Funerals

Burials Without Hugs – Our 2020 Moment

The Covid-19 crisis had its biggest consequences for these two most important rituals, the wedding and the funeral. “During the service I never pose people or use flash photography. Discrete candid photography allows me to capture the sombre mode of family embracing, children deep in thought, and friends crofting the … Read more

How Funerals are changing.

How funerals are changing

“The limit on the number of guests allowed at funerals is the latest COVID-19 restriction to be eased in NSW,” Jenny Noyes reported in Sydney Morning Herald  yesterday, (June 14). From July 1, indoor venues will no longer be limited to 50 patrons but for funerals, the changes will come into … Read more

Where will I be buried?

Do you want to be buried where you live now or the place where you came from?

This issue may seem odd to some – but to others it’s very important. In Australia the final resting place has deep significance for Aboriginal people. But I knew a non-Indigenous woman who was troubled by not knowing where she would be buried. In fact, she became peaceful as she … Read more

Funerals now.

A suburban Sydney funeral with no procession of mourners

Tough stories of fragmented mourning in Australia, due to Covid-19, have been shared with us this week. People are improvising in response. A small group in one case used Facetime to share an important graveside moment, even though they wouldn’t normally. Another family have embalmed the deceased in the hope … Read more

Northern Italy’s painful lessons. What can we learn?

New York Times - photographer Fabio Bucciarelli

We understand if you need to say goodbye to Good Grief! for a while, to protect your emotional well-being and mental health. No offence will be taken if you disconnect. It’s important to experience the positive and the beautiful in the light of what is happening throughout the world and … Read more

Adapting the funeral starts now.

Funerals in Australia will now be restricted to 10 people

People are challenging funeral homes to be allowed to have bigger funerals than 10 people, amid warnings that this is dangerous, said Carly Dalton, Funeral Director of Melbourne’s Greenhaven Funerals and President of the Association of Independent Funeral Professionals. “We urge people not to ask for this and for funeral … Read more

Burial in a shroud – no coffin.

An example of a shroud and trundle on the Gathered Here website

I’ve attached a great article from the Canadian newspaper, Edmonton Journal, which shows the growing acceptance of shrouds with no coffin burials, even among traditionalists. It says the Anglican church in Alberta is recognising the environmental concerns of its congregation, something that is catching on everywhere. My cover photo, which … Read more

Making music as a way to say goodbye

"When my Grandma passed away it was a catalyst for me to start writing songs that could help people," says Jay Stansfield.

Here is a wonderful example of how we can bring our talents and who we are right up to the experience of the death of someone we love.  Being with the people we love as they die and actively participating in how we say goodbye to them makes death easier … Read more

My Deer, Phoenix Park.

Phoenix Park, Ireland, pic courtesy National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Ireland.

That’s a full stop – a red stop sign with angled corners and a white line around it.  Resting here, my knees have buckled, in front of that sign you planted in my path. I have walked this space so confidently, happy to share what I know, to muck in. … Read more

A Mexican Cross to remember Chris

A Mexican Cross to remember Chris by, made better for its imperfections, as he is buried today.

Today a Mexican Cross to remember Chris by, because later this morning, Sydney time, his family who are dear to my heart will bury him. They are a large Catholic family just like the one I grew up in and now he, one of the six siblings, is gone. If … Read more

Saying goodbye with architecture

funeral ceremony centre, courtesy Hofman Dujardin Architects

Nearly 80,000 words later and close to completing my ‘life affirming book about death’, I’m back. With more ideas, challenges and stories of people’s experiences to share, as we talk about death. This is one: what if better architecture makes better goodbyes? Here’s something wonderful – thank you to the UK’s … Read more

Green-pod burials solve many problems

The green-pod burial solves many problems

Green-pod burials solve many problems. They’re good for the environment and they’re a gentle, practical and beautiful way to return to the earth. So they would work even for the most traditional of people. “I’ve completely changed my plans about how I’m going to be buried,” announced my friend Kim at … Read more

Now that the funeral is over

Introducing Doris Zagdanski, who works with one of the largest funeral providers in Australia. She is also the author of many books about grief. Doris is currently giving a lot of thought to that most difficult of times – when the funeral is over. “After the funeral we shut the … Read more