Another beautiful sunny day in Sydney. I just love days like this when I get to lay outside and bask in the sunshine.
Diane, my pet parent, snapped a couple of photos of me while I was outside. I was in the garden resting on the stone that the monumental masons at Rookwood Cemetery made for us. We partnered with them on their Hidden Exhibition in 2017 and will be doing it again in 2018.
Having been left with your loved one’s personal effects after they pass, this can now often include their social media or email accounts and in an age of technology it can be difficult to know where to start, particularly with the younger generations.
However, it is important not to ignore them as they reach a wide network of your loved one’s friends and connections so it not only makes it easier for you to spread the news but also to ensure that the emails and social media aren’t being contacted.
Check the Terms of Service
The first thing you should do is check the terms of service of each platform to find out about your options. Facebook and Instagram, for example, will allow you to memorialize an account with proof of death which could be a way of honouring your loved one. Most platforms will need to see proof of death in order to deactivate or close the account on behalf of someone else so be prepared to make copies to email over.
Make sure you aren’t breaking federal law in your country by logging into your loved one’s account and posting on their behalf but normally this is considered okay as you let others know about service arrangements and details. Keep Reading
As we enter the holiday season, many who have lost a loved one will experience grief. If the loss was recent, the grief may be overwhelming. But even if the loss was years ago, the holiday season often resurfaces an element of grief as we remember holidays past.
Around 30 years ago, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described something called the “5 Stages of Grief” in her book “On Death and Dying.” Since then, people have started to use this guideline to understand how individuals go through the grieving process.
Denial is the first instinctive response to any kind of bad news. People immediately want to reject it and for the brief moment, they believe that rejecting the idea of loss will undo that loss. This is a part of the healthy coping mechanism but it shouldn’t last too long.
After denial comes anger. People believe their loss is unfair and the entire world should be mourning with them. They become frustrated with friends, family, and even strangers. This is also a healthy and instinctive response. Anger can last for a long time, especially if the circumstances of the loss are abrupt and traumatic. Keep Reading
We used this poem at a service recently and I thought I would share it on my blog. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Those we love are never really lost to us– we feel them in so many special ways- through friends they always cared about and dreams they left behind, in beauty that they added to our days . . . in words of wisdom we still carry with us and memories that never will be gone . . . Those we love are never really lost to us– For everywhere their special love lives on.
Sorry to cause such as scare. Geez I’ve never been hugged so tight as when Scott picked me up when I returned. After all, it had only been a few days!
I was scrolling through the comments on Diane’s Facebook post and saw that someone suggested I write a blog post about my adventures. I thought that was a splendid idea so I checked with Diane & Scott to get their permission (they’re a wee bit protective today) and composed this update.
So where was I during my adventure?
Remember the line from the Lord of the Rings….”Not all who wander are lost”? Well, that was me. I wasn’t lost, I was just wandering.
It all started when I went outside for some fresh air. I know I’m not supposed to go outside without Diane or Scott but I was bored. Plus, I didn’t think it would be a problem. (Don’t tell Scott but I do that a lot when they are off at a funeral.)
I was outside just relaxing in the Sydney sunshine when this very sad looking lady walked by. Keep Reading
October is a month that we focus our awareness on a cancer that has probably impacted someone you know. Did you know that in 2017, it is estimated that 16,084 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (150 males and 15,934 females).
In 2017, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 59 cases per 100,000 persons (1.1 for males and 115 for females).
It is estimated that it will become the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2017.
In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with breast cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 16 (1 in 719 males and 1 in 8 females).
In 2017, it is expected that the incidence rate of breast cancer will increase with age until age group 65–69. It will then decrease for age group 70–79 before increasing for individuals aged 80+
Join us in honouring those who have fought, or are fighting breast cancer in Australia. So we ask, who do you wear pink for?
It can be awkward….the first time you see a friend or acquaintance after the funeral.
Maybe they attended the funeral and expressed their condolences or maybe they couldn’t attend and sent you a card. Either way, the first time you meet again it can be very awkward. They don’t know what to say and you are dealing with the emotional roller coaster called grief.
On Diane Luccitti’s bookshelf is a very useful book entitled Life After Loss by Bob Dietz. One of the many useful parts of the book is a letter that you can personalize and send out to friends either as a letter or an email. Many people find that this simple act helps to relieve some of the awkwardness and makes a difficult time a little bit better.
Everyone grieves differently and there’s no right or wrong way to do so. As funeral directors in Sydney, Diane & Scott are very familiar with this. There’s one major aspect of grief that’s quite interesting that they’ve found true for most of our clients. That is the difference between men and women grieving. It’s likely something you’re not too surprised to hear but it’s the difficulty men have at times that can be a cause for concern.
Honestly, I think they’d be much happier if they would let me curl up in their lap but all too often I get “the look” so I find another lap to visit.
Time to Mourn
One of the most common things you’ll hear upon losing a loved one is that it will all get better with time. The problem with this for men can be that in the meantime they try to keep busy so that the time when things are better happens sooner. Unfortunately, when they’re not allowing themselves time to think about the passing, the healing isn’t able to begin.
Another reason the healing can be delayed and time for mourning lessened is that men often Keep Reading
You may not realize it because I’m a cat but I know all about Anzac Day that’s coming up. The funeral directors in Sydney that allow me to call this place home, have been talking about it. It’s very close to our hearts because we’re constantly surrounded by people losing their loved ones. I feel pretty proud of myself for being a cat and knowing all about it so I have to share just in case you don’t know.
History of Anzac Day
The day is meant for remembering all those Australians and New Zealanders who served in the war and suffered or died as a result of their time in the war. The day specifically chosen to mark the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. This was one of the major events during World War One that killed thousands of Australians and New Zealanders. Compared to the population at the time it was a significant amount of lives lost and a tragedy for both countries.
There are many different ways to take part in Anzac Day and one of those is attending one of the services held at dawn. This service is held at dawn to mark the start of another Anzac Day and signifies the first part of the memorial events. The main dawn service in Sydney is held at the Cenotaph at Martin Place which I’m told is right downtown. Keep Reading
It’s time for a change in seasons with summer coming to an end and autumn beginning. As many of you may know it’s too hot in the summer for a cat like me so I’m very happy about the start of autumn. The weather is so much more mild, with a decrease in humidity and temperatures it makes spending time outside much more enjoyable.
There are many autumn activities I’ve found people talking about at our funeral home in Sydney. One of them is taking a walk. I’ve heard this talked about many times and it can be very soothing and help give you some peace when processing the loss of a loved one. The weather can be crisp which helps you feel refreshed and brings about a sense of new life to your current mood.
Something else you can try is the Moonlight Cinema. It’s a great way to get out of the house and be around people but you don’t have to interact much. During the grieving process, it can feel very lonely and you just want to be around people without necessarily having to talk much. It’s basically an outdoor movie theatre so you enjoy the benefit of fresh air and other people, while watching a movie and having an escape from life for a couple hours.
If you want to take me along with you on these adventures I think they would be very interesting and I would be happy to keep you company. As much as I want to help you by suggesting these types of activities I know there’s other ways you need help too.
During my time as resident cat in our funeral home in Sydney I’ve learned about some other great support systems if you’re looking for something more. One of the most difficult times grieving occurs is when a child dies, when you need help specific to this areaThe Compassionate Friends is an excellent support centre. The leaders are all others who have suffered the loss of a child, grandchild, or sibling making them others who can truly understand what you’re going through.
If you’re looking for support that will help you with the loss of a partner there’s a great non-profit calledSolace Australia. You will find support groups with others that can relate to how you’re feeling and talk in a non-threatening environment. There are trained support workers available to help as well as telephone support if needed.
Between these wonderful resources and many more out there along with the change in weather I hope you’ve found something to help. I know cuddling up with me in the office can only go so far to help you. I want to share information I’ve learned while listening in on conversations.