts and feelings about life’s most important events. Baptism celebrates the birth of a child and that child’s acceptance into the church family. Birthday parties honour the passing of another year in the life of someone we love. Weddings publicly affirm the private love shared by two people.
The funeral ritual, too, is a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone loved. Rich in history and rife with symbolism, the funeral ceremony helps us acknowledge the reality of the death, gives testimony to the life of the deceased, encourages the expression of grief in a way consistent with the culture’s values, provides support to mourners, allows for the embracing of faith and beliefs about life and death, and offers continuity and hope for the living.
There are many documents and forms that are important sources of information when arranging a funeral. Here is a brief list of some paperwork that you should keep in a safe location:
- Birth & Marriage Certificates
- Your Will
- Taxation Records
- Lease Agreements and Property Deeds
- Insurance Policies
- Life Insurance / Superannuation Policies
- Documents Relating to Assets
- Details of Bank Accounts and Other Financial Investments
Preparing for the funeral arrangement
In order to prepare for your funeral arrangements, we recommend that you consider gathering special photos, memorabilia, religious passages or even favourite songs or musical selections. Your funeral arranger can suggest meaningful ways to create a service which follows your express desires. Considerations may include:
- Where and when you would like the funeral service?
- Would you like a viewing to say a final, physical goodbye? If so, what clothes would you like your loved one to wear?
- Is there a particular celebrant or clergy member who you would like to conduct your service?
- Consider all service options for a memorable and fitting service.
Would you prefer cremation or burial?
- Consider and reflect on some of the key features which defined your loved one that may be integrated into the service.
The funeral service is the key element of the funeral process and while the funeral arrangement is designed, ultimately, to plan the details of your loved one’s funeral, it is important to note that these are your funeral wishes. We are simply here to facilitate your wishes and guide you through the journey.
Grief and loss professionals believe that a memorable funeral helps families to come to terms with their loss and move on through the immediate grieving process. It is our aim to deliver your wishes, and this is one of the differences that we feel stands us out from other funeral service providers.
What do we need?
When preparing to make funeral arrangements, the following information and items may be required in order to complete the arrangement, or prearrangement process:
- Full legal name
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father’s full name and occupation
- Mother’s full name, including maiden name and occupation
- Recent photograph
- Place of burial (if applicable)
- Details of existing or pre-arranged burial plots (if applicable)
- Next of kin (name, relationship, etc.)
- Insurance policies (if applicable)
You may be eligible for Bereavement Payment if either:
- your partner dies and when they died you were both receiving:
- a pension from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, or
- a benefit such as Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment for at least 12 months
- you are caring for an adult who dies and you were receiving Carer Payment for them
- you are receiving Carer Allowance for an adult who dies, and also an income support payment other than Carer Payment that does not qualify you for a Bereavement Payment, or
- your partner was a member of the Pension Bonus Scheme and died before making a claim for the bonus
- For some payments, such as Carer Payment, Wife Pension and Partner Allowance, the payment may continue for 14 weeks following the death to give you time to seek other income support if necessary.
See www.humanservices.gov.au for more information