Guest Post - The Calling & Ageism

    Here's a story from a short current undertaker, on why she joined the industry.  It is a good look at the type of people in the industry and the passion of many of those people.  Many refer to joining the industry as a 'calling'.

    This is also a good example of ageism in the industry.  How younger undertakers are perceived by others.  I certainly experienced things similar to this, and heard how others were looked down on or ignored due to being "too young".

    Anyway, it is a good and light read for a friday.

Hospital guide help

    I'm trying to build a guide for how to do transfers in hospitals around Australia (mostly focusing on Sydney).  However for this I will need some help as things change and I have only been to a few hospitals regularly.  So I'm asking for others to contribute, to help build the guide for yourself and for others.

     This old hospital transfers post has a brief description of what a hospital transfer is and gives a few examples of some Sydney hospitals.  But it isn't very comprehensive and only has a small selection of hospitals.  Some of which have updated since I wrote the post (such as RPA).
    My plan is to remove the examples from that post and create a whole new updated post where I have more hospitals.  That way others could just refer to that post and know how to do a transfer in any hospital in Sydney, even without having been there before.  It would be a great tool for those new to the industry.

    But I don't have enough information to do it myself.  So I need help from others.  To do this I have created a google document.  Anyone can edit it and add content, and it is completely anonymous.

    I would greatly appreciate any contributions!! -- & thank you in advance to those who help :)



Blog Stats - 27/09/12

    This is just a breakdown of blog statistics.  Things like who views the blog, how the views have changed over time, most popular posts and so on.  I find it interesting and that it possibly says something about those who are interested in reading this type of thing.


Rookwood open day

    The Rookwood open day was a blast.  There was so much to see and do, even though I was there almost 5 hours I only saw a few of the things on offer.  Everyone was nice and happy and the atmosphere was wonderful.

    Overall this was a great day, easily able to compete with any festival or open day in Sydney.  You can read my detailed explination of the day below.


Deathsanitation & Social Sanitation

    This post is just a write up on some of my notes about an interesting concept.  I have told a few people here and there about something I call Social Sanitation.  And they have asked for more.  About what it is, about what it means and so on.  So here is a ... longish post about the concept of Social Sanitation.

    It is a really interesting, and relevant concept.  It can be seen in everything from daily shopping to funerals.  And it does have big connotations about society and who we are.  So this post should be well worth reading, if you can and want to get through it :)  You should find it rewarding and provoking!


Rookwood open day Photos

    The open day was amazingly great!  I had a lot of fun and learnt so much.  Everyone was friendly and up for a chat.  There was so much to see and do, I was there from 9:15am to 2:30pm and I didn't get to do everything.

    I'll write a popper post about the day later, when I have time.  But for now enjoy a selection of the 298 pictures I took.


The Process - From death to funeral

    This is the process of how a body gets from the place of death to the funeral.  Not many people think about this, and even fewer know about it.  Here it is, step by step in a simple guide from when the person dies to when the coffin is sent on the funeral.


Making an Order of Service

    In previous posts I have talked about the importance of the order of service.  How it is a piece of the funeral which people can take and keep.  Or those who could not make it to the funeral can have.  This apparently simple paper is such an emotional and significant thing.

    Having worked on funerals I got to see many different order of services books.  Some were good, some were amazing, others were terrible.  So I thought it was about time I explained how to make a decent order of service.


Inside a Mortuary

    I have been asked a few times about what a mortuary is like.  Few people have seen a mortuary in person.  The only time most of us have any experience with a mortuary or morgue is on TV.  I tell people the mortuary isn't really like what is show on TV.  But this leaves people with a puzzled look, wondering "well, what is it like then?"

    Here are a collection of pictures I took inside a funeral home mortuary.  As well as a few videos and other things  by others which show a mortuary.


An Inside Look: Rookwood

    At over 314 hectares Rookwood Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere (and thus Australia).  It is also the largest active Victorian cemetery in the world.  More than a million people have been buried at Rookwood since it opened in the 1860s.  It is so large that it had to be divided up and run by different organisations.  Many of which are religious based.  So one should think of Rookwood as several different cemeteries all in one place.  
    Rookwood might be the most diverse cemetery in the world.  While other cemeteries are bigger Rookwood has a huge variety of religions and cultures.  A good representation of the Sydney population.

    I have had trouble writing this post.  Rookwood is such as large and complex place that I really didn't know where to start.  Instead I wrote a few little posts and then put them together.  Hopefully this will give a good overall representation of Rookwood.  But with the open day only a week away I had to get this post finished.

    This post is divided into four parts.  The first looks at getting to and around Rookwood.  The second is a brief discussion of the history.  The third is an explanation of the different groups operating in Rookwood.  Finally the forth part is just a few extra details and information.


A Personal Death - Another funeral

Front of the order of service.
    With my grandmothers funeral only a few months after my grandfathers we simply stuck with the same funeral home.  It was familiar and convenient and everyone was happy enough with the job they did last time.  The last funeral was not perfect, but not that bad really and the staff were nice.

    This is my experience and opinions of my grandmothers funeral.  It was an 'interesting' event.


A Personal Death - The music

    In the last series of posts about my grandfathers funeral I came to a few interesting realisations.  The importance of the Order of Service.  How emotionally significant it is and how it is a piece of the funeral in many ways.  The other was the roles we play.  How being an undertaker has changed my view of funerals and how different it is from the perspective of a mourner.

    With my grandmothers funeral this was no different.  I realised a new thing and explored another in more detail.  This time my realisation was the music, how much is put into it and how trivial it actually is.


The Day Sheet

    It is about time I talked about the "day sheet".  The day sheet is an important part of being an undertaker.  As someone said to me in my first week "the day sheet is our bible".

    The day sheet lists all the funerals that are happening on the day.  Who will be on what funeral, where the funeral is going, who is driving whats cars, where the cars are going and the times for everything.  Simply it has all the vital information of the day for the undertakers.

    Some undertakers have stories about how they did not read the day sheet properly and how much trouble it caused.  Every morning as the undertakers start work they get a copy of the day sheet.  They then read it over and carry it throughout the day.  This way everyone knows what they are meant to do and if needed what others are doing and where everyone is.

    This one tiny sheet of paper is vital to the daily duties of an undertaker.  Paperwork is very important in this industry.  However little or insignificant it might appear, every bit of paper is crucial in some way.



Macquarie Park Open Day

    The other day I attended the Macquarie Park Cemetery & Crematorium open day.  It was actually a fairly good day.  Not as much as I would have liked.  But a fun and friendly atmosphere with enjoyable stuff to do and see.

    When I got hope I posted the pictures I took here.  But I didn't have time to explain them.

A Personal Death - Again

    A while ago my grandfather died.  At the time I wrote about my experiences with it, arranging the funeral, the funeral itself and some interesting things I had never noticed or thought of before.  Now, just a few weeks ago my grandmother has also died.  So, now I am finally back in Sydney it's time I wrote about this funeral.

    Having the experience of the other funeral so recently this one was fairly different.  The circumstances behind her death were also different.  Overall it was a pleasant experience, but there are some observations and thoughts about it.


Macquarie Park Open Day - Photos

    This is just the photos I took today at the Macquarie Park open day.  I will write an actual post about it tomorrow when I get time.  In the mean time enjoy some pictures!


Historic NZ Funeral Bill From 1981

    While going through paperwork at my grandmothers we cam across this interesting receipt.  It's from an old funeral in New Zealand, dated 1981.  I found this document fairly interesting and useful.


Gazing Mourners: Exploring the relationship between mourners and the funeral industry

    This is the second essay where I compare the funeral industry with the tourism industry.  Surprisingly enough the two are such similar industries in almost every way.  This essay looks at the idea of funeral companies shaping the industry at the mourners expense.

    Follow the links below to read the essay.  Or read my short abstract if you dont want to read the whole thing.