Funeral Stories

Melbourne funeral - the kids' contribution

Grieving children share their love and gifts

Children want to take part and be useful when they’re missing a beloved elder. The family understands and have organised a task. Before the memorial an older girl sits in a circle with the little ones as they fix labels to rosemary as gifts for guests. The ceremony opens with each child lighting a candle set around floral arrangements at the front. A young cellist tunes up. When he plays the first stanza of ‘Scarborough Fair’ and invites the guests to join in singing, everyone is fully involved, ready for a memorial with heart.

Melbourne funeral outdoors

Australian outdoors

Wanting a small funeral, this family chose home. In a large garden, on the outskirts of Melbourne, the gazebo came into its own. Early spring leaves fluttered on sheltering trees. Guests gathered around as old friends and family told the story of an outdoors man with a love of trees, sports and family. The children joined in helping their parents to display special family treasures through the ceremony.

Melbourne funeral at a university venue

Flowers, community, regrouping

A whole community was struggling to take in the circumstances of a loved one’s death. The family wanted a program that would bring everyone together for several hours to reflect and take the loss in. A daughter’s immense creativity invoked her mother, in spring flowers, fabric, photos, paintings, ceramics. Guests turned inward listening to performances of Schumann, Schubert and Bach by an internationally renowned pianist. Tributes and poems drew laughter and tears. People were ready to get together afresh for tea, cakes and remembering their friend’s rich life. They left with armfuls of flowers from an unforgettable floral display.

Melbourne funeral with colourful coffin and colourful Michael Leunig painting

Mermaid dreaming, garden crate coffin and choirs

Glenda Lindsay made life interesting. Through her panache, advocacy for urban gardens and community food projects and an awesome contribution to Melbourne choirs and songwriting. As someone accustomed to advocating for change, she knew she wanted the end of her to help others to accept the reality of death. She made the mermaid a motif in her end of life arrangements and chose a garden crate coffin. Her end of life celebration was held at home on her birthday, and the event left her admiring friends feeling very warmly in touch.