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NOW YOU HAVE A CHOICE ... New Zealand Owned and Operated by Women.
My aim was to open a funeral company owned and operated by women with a cost caring philosophy. I did this in 1995 and have been offering Christchurch families a service that is more like a celebration of life than the more traditional mournful funeral although we do provide a traditional funeral if required.
I am a fully qualified funeral director having started my career as a funeral director in 1985 and attended and graduated from the Central Institute of Technology in 1989. I take a keen interest in community projects, being on the Shirley Residents Association committee. I am also a volunteer as at nominated person for the Police and I also belong to the Chamber of Commerce, Wise Women, Executive Women’s Club, Glib, and also offer my services as a Justice of the Peace. I have a great team of loyal and dedicated professional women working with me. They are my daughter Lauren who joined me in 1997 and is training to be a funeral director and has attended the course at the CIT, Dianne who is an experienced funeral director and Jenna who looks after us all and gives a hand where and when ever we need it and who is training in our mortuary. They all share my philosophy and belief that the dearest is not necessarily the best nor is the cheapest the worst, but a funeral that is created to the needs of the individual families has the most rewarding outcome in the way it helps them through the grieving process.
I asked myself, "How can the cost of funeral services be kept as moderate as possible, without lowering the dignity or respect due to the departed? My answer was twofold: firstly, by keeping overheads and operating costs as low as possible, but consistent with the service traditionally expected of the professional funeral director. Secondly by offering a real alternative in the type, and cost, of caskets and funeral accessories.
Cheryl Cowden N.Z.F.D.
SELECTING A FUNERAL
There are, few services that you will ever need that are as intimate or as personal as that of a funeral director; and however much anticipated, a death within the family is still very distressing. It's in this state of shock, uncertainty and grief that some major decisions will need to be made. By choosing your funeral director in advance, by considering those important decisions in a much more informed and relaxed state, you will be able to cope with a death with far less stress and anxiety. You will be able to consider and compare the companies with whom you talk for such attributes as competency and efficiency, for value-for-money and to determine the comprehensiveness of their services. You will be able to determine those people who are capable of and professional at providing the dignified style of service you require. You will no doubt wish to be assisted by someone who is courteous and kind, who has a proven reputation and who provides their services with genuine warmth, understanding and compassion. We at Dignity with Sincerity Funeral Services pride ourselves in offering this kind of service.
THE ROLE OF THE FUNERAL
Funeral Directors provide a 24 hour service. We at Dignity with Sincerity offer a cost
caring funeral service. We will do as much or as little of the funeral arrangements as you wish. We will meet with the family of the deceased and help them by guiding them through the numerous choices available when organising a funeral service. We will co-ordinate such things as what dav the funeral will be, where it will be held, who will officiate at it (Minister, Funeral Celebrant, family friend), the placing of newspaper notices, service sheets etc. We will also look after all the paper work involved with Registering the Death, ascertaining Medical Certificates etc and making sure these are sent to the right places. We also require forms signed by the family member to authorise a burial or cremation to take place and also to take responsibility for the payment of disbursements made by the funeral director on behalf of the family and the funeral account. We will offer you different choices re selection of casket, flowers, venues etc and also provide you with an estimate of what the funeral will cost if this is required.
HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR WHEN DEATH OCCURS
What should be done at the time of Death
Firstly, death needs to be established. This is either done by contacting your doctor, calling 111 for an ambulance (in the case of a sudden death) or if the person has died in hospital then the staff there will take care of these details. You will be informed by either the doctor or the police (sudden death) as to whether the deceased has to go to the hospital for a post mortem to ascertain the cause of death.
The Role of the Doctor
The doctor has an important role immediately following the death in that he is asked to give a certificate as to the cause of death. In the case of sudden death, when the cause is not able to be determined by the doctor, then he is required to contact the coroner or the police, who are required to act on behalf of the coroner. Where the death has occurred at home or your family doctor is involved, then his or her experience as well as knowledge of the case history will usually allow for the doctor to sign the Medical Causes of Death Certificate.
The Role of the Police
The police are required to be involved in a case of death by accident or when the cause of death is unable to be ascertained by the doctor. The police will require a formal identification of the body and this will involve a short statement, which the police will prepare and a relative or friend of the deceased will be asked to sign. In these cases the police will arrange for a funeral director to take the deceased to the mortuary, where they will be held until the coroner authorises the release for burial or cremation. Any property on the deceased will be removed by the police and kept in safe custody until it can be returned to relatives. You are not obligated to use the funeral director the police engaged to take the deceased to the hospital as they have the police contract to do this.
Donations of Organs for Medical Purpose
If you wish to donate an organ of your body (eg a kidney) for someone else to use when you die, you should contact the medical superintendent at your nearest hospital for more information. The same applies if you wish to donate your body for medical research. There are certain requirements and these may vary from hospital to hospital, two major factors will be where you are when you die and the condition of your body. For an organ to be kept alive and used for someone else thus enabling another life to continue can be helpful for those who grieve, especially when the death involves someone in their younger years. It is important to note however that it is not sufficient to just write in your will that you wish this to happen. Your next of kin must know what your wishes are and agree to them because when you die their approval is needed.
Making a Will
Making a will is the only way to ensure that your wishes regarding the disposal of your assets will be recorded in a legally binding form. If there is not a will your estate and or your assets will be divided in accordance with the law, which requires arbitrary division. As a result your family could suffer unnecessary hardship. Having a will, which nominates an executor/trustee, will save uncertainty and delay. Remarriage automatically revokes an earlier will, except in special circumstances and therefore it is very important that you check up about making another.
Who is an executor? He/She is the person who will look after your financial interests after your death and see that the wishes expressed in your will are carried out as speedily as possible within the requirements of the law. He/She is normally your solicitor or a trusted family member of your immediate family. For further information you should contact your solicitor.
Embalming and Viewing of the Deceased
Embalming is a process which is done by trained personnel, ensuring hygienic preservation of the deceased for the duration of the funeral period so family and friends can view the deceased or they may even wish to take them home until the day of the funeral. We will have received from the family clothes to dress and prepare the deceased for the viewings if this is required. Some families prefer to have lasting memories of the deceased being alive and therefore will not need to view.
Children and Funerals
The question is often asked as to whether children should be encouraged to view the deceased or whether to go to the funeral or not. Death is a natural and an inevitable stage of life and to hide this creates unnecessary fears which can affect the ability to cope with it in later life. If children wish to come to the viewings and funeral of their own free will, then it should be encouraged. They too have feelings and emotions that may need to be expressed by attending these occasions. This is a natural part of working through the grieving process.
Coping with Grief
When we speak of grief in relation to the death of someone we love we are speaking of the process of adjusting to that loss. It is very real, and for most people it involves pain. Some go through this adjustment by denial or sometimes with feelings of extreme anger, some feel crippled by guilt or despair. All these feelings can be most appropriate as long as they are not ignored or shelved, for when this happens depression results. It is most important to have someone to talk to following a death - and to talk not only about the person who has died, but also regarding your feelings in response to that. Sometimes it is hard to talk like this to those who are close to us, therefore a counsellor or the Minister or even the funeral director may be that person. We at Dignity with Sincerity Funeral Services are only too pleased to have families come in and talk to us. We also offer trained counselling as well.
The Financial Cost of Death
The total cost involved will vary considerably according to your geographical situation, the circumstances and decisions that will have to be made when arrangements are discussed with the Funeral Director. Figures which will change over the years. However this information is available at any time on request to any Funeral Company. We at Dignity with Sincerity Funeral Services pride ourselves on being a cost caring company.
Assistance available from Work and Income New Zealand
This will vary considerably according to the circumstances.
1. Continuing payment of benefits that the deceased received for a set period of time.
2. A survivors grant and child supplement to the grant.
3. A funeral grant is available where the deceased's estate has insufficient funds to cover the funeral account.
4. Widow's benefit.
5. Home help can also be available.
Assistance available Accident Compensation Corporation
In the event of death by accident, ACC will contribute to most of the reasonable funeral expenses arising from the funeral and if the next of kin is dependant on the deceased's earnings then further compensation is available. For current details of assistance available, you should contact the nearest office of the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Assistance available from the Returned
If the person who has died is a returned service person then a plot is available in the RSA section of the cemetery free of charge but this does not include the cost of the interment (digging of grave). The spouse of the deceased R.S.A member is also entitled to be buried here. In times of real hardship please feel free to contact your local RSA.
The Role of the Coroner and Pathologist
The coroner is a person appointed by the crown with the legal responsibility of enquiring into all deaths reported to him in his district. A post mortem or autopsy is a physical examination of the deceased by a qualified medical practitioner known as a pathologist, which is undertaken to determine the exact cause of death. The pathologist will report back to the coroner who must decide if an inquest needs to be held. An inquest is a legal hearing conducted by a coroner for the purpose of establishing the fact that the person has died, the identity of that person and when, where and how that person died. If there is to be an inquest your next of kin will hear from the police as to when and where it will be held. They are entitled to attend or send a representative. The hearing is usually held some weeks after the funeral.
PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND FOR COPIES OF FORMS THAT REQUIRE COMPLETION IN THE EVENT OF DEATH.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.