Saturday, July 22, 2017

An irreverent, humorous poem



This poem was read at a recent memorial which I conducted.  The woman who had passed away had an irreverent, cheeky sense of humour.  It's good to have a few laughs, as well as tears, as we say goodbye to someone we love.

Image result for cartoon image of woman drinking winePardon Me for Not Getting Up
Oh dear, if you're reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host. 


Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.

For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.

Don't worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we'll have a good laugh at the end. 




Facing the Abyss: Planning for Death ~ Pallimed


 

Facing the Abyss: Planning for Death ~ Pallimed

Click on the link above to read an interesting and thought-provoking article.

Monday, July 17, 2017

An interesting funeral custom




I conducted the funeral for an lovely elderly man recently. I met him about twelve months ago when his wife of over 70 years, passed away, so when he died, they contacted me to conduct his funeral. I remembered him well, and how sad and lost he had looked at his wife's funeral.
After 72 happy years together, it was a terrible loss for him.

Image result for pictures of australian coins











He had spent his last days in a nursing home, and his family told me that the staff there had been lovely, especially the Filipino nurses who did their best to cheer him up, and make his last days happy.  Of course he had many visits from his family who all loved him very much.  The gentleman loved a good cup of coffee, so the nurses put some coins in his hand after he passed away.  They said that it was a Filipino custom so that the deceased could buy a good cup of coffee on his way to heaven. What a great custom!

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Personal Funeral with Elaine Searle - Home

You might like to visit my Facebook page for information about funerals and grief. Click on the link below.

A Personal Funeral with Elaine Searle - Home

I am a founding member of the Funeral Celebrants Association and adhere to professional standards in practice and ethics.  Contact me on mob. 0402810062, or email at Email Elaine


Disenfranchised Grief by Doris Zagdanski





About disenfranchised grief

Loss is one of the most common experiences that brings about grieving, but some types of losses are just not recognized and so we have to keep them hidden. This means we can’t grieve about them openly either.
Disenfranchised grief is a concept that was first described by Kenneth J. Doka in 1989. He defined disenfranchised grief “as grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned”.
When does disenfranchised grief happen?
When the relationship is not recognised – such as the close ties of friends, a secret lover, same sex couples, foster parents, colleagues, roommates, teenage romance, step parents & step children.
When the loss is not acknowledged – death of an ex-spouse, miscarriage, abortion, having a disabled child, being an adopted child, placing a child up for adoption, pet loss, financial ruin, loss of home/personal possessions, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, loss of hair/physical appearance due to chemotherapy or illness, death of a public figure/personal hero you admired, death that occurs to people you are not personally acquainted with such as victims of war, natural disasters, crime, capital punishment, misadventure – that touches you.
When the griever is excluded – thought to be too young, judged as not central to the relationship, overlooked due to culture, mental disability or ageing. It could be the loss of access to grandchildren or extended family because of divorce or conflict.
When the circumstance is taboo – suicide, AIDS, drug overdose, anorexia.

Sometimes grief can be disenfranchised by well-meaning family and friends when they set a time limit on your grief or expect you not to cry or encourage you to ‘move on’ or ‘get over it’. This can result in the griever feeling more lonely, misunderstood, more isolated. It doesn’t help when support and comfort that are offered for other losses, that are perceived to be ‘acceptable,’ are not as readily on offer to you.
Remind yourself that you are the best expert on your grief.
Your loss is real, whether or not other people recognise it.
Your grief is what you say it is,
because you are the one going through it.


Doris Zagdanski BA Dip Ed
Doris Zagdanski is a leading figure in modern day grief and loss education. Her seminars are included in vocational qualifications in Allied Health, Counselling and Funeral Directing. Her books and free factsheets are available at www.allaboutgrief.com.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Some thoughts on grief


“As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a location, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing.
But in between the waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line - and it's different for everybody - you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall.  Or 50 feet tall.  And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at an airport.  You can see a wave coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, once again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out….
The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come.   And you'll survive those too”.



                                                     Funeral Celebrant Sydney Website

Some thoughts on grief


“As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a location, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing.
But in between the waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line - and it's different for everybody - you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall.  Or 50 feet tall.  And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at an airport.  You can see a wave coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, once again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out….
The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come.   And you'll survive those too”

You may wish to visit my website for information about arranging a funeral - click on link below.
  Funeral Celebrant Sydney Website

Or email me at  Elaine Searle email

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Treading lightly in death: natural burials enriching on many levels – Palliative Care

As yet, we have no natural (or bushland) burial sites in Sydney. The nearest one in New South Wales is in Lismore. 

I hope that we will soon have an option in the Sydney region for folk who wish their body to be buried with as little impact on our environment as possible, which would be, in a shroud in a bushland area. 

Why not nourish the trees and plants, rather than send smoke and chemicals into the environment while using a huge amount of non-renewable power for cremation. Why have a "one use" coffin which will be burnt or buried?



I realise that many people and different cultures have reasons for burial rituals, but it would be good to have more options, including ones which are less damaging to our environment.

This article from Palliative Care Australia explores the options for natural burial.

Treading lightly in death: natural burials enriching on many levels – Palliative Care

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Deanna Durbin - Always

This timeless favourite from the 1940's has been chosen by the family of a much loved lady who was a young woman during this era.  They have told me that she loved dancing, and I can imagine a beautiful, slow and romantic dance to this lovely old song. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Roy Orbison - In Dreams

At a recent funeral, the family chose this song from Roy Orison to include in the service to a much loved, and much missed, lovely woman.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The 8 Best Things You Can Say To Someone Who Is Grieving

The 8 Best Things You Can Say To Someone Who Is Grieving

Grief is a lonely place to be and sometimes it's really hard to think of what to say to someone who is grieving.  The most important thing is that you dont avoid the subject or avoid mentioning the name of the person who has passed. 
People in grief need their loss recognised and of course, it doesn't have to be the only topic of conversation, but it shouldn't be a taboo one. 

It can even be a good idea to ask them if there is anything they would like to talk through or to go for a coffee or a walk.  The best thing you can do for a grieving person is to be there for them, to talk, to help with everyday matters, and let them know that you care and are there to help.




Add caption

Monday, April 13, 2015

Funeral Readings

I can read for you or you may choose to have a family member or friend to read
Click on the link to find some ideas for readings for a funeral or memorial from Funeral Helper

Funeral Readings