Help & Advice

– About Funeral Services

At White Lady Funerals and Mareena Purslowe Funerals our special female funeral directors take pride in our reputation of providing a superior quality funeral service to men, women and children from all cultures and religions in Australia.

Families choose us for our genuine care, compassion and understanding. We are a team of committed, professional women from various backgrounds, and we are honoured to be able to care for your loved one.

Our softer, more specialised approach to funeral services provides a place where families can be cared for and supported in a comfortable and nurturing environment by dedicated staff.

In this section we provide help and guidance on funeral service related topics. From what to expect from the first meeting with one of our funeral directors, the type of information you will need to have handy for the funeral arrangements and what you need for a death certificate to what to expect from a funeral, resources for coping with grief and tips on how to write a eulogy, our funeral directors will be there to support you and guide you every step of the way.

What to Do First

The first things to do when a death has occurred

First, settle yourself from the emotions that can arise at a time like this, then call someone to let them know what has happened and that you are alright.

After this, you should call your loved one’s doctor. If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, then staff there will usually do this for you.

If it was the deceased’s wish to donate their organs then a hospital should also be advised as soon as possible.

Once the doctor has been over, you will need to contact a funeral home to arrange the transfer of the deceased into their care. This can be delayed for a little while if you would like some private time. If you would like our assistance, please call 1300 656 550. We are available 24/7.

What Happens If Someone Dies at a Hospital or Nursing Home?

If death occurs at a public hospital, the hospital administration will complete most of the formalities required for the issuing of the Death Certificate and other certificates. However, it will be up to the family to contact a funeral home directly. As most public hospitals have a mortuary the deceased is usually moved from the hospital into a funeral director's care during weekday business hours.

If death occurs at a nursing home or private hospital and you are not already there, then the staff will usually contact the next of kin once the death has been confirmed.

It's common at some private hospitals and nursing homes for a funeral home to be nominated in advance and contacted upon the event of death. In these circumstances, the hospital or nursing home will contact the nominated funeral home to arrange the transfer of the deceased into care.

The Coroner – When Your Doctor Is Unable to Issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

In some cases, a doctor may not be able to issue a medical certificate of the cause of death and they will need to refer the death to the coroner. Because determining the cause of death is absolutely vital, you do not have the right to object to a death being referred to the coroner. However, if you have religious or other strong objections to a post mortem, you should notify the coroner.

There may be a number of reasons for referring a death to the coroner, including:

  • Death other than by natural causes, including violence, accidental or unusual causes.
  • Death whilst under anaesthetic (or within 24 hours of the administration of an anaesthetics).
  • Unexpected death.
  • Death of a person in an institution, a prison or in police custody or a drug or alcohol rehabilitation centre.
  • When the cause of death is unknown.
  • When the deceased had diagnosed dementia.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FIRST MEETING

When meeting with your White Lady or Mareena Purslowe funeral director

When you meet with one of our funeral directors, you can be sure that your every detail and every wish will be taken into account. It’s important to have adequate time to be able to think through what these might be and allow for some of the initial shock and emotions to settle.

Set aside 1-2 hours to meet and talk with our ladies to begin planning the funeral arrangements.

Whilst you do not need to make every decision in that first meeting, it is helpful to have an idea about the day, time and place for the ceremony as family and friends are often anxious to know so that they can plan their time, especially if they need to travel or take time off work. 

Your funeral director will guide you calmly through the process to ensure the funeral is exactly as you wish. One of the areas we will discuss with you is the ceremony itself. Whether it is a burial or a cremation, there are many options to consider such as a theme, music, flowers, the after funeral event and catering, videos and other aspects to personalise the funeral.

Many families find spending time with their loved one, either on the day before or the day of the funeral, helpful to their grieving. This can be done privately or publicly, and we call this time for reflection a ‘viewing’.

Based on what you decide, we will provide you with a fully itemised copy of the funeral arrangement, associated fees and payment options. The fees will only change if you change the details you have requested. White Lady Funerals, or Mareena Purslowe Funerals in WA, will pay all the suppliers on your behalf – so you will only receive one account.

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU

When meeting with your White Lady or Mareena Purslowe funeral director

  1. Supportive family or friend if you like.
  2. Information for the Death Certificate.
  3. Clothes for the deceased to be dressed in including perfume, make up or after shave if you wish. A current photo is also helpful to assist us with their presentation.
  4. Credit card / Eftpos card / Cheque book.
  5. Prepaid funeral plan documents, if any.
  6. Burial site reservation, if any.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FUNERALS

A free guide covering all you need to know

We have put together a free guide to cover all you need to know about funerals.

All You Need To Know About Funerals – White Lady Funerals (.pdf)

All You Need To Know About Funerals – Mareena Purslowe Funerals (.pdf)

The first thing you need to know is that if someone has just passed away it is perfectly alright for you to call someone like a partner, friend or relative to be with you. You should give yourself time to let the situation sink in. We know that it can be quite a shock realising someone you love has passed away, even if you were expecting it. Calling your loved one’s doctor is also a good idea.

After that, you can call us on 1300 656 550 and make a time to come in to one of our conveniently located funeral homes. Our female funeral directors will be there for you to offer our care and support.

More information about what to expect before, during and after the funeral service is available.

LIFEART COFFINS

Use photos, poems and messages to personalise a coffin

LifeArt allows you to celebrate life, character and passion by using beautiful photos, poems and messages to personalise a coffin.

Choose a design from our gallery, decorate the coffin yourself, or our graphic designer can help create something truly unique and personal.

LifeArt Australasia is an Australian company dedicated to making funerals more personal and special through innovation.

You can choose a coffin design from the existing LifeArt range, or design it yourself by providing your own photos and working closely with our graphic designer, or opting to paint and decorate the coffin yourself.

For the environmentally concsious customers, LifeArt offers EnViroboard™, a coffin made from recycled, sustainable materials that can be given a high quality printed finish of your choosing.

LifeArt coffins are available in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

ONLINE MEMORIALS

With HeavenAddress

As part of both White Lady Funerals and Mareena Purslowe Funerals' ongoing support to families, we provide you with a complimentary HeavenAddress online memorial page so that friends and family can share photos, music and tributes to your loved one, as well as offering words of comfort and condolences.

We believe it can offer great comfort and a sense of belonging for families and community groups to join each other and share their memories and thoughts about a loved one. It can also be a way to rekindle friendships as people from all around the world are often affected when a loved one passes away.

HeavenAddress is a site dedicated to helping people come together in this way, to pay their respects and offer comfort and support to one another no matter where they are in world. HeavenAddress lets families create a truly personalised online memorial page. It is easy to use and can be updated whenever you like to keep the online memorial current. Families can also link to their memorial pages to community groups such as the Rotary Club and charity organisations.

Once a memorial page is set up, it becomes a lasting memorial of remembrance. It can remain online permanently so even future generations can view the memorial and leave their personal tributes and condolences.