SOME THOUGHTS AND ADVICE ON GRIEVING DURING THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

Severe but necessary restrictions have been placed on funeral services, however, nothing can restrict the grief we experience. Nothing can restrict our human need to honour our loved ones and support others during times of grief. In an effort to still meet that need under the current restrictions, we sought the advice of local counsellor Pat Kelly.

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Should you want to speak to someone, Pat Kelly in Bunbury and Laurissa Knowles in Busselton both hold grief support sessions at our premises throughout the year. They are also able to offer you video conferencing and phone consultations at this time. Resources and support are also available through the South West Grief & Loss Centre.

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COVID-19 Update 21.10.2020

Currently, in Western Australia, most restrictions on gatherings have been lifted, however, the 1 person per 2m2 rule is still in place.

This means that for indoor funeral services the capacity inside the venue will still be limited by the floor space available. For example, a 100m2 space will be required to be capped at 50 attendees. Excess mourners are able to gather outside the venue in unlimited numbers.

Our staff are experienced in managing this and we are able to offer a live broadcast of the service outside the venue or to an overflow area if required.

There is no longer a requirement to keep a list of attendees.

As always, personal hygiene, such as handwashing and sanitising, and social distancing of 1.5m are advised to limit the potential of disease transmission.

  • COVID-19 Update 10.06.2020

    We are pleased to be welcoming larger numbers back to funerals this week thanks to entering Phase 3 on the State’s COVID-19 Road Map.

    It has been an incredibly heartbreaking experience for families to restrict numbers so severely in recent times.

    We, therefore, need to thank our community for the understanding and rallying around these families in other ways during their time of grief.

    We are pleased that we can now allow 100 attendees for indoor funerals (depending on the size of the venue).

    Outdoor funerals can allow 300 attendees.

    All funerals must still abide by the 1.5 square metre social distancing rules (families who reside together are exempt from this).

    It is important to note that funerals cannot have 100 inside and 200 outside. It must be either 100 inside OR 300 outside.

    We also need to take a register of all funeral attendees as part of the regulations.

    We will have a sanitiser station at the entrance to all funerals and we urge anyone with any sign of illness to not attend any funeral service.

    Should families wish, we will still be offering webcasting for those loved ones who cannot travel from interstate or overseas.

    We would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to come back to funerals and support the grieving families at this time.

    Nothing can replace the physical presence of friends and family during the toughest of days.

    Your support is needed now more than ever, however, please understand that we have to continue to abide by the reduced restrictions to continue to keep our community safe.

  • COVID-19 Update 18.05.2020

    As of Monday 18 May, we are able to host 20 attendees (not including funeral staff/officiants) for a funeral service indoors or 30 attendees are able to attend a service outdoors.

    This does not mean that 20 people can be inside a venue and 30 people outside for the same funeral. The total number of attendees must be 20 indoors and 30 outdoors unless an exemption is granted in advance.

    The one person per 4m2 rule still applies, meaning an indoor service must be held in a venue large enough to accommodate the attendees and the funeral staff/officiants.

    Exemptions may still be requested via the Department of Local Government.

    As always, we will guide families through the steps and options.

    We are pleased that allowable funeral numbers have increased and hope to see fewer restrictions going forward as we all keep up our State’s wonderful efforts.

  • COVID-19 Update 31.03.2020

    We were advised this afternoon of some minor changes to funeral attendance restrictions from the State Government:

    NEW DIRECTIVE ON FUNERAL NUMBERS:
    Funerals are to be limited to no more than 10 persons; this limit now EXCLUDES persons necessary to conduct the funerals (funeral staff and officiants) and:
    – With the approval of the Health Department of WA, discretion may be applied to involve the immediate family. Immediate Family is defined as parents, children and siblings of the deceased.
    – Families may make a request for approval from the Health Department of WA to involve immediate family as per above. They should be made as early as possible, to ensure response prior to the planned funeral service date.

    Other restrictions still apply, such as one person only able to be present for funeral arrangements, so we encourage families to arrange services over the phone/FaceTime to allow as many family members as possible to contribute to the planning of the service.

    Options such as webcasting, recording and other online tributes are also encouraged to allow family and friends to connect as much as possible during this extremely difficult time for those that have lost a loved one.

  • COVID-19 Update 25.03.2020

    It is with great sadness that we advise our community of further funeral restrictions.

    Funerals to be held from Thursday, March 26 must be limited to 10 attendees (inclusive of funeral staff/celebrant).

    This announcement was made by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison this evening as an extension to the national COVID-19 restrictions.

    We will be in touch with all families we are currently serving this morning to discuss these unprecedented changes and how we will do our best to ensure a loving farewell.

    As front line workers, we do understand the decision-making behind these measures to protect the vulnerable families we interact with every day and reduce community spread.

    It breaks our heart to make this statement but the COVID-19 pandemic is a severe threat to our community and we need to play our part.

    Please be assured that we will do our best to arrange recordings and/or webcasts of services. There is also the option of hosting a larger memorial service at a later date when deemed safe.

    We also ask for your cooperation in not attending services or arrangements if you have any symptoms of illness – even the slightest sore throat. We ask for the same cooperation if you have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days.

    We understand that these measures are especially difficult during a time of grief where a hug, kiss and handshake are natural ways to show care but we do know that COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person, mostly face-to-face.

    Please keep safe and minimise your risk of exposure.

     

  • COVID-19 Update 23.03.2020

    Given the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on Funeral Services, please see the changes which will affect Funeral Arrangements and Services below:

    1. Appointments will be required to be made – unfortunately, we will not be able to see families immediately without an appointment.
    2. Funeral Arrangements will need to be conducted – ideally over phone/FaceTime where possible – and physical appointments will be limited to one person or two people where one requires a carer present.
    3. Physical appointments will be for the purpose of signing relevant documents and delivery of items such as clothing etc.
    4. Federal limitations on Funeral attendee numbers are now in force – 1 person per 4m2 of floorspace is the maximum number for attendance. Common venue capacity is as follows:
      1. Bunbury Chapel: 24 attendees
      2. Busselton (Bantry) Chapel: 45 attendees
      3. Harvey Chapel: 18 attendees
      4. Crematorium Chapel: 40 attendees
    5. A reminder to please advise if you or anyone attending a Funeral Arrangement or Funeral Service has been overseas within the last 14 days, has been in contact with a person overseas or is experiencing a common cold or flu-like symptoms

    These updates are designed to protect our staff but, more importantly, to protect the many families we deal with each day. If you are unsure about any of these updates, please call on 9722 5311 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • COVID-19 Update 18.03.2020

    Following advice and direction from the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board and the Health Department of WA, we must make significant changes to our operations.

    We work on the front line and must take these steps to not only ensure the safety of our staff but also, the vulnerable families we interact with every day.

    It breaks our heart to make this statement but the COVID-19 pandemic is a severe threat to our community and we need to play our part in slowing the spread.

    • Funerals already planned will go ahead as arranged.
    • From March 17, any future funerals will need to be private/immediate family funerals with a maximum of 50 people in attendance. Public gatherings have been identified as a risk and funerals are no exception.
    • Funerals arranged from March 17 will not be able to have catering afterward or limousine services.
    • Effective immediately, family members who have travelled from overseas will not be permitted to attend as per Federal regulations.

    Please be assured that we will do our best to arrange recordings and/or webcasts of services. There is also the option of hosting a large memorial service at a later date.

    We ask for your cooperation in not attending services or arrangements if you have any symptoms of illness even the slightest sore throat. We ask for the same cooperation if you have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days.

    We understand that these measures are especially difficult during a time of grief where a hug, kiss and handshake are natural ways to show care but we do know that COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person, mostly face-to-face.

    Please keep safe and minimise your risk of exposure.