Virgo Funerals - incorporating South Burnett Funerals and Crematorium Pty Ltd
Serving the South Burnett with dignity since 1939
Related Topics
What Do I Do?
What you need to do when someone passes away depends on the circumstances that surrounded the death.
Our simple guide explains what these are likely to be and what happens in each of the four most common situations.

Funeral Notices
We can arrange for Funeral Notices to be published in local newspapers and broadcast on local radio for you at whatever rate those media charge us. But we also publish these notices at no charge whatsoever here
on our website

Making a Will
Passing away without a will can cause problems for the loved ones that are left behind. You can find out what those problems are and how then can be easily avoided by clicking here.

Common Funeral Tasks
When a loved one passes away there are many things that need to be attended to and many decisions that need to be made. Our simple checklist will help guide you through these things.

Making Arrangements
What's involved in making funeral arrangements? Most people have very little experience with this and can find it confusing. But our handy guide explains the process clearly and simply.

Services And Wakes
Funeral services vary widely depending on the wishes of the departed and their family.
Our quick guide explains the main types of services and different options for wakes.

How To Help Your Fmily And Friends Cope With Grief
Death can take many people by surprise and very few of us are naturally good at dealing with it. The information on this page is for people who are close to others who've lost a loved one and who want to help them cope as well as possible with their grief:

  1. Keep in touch. A brief visit or telephone call is usually appreciated.
  2. Say little in the initial period. Before the funeral your brief embrace, your press of the hand, your few words of affection and feeling may be all that's needed.
  3. Avoid cliches. "Time heals all wounds", "You'll get over it", "He's out of pain now" and "You're lucky to have other children" aren't likely to help. A simple "I'm sorry" is much better.
  4. Be yourself. Show your own natural concern and sorrow in your own way and in your own words.
  5. Make specific offers to help (such as running errands, cleaning, mowing, answering the phone, preparing meals etc) instead of vague expressions such as "call if you need me".
  6. Accept silence. If the mourner doesn't feel like talking don't try to force conversation.
  7. Be a good listener. Accept what is said and whatever feelings are expressed without criticism or judgement. Don't change the subject. And be prepared to hear the same stories time and again if need be - repetition is part of the healing process.
  8. Never say "I know how you feel". You don't.
  9. Use the name of the dead person unless asked not to.
  10. Provide support to bereaved children. They need to be included in the grief of the family and should usually be allowed to stay in the family home and not shielded from the grief of others.
  11. Allow the "working through" of grief. Don't whisk away the clothing or belongings of the deceased or criticise any seemingly morbid behaviour of the survivor. This is just their way of adjusting.
  12. Letters of sympathy can be very precious to the bereaved, especially if the letters or notes are from the heart. Write of your love and memories of the person who's died.
  13. Encourage the postponement of major decisions until after the period of intense grief. Whatever can wait should wait.
  14. Write special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries of the death in a diary and call or send a friendship card as a reminder that you care.
  15. Don't put a time limit on anyone's grief.
  16. If the bereaved feel like they're not progressing through their grief, you could gently suggest that talking to a counsellor or joining a support group might be helpful. If they don't think this is a good idea, that's okay - don't push them.
  17. One final thought: although you may not feel qualified to assist someone who's grieving, you should remember that (if approached in a sensitive and caring way) your support could be the very thing that helps a loved one or friend regain their equilibrium through a very painful and confusing time. If you're prepared to enter into this pain and confusion, at the very least you may help to decrease the grieving person's sense of isolation.

Some Other Points About Grief

And here are some other general points about grief that may help people who are grieving just as much as those who care about them:

  1. Grief is a perfectly normal emotional and physical response when we've experienced a significant loss and/or change in our lives. The death of someone we love results in emotional responses such as disbelief, anger, guilt, depression and a feeling of emptiness. Physical symptoms can include sleeplessness, loss of concentration, appetite disorders, feeling detached and general numbness.
  2. Grief responses are very individual and each person will react in their own unique way. Certain chemicals are released by a grieving person's body - sometimes for months after a death - which are normal. But these chemicals change the way we think and feel. Often a birthday, Christmas and the first anniversary of the death are especially difficult times. And it can take many people as long as 2 to 5 years to re-adjust after a death of a loved one.
  3. Grief affects us both emotionally and physically. Our thought processes can alter for a time. Being vague and forgetful, fear of going crazy and too much sleeping (or lack of it) are all perfectly normal. Some people say they can see or hear the person who's passed on. Our bodily systems can also change and more infections, coughs, colds and high blood pressure can all occur with some grieving people. Naturally, if you have any of these symptoms you should get them checked out by your doctor.
  4. When a loved one has suffered a long drawn-out illness, it's common to feel relieved or glad when the person dies. In time you'll feel sad at the loss of that person in your life and then perhaps experience great guilt at your earlier reaction of relief (especially if the death has given you greater personal freedom). But you shouldn't feel bad about having conflicted emotions. Grief is like being on a roller-coaster and your emotions can change from day to day or even hour to hour. When grieving, we need to be kind to ourselves and not make judgements on our own behaviour. So if you find yourself having a good day, enjoy it. The next day you could feel devastated again.
  5. A sudden death is different from an expected death. When someone is dying we have the opportunity to deal with "unfinished business" and perhaps lessen our regrets for things we wish we'd said or done. With sudden and unexpected death there's usually been no opportunity for this, so the grieving can be different. In those instances it can be most important to spend some time with the deceased person  (ie a viewing to say or last goodbyes).
  6. Children from the age of 3-4 years are aware that someone is missing and need to be involved in the family with the funeral if they so choose. Older children will often outwardly copy adults in their grieving (eg: crying or not crying) while inwardly having their own grief reactions as individuals. Children under the age of three need to be kept in their routine with primary care givers as much as possible. Over that age they need to be told simply and honestly what has happened and what will happen about a funeral and a viewing, then asked if they would like to be there. They can accept matters if they can choose. Often children will draw a picture, use a photo or a toy to place in the coffin to say goodbye.
  7. It appears there are male and female types of grief responses. A typical male reaction can be to not talk about things because this will "only cause upset". Many men need to feel in control to be the "protector", "leader" or "fixer" (though some women can use this method as well). A typical female reaction, by contrast, is to talk over and over again about the deceased person and the death, often with tears and emotion. These different (but quite normal) reactions can cause stress in relationships.
  8. People in grief need acceptance of their emotions for however long it takes for them to heal. Practical assistance with everyday tasks such as shopping, cooking or minding children can be very helpful. Often the grieving person is afraid that others are "sick of them" and won't ask for help. But telephoning the grieving person on a regular basis (with their permission) just to show you care can help them a lot. And so can allowing them to grieve in their own individual way.