Before You Meet With Us
If you are arranging the service for a loved one, there are a number of things that you may wish to do before we meet for the first time to help make things easier.
This is the information we will pass onto for the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
- Our media team are highly skilled at creating wonderful memorial keepsakes. If you have any photos that are precious to you, that you would like to be included please bring them along. We can work with either printed photographs which can be carefully scanned or digital photographs, just bring the unedited original files on a USB thumb drive or details of a cloud storage account (Google Photos/DropBox/iCloud etc) where we may access the original files.
- Select the title and artist you would like to be heard during the service. Usually 3 pieces are sufficient.
- So we may dress your loved one appropriately.
- Death Notice
- If you were wanting one, it is good to have considered it beforehand.
Writing a Eulogy
Giving a eulogy for someone close to you can be a great life achievement. If you have been given the task, it’s a great privilege.
You might be asking yourself where to begin. To write a good story, find the emotive moments. Emotions make things memorable. Think of a moment that lead to an exceptional emotion, rather than simply an intense one. It might involve surprise, awkwardness, fear, extreme satisfaction, anger or joy. Get a collection of these moments and assemble them in a way that fits the context.
The trap that some fall into when writing a eulogy is to make it too long, making it loose its impact. Better eulogies might go for between 5 and 10 minutes; the equivalent of 1,000 words for a speech of this length. If you are going to write your eulogy word-for-word, then you might print it out with double-spacing and in a slightly larger font than normal to make it easier to read. The close family will likely be happy to get a printed copy of the eulogy after the service.
Delivering a Eulogy
Public speaking can be frightening. You need to be brave. Know that your listeners are supportive and loving. Know that it’s okay to make mistakes. No one expects you to be a great speaker and certainly not at this difficult time. It is your words, and the sentiment behind them, that matter the most.
Tips for Speaking
Before the day, practise in front of a mirror, imagining your listeners before you.
If you fear that you might break down, arrange for a backup speaker to be on hand with a copy of your speech. Simply knowing they are there may get you through.
When the time comes, be yourself. Imagine you are talking to a good friend.
Speak clearly and project your voice so everyone can hear you.
If you feel yourself becoming choked up with emotion, pause and take a deep breath to collect your thoughts. Your listeners will understand.
Coping With Grief
As we learn to cope with our loss and adjust to a changed situation, we may go through many changes of feelings, thoughts and behaviours. We may even question our spiritual beliefs. This is grief in action.There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, and feelings of loss do not stick to a rigid timetable. Everyone reacts differently and will come to terms with loss in their own time.
However, there are some reactions to death and dying that are common to many people. These reactions may include sadness, depression, anger, guilt, regret, thoughts of why me?, resentment, poor concentration, and/or withdrawal from social activities.
As you make your way through the grief process and need understanding and information, you may seek assistance. Be patient with yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider talking to a friend who will listen without judgement, or write in a private journal to express your feelings.
Caring for yourself is perhaps one of the most difficult things for us to do. Often we are busy and worried about how other people are coping and put off looking after ourselves. The process of our grief is unique to us because our relationship with the deceased is personal and making meaning of this loss may be complex, bewildering and painful. It will take time to adjust to life without them.
Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement
Suicide Prevention Australia
Delivering national leadership for the meaningful reduction of suicide in Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia provides a great range of resources.
Suicide Call Back Service
Anyone aged 15+ years who is suicidal, caring for someone who is suicidal, bereaved by suicide, or a health professional supporting a suicidal individual
- Available 24/7
- Access up to 6 x 1 hour telephone counselling sessions
- Online counselling available at set times – see website for details
Learn more about anxiety, depression and suicide prevention, or talk through your concerns with our Support Service. Our trained mental health professionals will listen, provide information, advice and brief counselling, and point you in the right direction so you can seek further support.