The 5 Stages of Grief

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.

1. Denial

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.

2. Anger

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

Beautiful Poem

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.

Lady

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.

By: Amanda Bradley

Not all who wander are lost….

I’m back!!

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!Lady & Scott

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

Who Do You Wear Pink For?

Sydney Breast CancerOctober 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

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.

Keep Reading

Helping Men Cope With the Loss of a Loved One

Funeral directors sydney auEveryone 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

Taking Time to Remember on Anzac Day

Source: http://bit.ly/2nwYS6K

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.

Dawn Services

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

Lady Celebrates the Season Changing to Autumn

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Source: http://bit.ly/2lrsQZM

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 area The 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 called Solace 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.

Lady Talks About What’s on Her Bucket List

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(Source: http://bit.ly/2kG9Rcv )

Do you have a bucket list? I’ve heard people talking to our funeral directors in Sydney about their bucket list and got curious about it. I know I’m a cat but I don’t think that means I shouldn’t get to create one!

Have you ever wondered where the idea of a bucket list comes from? I tried to figure it out and it seems like there’s more than one idea about it. All of them come from the expression “kick the bucket” meaning when someone has passed away.

Let’s get into the interesting stuff which of course is talking about what’s on my bucket list! It’s important to create a bucket list and if you see that a little old cat could create a bucket list then hopefully it will inspire you to create one too!

We have some pretty exciting places around Sydney that I’d love to visit. I know I talked about travelling awhile ago but I really feel like I need to talk about some of these places again. One of the places I must visit is the Sydney Opera House. I don’t just want to see the beautiful outside of it, I want to go and actually see an Opera! I’m so small I could just curl up under someone’s seat and they wouldn’t even know I was there. Unless they would let me sit on someone’s lap that would really be just perfect.

Another place I have to visit is Bondi Beach. I’ve seen it on television and it looks so nice. It would be pretty fun for someone to take me out on their surfboard, although I wouldn’t want to get wet. I’m not sure if it’s possible not to get wet though so I think I’ll just watch from the shore.

The last thing I’d love to do is see a beautiful view of the city. The best way to do this is of course viewing it from the Sydney Tower. I know it will be scary to get up there and look down at everything from so high but it will be worth it. I may need someone to hold onto me so I don’t think I’ll want to sneak in there alone but as long as someone takes me it will be fine!

As great as all of these places are to visit I know if you’re not a cat there’s probably a lot more exciting things you’d like to do in your life. It’s important to take the time to think about it and always have those ideas in your mind.

I see so many people come in and talk to our funeral directors in Sydney and they’re so sad. Someone who they love very much is gone and they didn’t have a chance to do all the things they wanted to in life. Take the time now while you still can to create your own bucket list and start trying to get some of those things accomplished.

Lady Learns About Funeral Cookies

Funeral CookiesHave you ever heard of funeral cookies? I didn’t know much about them even being the cat of funeral directors in Sydney. But, maybe that’s because I’m a cat and I really don’t get told everything. So, now that I’ve heard about them I think they’re a very interesting concept and just have to share.

They were primarily used during colonial times and served a number of different purposes. First and foremost they provided a way to remember the person who had passed. Not only this but during these difficult times they were also a source of nourishment and comfort.

The types of cookies that were used varied throughout different areas. You would find some that were like a sponge cake, others that were a dark chocolate batter, and some that were traditional molasses cookies. Something unique about these cookies was that they often were made with images that symbolized death such as skulls and winged cherubs.

It’s not all about the cookie itself though, they were wrapped in a very special wrapping. What I really liked is that they had poetry, bible verses, and even the death notice printed on them. I’ve seen a lot around here with our funeral directors in Sydney but nothing quite as unique as these cookies.

There’s one last part about them I want to mention and that’s the fact that they were used as a method of delivering a death notice to people who were being invited to the funeral. They did also give them out those who attended the funeral while they were walking from the church to the burial site.

Now that you know a little bit about them, what do you think? I know my opinion as a cat may not mean much but I think my funeral directors in Sydney should start doing this!

Maybe I’m a little old fashioned. It just seems like such a nice way to remember those who were lost. I’ve seen many different ways of doing things while I laze around the office here and there’s nothing close to the funeral cookies.

They don’t just put a normal old wrapper for the cookie they use it to remember the loved one, it’s just so creative. We have lots of bakers around here I’m sure we could find a great one in Sydney to help us out with that!

I don’t know if they will listen to me on this idea though. All I know is that I’ve done my part in telling you about them and what a great idea I think they are. Who knows, maybe someone will decide to try them out and I will get to see it. If you do decide to try them out I’m sure you could chat with my funeral directors about it and they could help you arrange it.