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Serving Kempsey & The Mid-North Coast

The First Steps to Arranging a Funeral

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Arranging A Funeral

I Need To Arrange a Funeral

The first thing to do is to find someone who can help take care of the necessary responsibilities. You can have complete trust and confidence in Macleay Funeral Services, an Australian family owned company. Our practical knowledge, expertise and understanding will relieve you of many problems and worries.

We will arrange a personal discussion with the family or executor/executrix, either in our office, at the family home, or any other convenient location. At this meeting, the wishes of the family will be discussed, including the various statutory documents and forms which need to be completed and signed. Below are some step – by – step considerations the family will be required to make.

The Personal Details Form will assist your family and us in preparing your funeral in the event of your death. This downloadable form should be completed and kept in a safe place, such as with your will, for future reference. Download the personal details form here.

Call us on (02) 6562 3160 to discuss how we can best work with you.

Some Things to Consider

  1. Choose between burial or cremation
  2. What type of funeral service is required?
  3. Choose a celebrant / priest / minister
  4. Information required for registration of death with Births, Deaths & Marriages
  5. Choose a coffin
  6. Choose flowers
  7. Organise orders of service, audio visual displays, etc

For More Information or Assistance

What To Do When Someone Dies

Contact the family doctor who will attend and confirm the fact of death. The doctor will complete a death certificate (and cremation certificate if required).Once the doctor has left, contact a funeral director to arrange transfer of the deceased to the mortuary.

Don’t worry about what time you call. Good funeral directors offer a 24 hour service every day of the year. It may be necessary to contact the local police station if contact cannot be made with the doctor.

In a hospital, the staff will complete the necessary documentation. Most hospitals have mortuary facilities. The family will need to select and contact the funeral director.

Most nursing homes will ask the family of a resident for a name of a funeral director to be contacted at the time of need when they are initially placed in the care of that nursing home. The nursing home will contact the nominated funeral director when required. Prompt transfer is necessary because many nursing homes do not have mortuary facilities.

Contact a funeral director. Macleay Funeral Services can arrange repatriation from interstate or anywhere in the world. We are a member of National Selected Morticians, a prestigious worldwide organisation of funeral directors. Our personnel can also arrange for cremated remains to be repatriated.

Our skilled and qualified personnel have many years experience in this area and can also assist with service requirements once they have reached their final destination.

For More Information or Assistance

Types of Funeral Services

Two Services

Traditionally, funerals commenced in a church where the major proportion of the service would be held followed by a procession to the cemetery or crematorium at which a short committal service would be held. A variation on this is a service held at another location. ie. Funeral directors chapel, family home, school, community hall, etc.

Single Service

If there is only one service everything will take place at the one location. This is a simplification of the traditional funeral ritual. This option may be chosen for a number of reasons – consideration for the distance many people have to travel, traffic congestion, or the opportunity that this service provides for all mourners to stay together at the one location instead of travelling elsewhere which may have strict time limits applying.

A religious service can be conducted at the funeral director’s chapel or local church with or without the coffin present. If the coffin is present at a single service held at the local chapel or church, the coffin will usually be transported to the cemetery or crematorium immediately following the service by the funeral director with no mourners present.

In the case of a burial the entire service can be conducted by the graveside. There are many options to be considered when planning a funeral ceremony. Macleay Funerals staff can assist you with these options. Whichever you choose, the choice is yours.

No Service

This is the most basic of all funeral services catered by Macleay Funerals. It is a service whereby no mourners are present and involves Macleay Funerals handling all the practical aspects required to fulfil any legal and health department requirements with respect to the disposal of the body (either by cremation or burial).

War Veteran Funerals

Macleay Funeral Services offers special pricing for returned service personnel and their spouses. The funeral service is of course tailored to the requests of the family involved. However we would like to outline here some of the services offered by Macleay Funerals to the families of returned service personnel and their spouses.

A national flag can be draped over the coffin. A cushion is provided for the display of medals if required. The Australian Army slouch hat may also be placed on the coffin as a symbol of courage and national pride. A representative, or representatives, of the RSL Sub-branch of which the deceased was a member can be invited to attend the service and, if requested, the Ode may be recited. Sometimes an RSL representative can also give a brief outline of the deceased’s military service history at the funeral. The Last Post and Reveille may also be played either by a bugler or by a CD recording. Poppies can be made available for ex-service personnel or their representatives to place on the coffin as a symbol of the deceased’s sacrifice to their country.

Families of returned service personnel can be guided through the appropriate options available to them by our funeral arranging staff who have been fully trained in the rituals and requirements of an RSL Service. Your Macleay Funerals representative will make all the necessary contact with the local RSL Sub-branch concerned. Usually military service records of former Australian Service Men and Women are kept by the Sub-branch and can be accessed at the time of the funeral by the Sub-branch representative who will be invited to speak.

Creative Funerals

Over the years, we have had many creative requests in delivering a funeral service that appropriately reflected the life of the deceased person. These have included requests such as:

  • Decorating and painting the coffin
  • Funeral services in public parklands and/or at home
  • Evening services
  • Weekend services
  • The use of special vehicles to convey the deceased such as motorbikes or vintage vehicles

Macleay Funerals representatives are able to advise if your special request meets existing Health Department Guidelines and will be able to assist you to arrange such requests as part of our service to you.

Vehicle Choices

In addition to our modern fleet of hearses, Macleay Funerals offer a variety of other hearse options for you to choose from.

Other options include:

  • Cadillac hearse
  • Motorcycle hearse
  • Horse-drawn hearse
  • Rolls Royce hearse

Please call 65623160 to discuss these options and pricing with one of our staff.

For More Information or Assistance

Choosing a Coffin

How do you choose?

A simple starting point is the advice we have given families for generations.

Consider the:

  • colour
  • material
  • fittings
  • shape

When choosing the shape a ‘coffin’ is tapered at the head and the foot, while a ‘casket’ has an uncomplicated rectangular shape.

When selecting the material, options include a veneered particle board, mdf, solid plantation timber, cardboard or exotic timbers such as mahogany and cedar or metal.

Click the link to download a PDF containing our selection of coffins and caskets. For further information, please call 6562 3160 or email [email protected]

For More Information or Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a coffin and a casket?

Contrary to what many believe, coffins are very different to caskets. A casket is rectangular, usually has a hinged lid and is of European origin. Coffins are just how people imagine them, tapered out to a point at the shoulder, and with a lid which usually lifts off completely. Coffins are of English origin.

Today, coffins and caskets are made of either particle board (chipboard), timber (including pine, oak, cedar and mahogany), metal (these are imported from the USA) and very recently the outside of some is made of velvet. The lining is made from materials ranging from understated calico to hand ruched satin.



What options are available when some people cannot attend the funeral service?

Being able to attend the funeral of a loved one is the final opportunity for family and friends to publicly express their love and respect for the deceased.  It is an important part of the grieving process and at a time when friends and family can support each other in their grief.

So what happens when the person you love dies and you are unable to attend the service?

People who are unable to attend the funeral service may experience “disenfranchised grief” – people who are grieving, but who may not be provided with opportunities to express their grief.

The following list are some ideas to enable absent mourners to experience the funeral service, as well as providing a lasting record of the ceremony for the family.

  1. Recording the service to DVD
  2. Arranging copies of the memorial book
  3. Arranging for photos to be taken and/or arrange for the service to be webcast
  4. Arranging a mobile phone hook up to enable absent mourners  to hear the service

What about refreshments at a funeral?

Over the years, an increasing number of families have been asking “Can Macleay Funerals provide refreshments after the funeral service?”

This question is often prompted by the family’s desire to socialise with family members and friends who attend the funeral. At the same time, people indicate that if we were to arrange the refreshments, it would relieve them of the added strain of providing refreshments in their home. Also, families do not always have a home large enough to accommodate the mourners.

Macleay Funerals is happy to assist families with the different options to suit their needs. Each family’s requirements are different and it may be that their home is not large enough to accomodate the number of mourners expected, or it might be a small, informal gathering that the family want. Macleay Funerals has the information to take the stress away from making these arrangements

Does organ donation affect my funeral arrangements?

No; if your organs are donated, your funeral arrangements are not affected.

Organ donors are people who genuinely care about the human race. By donating kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas – even corneas and bone tissue, donors can save or extend the life of someone they don’t even know.

Organ donation, which is possible only in a major hospital, requires the informed consent of the next of kin. In some cases, people are provided with a donor card to indicate their wishes once they die.

Of course, the timing of organ retrieval is crucial. For example, heart valves and bones must be retrieved within 24 hours of death, and a cornea must be retrieved within approximately 8 hours.

What is a reportable death?

Reportable Deaths are those that are:

  • due to unnatural (violent or unexpected) causes,
  • resulting from an accident or injury,
  • where a doctor cannot issue the death certificate,
  • where a person was held in care prior to death,
  • where a person’s identity is unknown, or
  • during or as a result of an anaesthetic.


The State Coroner’s Office must be notified of every Reportable Death in the State, and they will usually handle all cases in the metropolitan area.

Those cases which occur outside metropolitan Sydney are handled by the local coroner.

What happens at the Coroner’s?

All “reportable deaths” need to be investigated by the State Coroner or by another Coroner.

The first step is identification, and the Coroner usually asks for a family member or close family friend to identify the deceased. This can be done either at the place of death, in the presence of the police, or at the Coroner’s office.

The Coroner then attempts to determine the cause of death, and studies the deceased for any signs of injury or abuse, and usually conducts an autopsy (post mortem). Depending on the outcome, finger prints may be taken and a blood test is made.

The presence of bruising, skin puncture marks, poison or narcotics in the body, and the location of wounds can provide vital clues to the cause of death. These signs will help determine if the death was accidental or intended.

Is everything burnt in the cremation?

By law, both the coffin and body are consumed in a cremation.

The only items not consumed in a cremation are the metal handles on the coffin. Some crematoria may be required by the local Environmental Protection Authority to remove fittings made of other material.  This is because of the adverse effects the material may have on the environment near the crematorium.  All these items are destroyed.  They are never recycled.

How can I be sure I have the right ashes?

Good funeral directors have extensive procedures to ensure correct body identification at every stage of the funeral preparation process which starts with the mortuary ambulance collects the body from the place of death to delivery of the coffin to the crematorium.

Crematoria go to great lengths to ensure the correct identity of cremated remains.

When a coffin arrives at the crematorium, staff apply strict identification procedures – they check all documents and cross reference these with a nameplate which is secured to the lid of the coffin.  The coffin is identified with another temporary label which contains the relevant information.

As the coffin enters the cremator, the nameplate is removed and placed on the outside of the cremator.  As each chamber has room for only one coffin, it’s a simple case of matching the remains with the label on the outside of the cremator.

The label then stays with the remains until they are placed into suitably identified container which may by returned to the family or placed in a memorial urn of the family’s choice.

What type of memorials are available for cremated remains?

Cremated remains can be placed in an existing grave as long as the owner gives permission and there is enough room.  Many cemeteries allow cremated remains to be placed in a wall niche or at the base of plants and trees.

For those who desire a more unusual resting place, there’s no restriction on or where cremated remains may be placed (as long as the owner of private land gives permission).  Cremated remains can be scattered at sea, sprinkled across the hills, or kept at home.

Macleay funeral services offer a range of memorial urns suitable for storing or scattering cremated remains from.

What’s a Mausoleum?

A mausoleum is a large monumental tomb which has a chamber that contains funeral urns or caskets. Unlike most tombs, mausoleums are generally built above ground allowing the rank and achievements of the deceased to be displayed.

The earliest known mausoleums were built over five thousand years ago from huge pieces of stone, and were usually covered with earth or rock. In the centuries that followed, mausoleums were usually built for significant individuals or for prestige. The best known mausoleum is the 17th century Taj Mahal.

Today mausoleums can be found in cemeteries around the world – they are usually multi-storeyed and can accommodate hundreds, sometimes thousands, of entombments.

Macleay Funerals has extensive experience in the area of Mausoleums.

Is a funeral really necessary?

There are a couple of reasons why funerals are important.

The first is technical – a funeral makes sure that a body is legally buried or cremated.

The second reason is that a funeral helps the family come to terms with the death; it is really the first step toward working through grief. In fact, it has been proven that a funeral has significant therapeutic value, giving an avenue to express grief and provide support.

It’s important to remember that a funeral is not for the dead, it is for the living. It is a chance for family and friends to collectively express their love and respect, and to extend support to members of the family. It is a chance to formally acknowledge a loss.

Who can take part in a funeral ceremony?

The family can include anyone in the funeral ceremony.

Usually, the funeral ceremony is led by a member of the clergy or a funeral celebrant.  If the service is led by a person of religion, the service will focus on the beliefs and faith that are a part of that religion.  His may include reading from a religious text, prayers and the funeral rites of that particular religion, plus a reflection of the deceased’s life.  Funeral celebrants individually prepare the ceremony with a eulogy on the life of the deceased and will incorporate various readings. Some religious verses or prayers may be included if required.

It is possible and quite normal to involve other people in the funeral ceremony such as family or friends wishing to contribute to the service by making a personal tribute.

Sometimes other relevant organisations, such as the Returned Services League or Masonic Lodge, may be included in the funeral ceremony. A member of the relevant organisation gives leadership in this part of the ceremony.

Macleay Funerals is able to provide assistance in coordinating the involvement of all personnel sharing in the funeral ceremony.

What is a pre-paid funeral?

A prepaid funeral offers your family and friends the peace of mind knowing that your wishes have been recorded.  Additionally, prepaid funerals offered by Macleay Funerals are fixed price.  The funeral expenses are paid at today’s prices and are protected from inflation.  A prepaid funeral may be paid as a lump sum or paid in monthly instalments over a period of up to three years.  When the time comes for the prepaid contract to be used, a simple phone call from your executor, next of kin or friend is all that is required for us to commence implementing your recorded wishes.  All monies paid toward the prepaid funeral contract are invested independently in a trust fund and are not released to Macleay Funeral Services until we have conducted the funeral.

What is a prearranged funeral?

A “prearranged funeral” is one planned sometimes years in advance.  A prearranged funeral offers your family or friends the peace of mind knowing that your wishes have been recorded.  The funeral expenses are paid by the family or estate at the time of need.  All the funeral details are planned in advance.  A phone call from your executor, next of kin or friend is all that is required for us to commence implementing your recorded wishes.

Should the body be viewed?

A viewing is a chance for family and friends to spend time with the deceased and to bid farewell in their own special way.  A viewing is generally arranged at a time suitable to the family before or at the time of funeral.  The body will generally be presented at the viewing in a coffin or casket dressed in clothing supplied by the family or in a shroud like garment supplied by the funeral director.

A viewing can help people come to terms with the reality of death. This is especially important if the death was unexpected or if there are family and friends who had not seen the deceased recently. Children may also benefit from attending the viewing.

At the viewing family and friends are welcome to place sentimental items, personal letters, photos, flowers and other memorabilia in the coffin/casket if desired.  It is a very personal time between the family, other mourners and the deceased.

Should children view the body?

A viewing is an unusual situation for most people and it poses the question of whether children should attend.

Understanding death is an important part of a child’s preparation for life. If they are not included in the funeral or are prevented from attending a viewing, it is possible that they may develop a set of unnatural fears.  Note, however, a child should never be forced to attend a viewing if they do not wish to go.

Children are likely to get more from a viewing than adults will because it can actually help the child to understand and accept the reality of death, and prevent the feeling that they have been abandoned by a loved one.

Children often like to place personal items such as letters, drawings, toys or photos in the coffin.  This is a very natural and a very healthy way for the child to form an important link with the deceased.

For More Information or Assistance

Pre-Planning Options

Family Pre-planning removes the burden. A funeral can affect a family and loved ones both emotionally and financially. With a little forethought and pre-planning, you have the opportunity to relieve some of the burdens of those closest to you.

Pre-planning is something we do all the time. We set money aside for travel, for retirement and other important events. Like writing a Will or purchasing insurance, arranging your funeral in advance plays a similar role in life.

For many years, Macleay Funerals have been caring for people and tailoring funerals to meet their individual needs and circumstances. Today, more and more people prefer to plan ahead. They tell us this gives them a feeling of emotional relief and saves a lot of worry for the people they care for.

Macleay Funerals has created five different preplanning options due to years of feedback from our families.

These options enable anyone with or without the means of paying for their funeral the option to preplan a funeral and ensure their wishes are recorded. By doing so, it alleviates some of the difficult decisions that would otherwise be left to other family members.

The Macleay Funerals five Funeral Pre-Plannning  options are:

  • Prepaid Funerals
  • Prearranged Funerals
  • Funeral Bonds
  • Funeral Insurance
  • Funeral Director Nomination

Prepaid Funerals

A prepaid funeral is a funeral planned in advance and paid for at today’s prices. Even if prices rise in the future, you will not have to pay extra for the services you have prepaid for in your Macleay Funerals Prepaid Funeral Plan. Your investment is safe as it is managed in accordance with strict legislation by a third party, Total Care Funeral Plan Pty Ltd.

This form will assist in helping you decide on your funeral details. Download it here.

Is My Money Safe?

Yes. All monies are invested through Total Care Funeral Plan PtyLtd, a register funeral fund since its inception in 1989. It is regulated by the NSW State government through compulsory annual returns and audited annual financial reports. Investments are made only within a concervative framework, including a large portion of monies being held in fixed term deposits.

In the unlikely event we were to sell our business or it becomes insolvent, the contract would be assigned to and taken over by the new owner of the business or alternatively we will arrange for another funeral director to be responsible for the supply of funeral services.

Is There Any Insurance Available If I Die Interstate or Overseas?

The geographic area we usually serve is 75 km from our nearest branch. We also have a Travel Protection Option available to protect you under these circumstances covering Australia and its territories only. If you die overseas you will require your own Travel Insurance to repatriate the body back to Australia.

If I Have a Pension, Will It Be Affected?

It is our understanding that pre-paid funerals are wholly exempt from both the income and assets tests as applied by Centrelink (Australian Government: Department of Human Services) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, by law we are unable to give clients advice on such matters, and we strongly recommend you seek independent financial advice or confirm your position with Centrelink (Australian Government: Department of Human Services) and/or the DVA beforehand.


  • Your wishes are recorded and made known to your family.
  • The funeral cost is fixed at todays prices.
  • All monies paid are safe and secure in the event of the sale of the business becoming insolvent.
  • A prepaid funeral certificate will be supplied for you to provide copies to family members, executors, etc.
  • When the death occurs one phone call from the family is all that is required to commence proceedings as per your wishes.
  • Relieves surviving family members from the financial burdens of paying for a funeral service.
  • Your prepaid funeral will be exempt from both the income and assets tests applied by Centrelink and the DVA (independent financial advice should be sought beforehand).
  • If you die whilst in Australia or its territories, your body will be repatriated to our Kempsey office for your funeral service (only if selecting or Travel Protection Policy for an additional fee).
  • Can be paid in one lump sum or in monthly instalments after an initial deposit.
  • Can be tailored to suit your available budget.
  • Each item covered by the Prepaid contract will have a description noted as to what exactly is included

For More Information or Assistance

Pre-Arranged Funeral

A prearranged funeral enables your wishes to be recorded and contained within your personal files or kept on file at Macleay Funerals for when our services are required. The prearranged funeral concept enables any member of the public to arrange their funeral at no initial upfront cost.  The funeral is paid for at the time it is required and importantly there is no obligation, no commitment, nothing that is required to be signed and no payment required.


  • Your wishes are recorded and can be made known to your family
  • No payment is required until the funeral is required
  • No commitment and no obligation on the family
  • No paperwork requires signing
  • A prearranged funeral certificate will be supplied for you to supply to you family members
  • When the death occurs one phone call from family is all that is required to commence proceedings as per your wishes
  • This funeral can be arranged by yourself or with the assistance of one of our staff who can meet with you in our office or in
    the comfort of your own home.
  • No matter your financial circumstances, this option is available to all now.

For More Information or Assistance

Funeral Bonds

Macleay Funerals offer Funeral Bonds in Partnership with Sureplan “Family Fund”.


A funeral bond is a safe, simple and effective way to put funds aside that grow in a secure tax effective environment to help meet the expense of a funeral. Funeral bonds also have significant advantages for means tested Centrelink and Department of Veteran’s Affair pensioners.

The funds from a funeral bond will be used to contribute towards the prevailing costs of a funeral when required. As these costs cannot be guaranteed, remaining family members may be required to pay any difference.

A funeral bond can be taken out as well as a Macleay Funerals Prearranged Funeral to cover both financial and practical aspects of the funeral.


  • Lump sum or regular monthly contributions can be made from as little as $20.00.
  • A funeral bond is currently not subject to the Income and Assets test for Centrelink and DVA pensioners (please seek independent finical advice pertaining to your personal circumstances).
  • Claims when required are usually available within a few days of receiving independent confirmation of death.
  • Can relieve the remaining family of the stress of finding financial resources at a short notice.
  • Money is safety invested in highly rated cash and low risk, short term securities.

For More Information or Assistance

Funeral Insurance

Macleay Funerals offer Funeral Insurance in partnership with Sureplan.

A Funeral Insurance product is purchased by nominating a set level of cover and paying a regular fee for that insurance. Upon death the insured will receive an amount equivalent to the amount covered under the insurance product and these funds released to contribute towards the funeral cost. This is a life insurance product and is subject to medical conditions.


  • The relative regular payment is much less than the funeral preplanning options.
  • Using Sureplan Family Fund regular premiums are only paid until age 60 then you are covered for life and the premium never increases.
  • Claims when required are usually available within a few days of receiving independent conformation of death.
  • Can relieve the remaining family of the stress of finding financial resources at short notice.

For More Information or Assistance

Funeral Director Nomination

A funeral director nomination can be made by anyone at any stage of their life and is not binding. It gives anyone the opportunity to advise the family members and other third parties which funeral director they wish to use when the death occurs. This is a recent offering developed by Macleays Funeral Services and involves us mailing a Funeral Director Nomination Certificate to you to pass onto third parties such as executors, solicitors, nursing home staff, family members or staff.


  • You can be assured that your family and others are aware of your preferred funeral director to be contacted upon your death.
  • Can be upgraded to a prepaid, prearranged funeral, funeral bond, funeral insurance product at any time.

For More Information or Assistance

Cultural Options

Cultural And Religious Services

Our staff are well trained in most aspects of funeral service delivery when it comes to recognising and fulfilling the various religious and cultural practices of many types of cultural and religious services.

Macleay Funerals have many staff of different cultural and religious groups within our organisation that can assist in translation advice and provision of the particular customs unique to each cultural and faith group.

Macleay Funerals Cultural Services is for families:

  • Requiring repatriation of the deceased person to an overseas country
  • Requiring repatriation of a deceased person from an overseas country back to Australia
  • From a non-English speaking background who would feel more comfortable arranging a funeral, speaking with a person in their familiar language.

Currently, Macleay Funeral Services is able to provide an arranger able to communicate in the following languages:-

  • Chinese P: 0408 546 670
  • Korean P: 0414 819 038
  • Portuguese P: (02) 9913 8109
  • Balkan Languages incl. (Serbian, Montenegran, Macedonian) P: 0417 285 728

Macleay Funerals have experienced staff familiar with the customs and rituals of the following types of funeral services.

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Italian Catholic
  • Ukranian
  • Lithuanian
  • South Pacific Islander
  • Koori
  • Portuguese Catholic
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Sri Lankan (Hindu, Catholic & Protestant)
  • Indian Hindu
  • Balkan Funeral Rituals
  • All Orthodox Rituals

Repatriation Services

Macleay Funeral Services is particularly experienced with regards to repatriation of deceased persons worldwide. We have developed strong relationships with many government departments, insurance companies and overseas and local funeral directors.

This service includes:

  • repatriation from Australia to other parts of the world
  • repatriation with Australia and its territories
  • repatriation from overseas to Australia

We have many years of experience working with consulates and insurance companies.

Macleay Funeral Services is able to draw upon its extensive resources and partnerships worldwide to be able to provide the very best of care.

Macleay Funeral Services has its own operations, representatives and offices in:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia

and locally,

  • Kempsey, NSW
  • Southern Highlands, NSW
  • Canberra, ACT
  • Queanbeyan, NSW
  • Cooma, NSW
  • Braidwood and Goulburn, NSW
  • Melbourne and all suburbs, VIC
  • Rosebud, VIC
  • Sydney and all suburbs, NSW

For More Information or Assistance

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.

However, there are some reactions to loss 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 your grief process you need understanding and information, and you may need assistance. Be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider talking to a friend who will listen without judgement, or write a private journal to express your feelings.

The Macleay Funeral Support Services division was specifically set up to help people deal with their grief after the passing of a loved one. The consultations to our funeral clients are complimentary and are an on-going service.

Support Resources

Solace Association Inc. NSW

The SOLACE ASSOCIATION INC. is a National self support group for those who have lost their partner through death. The Association was founded in Adelaide in 1993 and is now operating in most states in Australia.

(02) 9519 2820

Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement

Providing support for bereaved people.

(03) 9265 2100


Anyone experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide

  • Available 24/7
  • Online counselling available at set times – see website for details

13 11 14


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.

1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline

Counselling for young people aged 5-25 years

  • Available 24/7
  • Web & email counselling

1800 55 1800


Parentline is a confidential telephone counselling service for parents and those who care for children.

Contact numbers vary from state to state

MensLine Australia

Counselling specifically for men of all ages

  • Available 24/7
  • Online & video counselling at set times – see website for details
  • Access up to 6 x 1 hour telephone counselling sessions.
  • Services also available in Arabic.

1300 78 99 78

Helping Yourself to Grieve

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. This is your grief at work, and the journey you will travel through.

Helping Children Cope With Loss and grief

Experiencing loss in our lives starts at birth. From the loss of a special toy or blanket to the loss of familiar persons (mother or father) leaving the room for a short time we experience separation and pain. Children often teach us as adults how they best cope with their grief. Children at different developmental ages may understand and respond quite differently. For example, a child around the age of 3-5 may say, “Grandpa died today in hospital but he always comes to our house for lunch on Sunday, so we will see him then.” They often express their thoughts and feelings through play, drawings and conversation (even talking to their favourite toy).

Training for Professional Carers

We offer various training and education sessions. These sessions are offered free of charge and form part of Macleay Funerals community services. Please see below for more information.

a) Change, Loss and Grief

These sessions are designed to enhance existing skills of people whose work brings them in contact with dying, death and bereavement. It will help to develop a greater understanding of Loss and Grief and enhance effective communication skills. This course affords the participant the opportunity to look at their accumulated life losses and develop effective ways of providing support.

In these sessions the differences of personal grief responses, family systems, religious beliefs and cultural attitudes will be examined. Also the different issues of the dying person and those of the family members will be discussed.

Who attends these sessions?

  • Nurses
  • Pastoral Care Workers
  • Community Carers
  • Diversional Therapists
  • Ministers of Religion
  • Members of the general and professional community interested in Change, Loss & Grief

b) A detailed account of our work as funeral directors.
This discussion is suitable for any community organisation including Rotary and Probus clubs, View clubs, Minister fraternals etc.