The Celebration Sounds Of A Life Well Lived

Last time, I posted about flowers at funerals, but another popular inclusion in a Sydney funeral is music. As funerals have evolved to become celebrations of a life well lived, so have the music selections. Gone are the days of dark somber funeral dirges. Today, people are choosing music that reflects on the life being celebrated.

According to The Telegraph, some of 2016’s popular choices have been:


  • PachelbelCannon in D Music can console in more than one way. Pachelbel’s canon does it by being unchangeable and rock-steady. That endlessly repeating bass and the violin lines following each other in stately procession say, ‘Don’t worry – the world is not going to collapse. Life goes on’.
  • Henry Francis LyteAbide With Me The words of this hymn describing death coming like evening could be frightening. The sweet tune tells us not to be afraid.
  • Sarah Brightman & Andrea BocelliTime to Say Goodbye Pop-classical crossover smash from 1997, and the best-selling single ever in Germany.
  • Antonio Vivaldi – Four Seasons Vivaldi’s four concertos have been a classical music favourite for decades, and the slow movements have a pastoral calm that makes them appropriate for a funeral.
  • Eva CassidyOver The Rainbow The late American singer added an extra layer of vocal pathos to the Judy Garland classic.
  • Tina TurnerSimply The Best Originally written for Eighties soul star Paul Young, The Best has gone on to be a favourite, not only at funerals, but also with sportsmen
  • Dolly Parton and Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You Dolly Parton wrote and recorded her bitter sweet country ballad in 1973, but it was boosted to international fame thanks to Whitney Houston’s version which was used as the theme tune to 1992 film The Bodyguard.
  • Sarah McLachlanAngel Sarah McLachlan penned this song as a tribute to Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Johnathan Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996.
  • Nat King ColeUnforgettable Nelson Riddle’s orchestration combines with Cole’s smoky vocal to create music that lives up to its title.

And one of the top songs has been Frank Sinatra‘s My Way. I could watch this all day…

Why Flowers? Thoughts From A Philosophical Cat.

Sydney funeralLady, the philosophical cat?

Over the years of being the official funeral home cat of Elite Funeral Directors, I have seem some amazing flower arrangements come through our doors. Flowers are a traditional part of funerals, but have you ever stopped to think about the origins of flowers and funerals?

Flowers have been a part of funerals for thousands of years. The main reason behind flowers at funerals originally have been to hide the aroma of the body, but that isn’t something we want to think about today. One thing I wish for you to think about is the beauty of flowers and the symbolism it can represent of life. Just as the plant grows into maturity and produces the beautiful flower, a life grows from infancy into maturity and produces a beautiful flower. What a wonderful thought to consider a beautiful life well lived surrounded by beautiful flowers as family and friends celebrate their life.

Now you know the rest of the story…at least how I see it!

I like to think a flower opens itself to outgrow its plantedness. That it yearns to be carried away. ~Author Unknown

Personalising A Sydney Funeral

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

Sometimes here at our Sydney funeral home, I watch Diane work on a tribute video for one of our families and all I can say is, “Wow!” When it’s hard to find words during one of the hardest times of your life, a video containing pictures of memories can be powerful words of comfort.

Add that personalised touch to a funeral service with a professionally edited and displayed memorial tribute video.

A Well-Trained Sydney Funeral Home Cat

funeral home sydneyDiane read a story last week about training cats. Can you believe that? Training a cat? I mean, we are clearly smarter than dogs (who obviously need training) so the idea of cat training makes me laugh. (There’s nothing better than a good cat laugh!)

I am the official cat of Sydney’s Elite Funeral Directors and I have a special job, just like Diane and Scott…so I guess you could say I’ve been trained here at the funeral home in Sydney…just don’t ask me to play fetch.

The Life Of A Funeral Home Cat In Sydney

Sydney's Elite Funeral Directors Cat - LadyIf you will allow me to brag a little…

Not all cats get to say how awesome their life is, but as the resident cat at Elite Funeral Directors, I couldn’t ask for a better place to call home. Why you ask? Because when it comes to having caring owners, you can’t find an owner that cares about people (and cats) more than Diane and Scott.

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Autumn in Sydney

I overheard Diane and Scott talking about the beautiful colours of Autumn that are filling the sights in Sydney. If you read my last post, you would have seen that I am kind of getting into poetry these days. (What? You think a cat just sleeps all the time and stares out windows?) I saw a book on Dianne’s desk and it was opened to this poem. That must be where I learned to love poetry…

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The Mourner’s Bill of Rights


Grief is different in all people, but one thing I have heard Scott say is to heal your grief, you must mourn it. As the official office cat at Elite Funerals, I see many people struggling with grief. Sometimes I just sit at the feet of someone grieving and let them know I care. Other times, someone finds a brief respite of comfort by simply holding me in their lap and petting me. How you respond to grief is your own journey. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain “rights” no one should try to take away from you. Hope The Mourner’s Bill of Rights help you in your grief journey.

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Adventure Cat

Adventure Cat

Some days I wonder what it would be like to go on adventures like Diane and Scott like to take, but then I remember the people I wouldn’t get to help here at the office and bring smiles to their faces during sad times.
Here’s another cat who likes to take adventures and bring smiles to people…only this cool cat rides the train in Tokyo. How cool is that? Keep Reading

The Role of a Farewell Planner

The Role of a Planner

plannerHow would you feel if you just got off the phone with your closest relatives and they all said that they were coming for a visit… in 3 days? Plus, they were bringing their spouses and their children.

How would you feel if you had to plan an event for everyone? You would need to pick a venue, plan the food, plan the table arrangements, plan the flowers, select the music, and find people to help out.

Now imagine doing all of this while personally experiencing the loss of your mother, your father, your spouse, or worse of all…your child.

Throughout history the loss of a loved one has always been recognized as a significant family event. Family and friends would gather together to support each other, to mourn, to cry and to share stories.

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