With more consideration being given to questioning the need or appropriateness of embalming, the primary alternative method of after death care becomes keeping the body cool, and at home this means using ice packs.  Keeping those ice packs frozen in our home freezers where food is stored can be a barrier.  Recently, October 2018, a family who used their own small chest freezer for the ice packs, has gifted it into our care.  This freezer is now available on loan to families who use our services, with grateful thanks to Lisa and whanau. 

Celebrations and congratulations to the Whangarei District Council who, in July 2018, have opened a natural burial site in a section of mature trees at the Maunu Cemetery.  This is the first of it's kind in New Zealand, and the only natural burial site north of Auckland.  The idea is that the burial is as natural as possible, with minimal impact to the environment.  This means there are certain restrictions on both the deceased and caskets, along with the method of burial.  Burials in this area are dug to 800mm, this is so the casket or shroud sits in the active layer of earth and will break down at a faster rate than that of a traditional burial plot.  Bodies must not be embalmed and there are conditions around the materials and construction of the caskets and shrouds that can be used.  This is an excellent new option.

A free compilation of questions to support gentle conversations around preparing for death, compiled and presented by local Whangarei woman, Jane Cunnigham.  www.gentle-conversations.com

Te Hokinga ā Wairua is a free online resource that helps guide people through bereavement, and helps people to create their own personalised plan for end of life preferences and information. It was developed as a cross agency initiative with the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Law Society and Mary Potter Hospice. Head to www.endoflife.services.govt.nz to have a look.  Te Hokinga ā Wairua presents a clear and concise timeline of what to do in the days, weeks, and months following a death, and guides you through the experience of losing of a loved one.  Practical advice such as finding a funeral director, guidance on funeral and memorial service options, financial assistance, and details about wills and administering an estate, is all consolidated in one, easily navigated place. 


The not-for-profit organisation that introduced certified natural burials to New Zealand and advises local councils on how to establish natural burial cemeteries across the country.  Promoting, certifying and monitoring cemeteries, coffin makers and funeral directors for adherence to the standards.  Will advise consumers of their rights.  www.naturalburials.co.nz

The Good Funeral Guide is your trusted, independent, not-for-profit information resource for funeral advice in the UK. What if we could do this in New Zealand?  www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk 

© 2018 by A Graceful Undertaking Ltd

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