Frequently asked questions

We understand that losing a loved one can bring waves of overwhelm and stress. Our collective of caring women are here to guide you through it, helping you carry your burden while you begin to heal. Based on decades of service to our community, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions to help you navigate this process.

Planning a funeral

What do I need to do if I have to arrange a funeral?

The first step is to get in touch with our caring team at Mareena Purslowe Funerals. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (08) 9388 1623 or you can visit our contact page for more information. We’ll organise a time for you to meet with one of our experienced Funeral Specialists to start planning the funeral service.

What is the process of planning a funeral?

Once you’ve reached out to us, we’ll connect you with your caring Funeral Specialist. When you meet in person, we’ll help you plan a service that reflects your loved one’s life. Once we understand your family’s wishes, we’ll take care of all the details. You’ll find more information about each step of the process in our Guide to Funeral Planning. Alternatively, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on (08) 9388 1623 to provide guidance as you plan your loved one’s service.

How much does a funeral cost?

At Mareena Purslowe Funerals, we help families and loved ones to create a beautiful, heartfelt service that reflects the life and personality of the person who’s passed. On our pricing page, you’ll find information regarding the cost of various service elements, including coffins and caskets, location fees, cremation or burial costs and more. Your Funeral Specialist will provide you with a detailed quote after they understand your wishes and preferences.

You can also read more about this in our guide: How much does a funeral cost?

Are there any other costs I need to consider?

A funeral is an important time to celebrate the life of your loved one, and no detail should be missed. Our service options include the main aspects of the funeral. However, you may want to consider some extras. Your Funeral Specialist will happily discuss the many options available when you meet to arrange your loved one’s service. 

You can read more about personalising your loved one’s service in this guide: Personalising the funeral service.

Do I need to buy an urn?

Deciding how to remember your loved one is an important decision. Displaying an urn in your home is one way to remember a life well lived. Our Guide to cremation urns is a helpful resource to help you decide if this is right for you. Alternatively, you can memorialise your loved one in a more permanent location at a memorial garden that friends and families can visit any time they wish.

Do I need to buy a coffin?

In most cases, a coffin or casket is a requirement for a funeral service. However, we understand that in some cultures and religions, coffins are not a part of the funeral. When you meet with your caring Funeral Specialist, she will discuss your cultural and religious needs so you can make the best choice for your loved one. You can read about how we cater to different cultures and religions or reach out to us to discuss your personal circumstances and preferences.

How do I write a eulogy?

Sharing your loved one’s story is a very special moment. It’s an opportunity to honour them, remember the happy times and reflect on a life well lived. There is no right or wrong way to write a eulogy, but generally, it’s a personal recount of your loved one's life. 

Consider including the following details in a eulogy:

  • Any nicknames
  • Place and date of birth
  • Parents, siblings or close friends
  • Spouse, children or extended family
  • Hobbies or pastimes
  • Favourite joke or common sayings
  • Most memorable moments
  • Accolades in study or career
  • Life milestones
  • Humourous anecdotes 

You can read more on this topic in Your guide to writing a meaningful eulogy.

Meeting the Funeral Specialist

How long does a funeral arrangement meeting take?

We understand that the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. The time it takes to plan the service will vary depending on what you would like for your loved one. Allow around two hours for your meeting with your Funeral Specialist. This will be enough time to cover the essential details and plan a beautifully personalised funeral service that truly honours the life of your loved one.

What happens at an arrangement meeting?

Our Funeral Specialists are here to support you through the entire process. During your first meeting, we’ll ask for any necessary information we need to complete important documentation, including registering your loved one’s death and applying for their death certificate. We’ll discuss the finer details, such as the type of service, date, time and venue, as well as any personalised touches you’d like to include, like flowers, catering, video and photo tributes, and music.

For more information on what to expect, please see our helpful resource: Your guide to planning a funeral.

What do I need to bring to an arrangement meeting?

Planning a funeral while facing loss and grief can be emotionally challenging, but with the support of your caring Funeral Specialists, you won’t have to do it alone. Think about what you’d like your loved one to wear on the day of the funeral service and bring these clothes along with you. Items like their favourite fragrance and make-up can also be included. A recent photo of them would also be a great help for their presentation. 

We will also need certain personal and family details for your loved one’s Death Certificate. If your loved one had burial site reservations or took out a prepaid funeral plan with Mareena Purslowe Funerals, please bring those documents along too.

Can I attend an arrangement meeting via video call?

Yes, of course. We understand that distance can make travelling a challenge during an already difficult time. Just let your Funeral Specialist know you would prefer a video call and they will be able to set that up for you.

During the service

What is a viewing?

A viewing is an opportunity for some private time with your loved one before you attend their service. For some, this is an important part of the grief process as they have a final chance to see their loved one again. Unlike a memorial or funeral service, a viewing is usually reserved just for family and selected close friends.

For more information, please read Your guide to viewings.

What happens if I get COVID before the service?

Most Mareena Purslowe Funerals chapels are fitted with OneRoom video live streaming technology so family and friends who can't be there in person can still view the service from home.

You can read more about it here: Funeral live streaming.

What music can I play at the service?

It’s entirely up to you. Think about what music genres or songs your loved one enjoyed to listen to. Personalising the playlist for a funeral or wake helps people who are grieving to reflect on their loved one’s life and be reminded of the happier moments. If you are having trouble choosing music, your Funeral Specialist can help with selecting songs and can make suggestions on where in the service they would be most appropriate.

Are funerals held on the weekend?

You are free to celebrate the life of your loved one anytime and anywhere you please. Most of our services are held on a weekday during business hours (9am-5pm). However, we can organise weekend services for an additional cost. Your Funeral Specialist will help schedule a time that works best for you and your family.

Death certificates

Does the funeral director register the death?

Yes, your experienced Funeral Specialist will apply for the Death Certificate on your behalf. We’ll ask you for certain information about your loved one, so the application can be processed as quickly as possible. Once this paperwork is finalised, the Registry will send the Death Certificate to your nominated address.

What information do I need for a death certificate?

To send the Death Certificate paperwork off for processing, your Funeral Specialist will require the following information about your loved one:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of death
  • Residential address
  • Occupation during working life
  • Place of birth (city and country)
  • Marital status at the time of death
  • All marriages (place of marriage – city, state & country, full name of spouse, age at the time of marriage)
  • Parents’ names and occupations, including mother’s maiden name
  • Children’s names, dates of birth and ages
  • Place of burial or cremation
  • Religion (if applicable)

What is a death certificate?

A Death Certificate is an official document produced by the state-based Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to record all deaths that occur in Australia. This is different to the Cause of Death certificate that is given by a doctor at the time of death. You will need your loved one’s Death Certificate for financial and legal reasons.

Who issues a death certificate?

A Death Certificate is produced by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within each state. You can speak more about this with your knowledgeable Funeral Specialist or read Your guide to Death Certificates.

Cremation and burials

What is the difference between a cremation and burial?

Cremation is a process where your loved one’s body is transformed into ashes. These can be kept in an urn, scattered in a meaningful place, or placed in a memorial garden with a marker like a plaque. Burial is the tradition of interring the body in a designated plot, offering a physical place for family and friends to visit, reflect, and honour the memory of their loved ones.

For more information, you can read Your guide to cremation and Your guide to burial services.

Can I scatter ashes anywhere?

Scattering ashes in a special place that your loved one enjoyed spending time in can be a lovely final resting place. If you choose to do so on public land, you will need to obtain permission from the local council. Similarly, if on private land, you’ll need to obtain permission from the owner. When you choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes on land that you own, then you can memorialise them there however you wish.

For more information, please visit our online resource: Your guide to memorials and scattering.

Can I scatter ashes in the ocean?

If your loved one enjoyed spending time at the ocean, scattering their ashes there might be a fitting way to memorialise them. In most cases, ashes can be scattered at both private and public beaches and oceans across Australia. If you decide to do this, you will need to obtain permission from the local council beforehand.

Can you take ashes on a plane?

Many people request that their ashes be scattered somewhere they have visited, where they were born, or maybe even where other family members are at rest. Most domestic and international airlines allow you to take ashes on flights. Reach out to the airline you’re travelling with to ask them about their policies.

Can I divide ashes?

Of course. We understand that keeping your loved one’s ashes may be an important part of the grieving process for more than one person, as many families choose to split the ashes. If this is something you would like to do, you can speak to your Funeral Specialist about purchasing some smaller urns to keep portions of the ashes in.

Can ashes be mailed?

Technically, yes, ashes can be mailed. Please keep in mind that many shipping and postal services don’t always allow it. If you need to transport your loved one’s ashes in the post, it is a good idea to check with your chosen service provider to see if it is possible.

When will I get the ashes?

The process is relatively quick, so your loved one’s ashes will be available for collection from the crematorium within a few days following the funeral service. Your Funeral Specialist will give you all the necessary contact details to arrange a date for collection.

What do the ashes come back to me in?

This varies depending on the crematorium. Sometimes, the ashes will be returned in a standard plastic container, or if they have access to your urn, they can put the ashes directly in for you. Whether it’s keeping the urn on display at home, scattering the ashes in a meaningful location or placing them into a permanent memorial park for people to visit as they wish, it’s entirely up to you how you memorialise your loved one.

If you’re interested in finding your loved one a permanent resting place in a memorial park or garden, you can learn more about it at My Memorial.