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Beautiful Farewells

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.


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

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Lady’s Tribute to the Legendary Carrie Fisher

carrie fisher
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There have been a lot of people coming through our Sydney funeral home that mention the passing of the well-known actress Carrie Fisher. After hearing all this talk about her and having a love for her myself, I had to write something to remember the legacy.

I may be a cat but I know just how well known she is for her role in Star Wars as Princess Leia and I too think she was stunning. I just loved curling up with my humans and watching that movie, while they thought I was sleeping.

One of the best parts of Star Wars was when Han Solo and Luke Skywalker dressed up as Storm Troopers to rescue Princess Leia from the Rebel Alliance. All of the action with the ray gun and blaster shooting was a little bit scary but mostly exciting! The whole time you were in suspense, wondering if she was in fact going to be rescued. I was so happy when they saved her and she was safe again.

I’ve watched all of the movies in the series and just loved when she reunited with Han Solo in the newest movie, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. It was like a bittersweet last goodbye to her being known as Princess Leia. It’s so special that after so many years she was able to take part in one last Star Wars movie before she passed.

I know I’ve talked a lot about her in Star Wars, mainly because it’s what I’ve been hearing about around our funeral home. I’m not a dumb cat though, I know she was in a lot more movies than that franchise, and I’ve seen some of them too!

A couple of those other movies that I really enjoyed were When Harry Met Sally and The Blues Brothers. They are definitely classics and if you haven’t seen them you need to add them to your list of movies to watch!

Those aren’t the only movies, she had a long and successful career with roles in countless films. If you’re interested in more of them I found a great video for you to watch to remember some of Carrie Fisher’s best moments.

While she may be gone, we will always remember her much like we do with all of our families here at our funeral home in Sydney. Your loved one is just as important as Carrie Fisher and we want you to have the best possible care when making arrangements.

You are always welcome to visit me to talk about Carrie Fisher or I can give you comfort with the passing of your own loved one. I will listen and make you feel better, I promise.

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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…

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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

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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.

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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 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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How to Plan a Farewell Service

Making Arrangements

PlanningYou might be wondering…how do I make funeral arrangement and how do I make sure I do it right? The good news is that it has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you spend.

Making arrangements is about taking the time to come together as a family and work with one of our trained planners to design an event that appropriately celebrates the life of your loved one. After designing meaningful and memorable services for many years we can tell you that there are 5 critical elements involved.

The first critical element is the participation of as many family members as possible. Our all-time high was over 15. In general, you should feel free to involve as many family members as you’d like. This allows the family to reach a consensus on the best way to celebrate the life of their loved one. Different family members often have different viewpoints and it’s best to work out any issues as a group.

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