From last breath to final resting place

It’s a part of life few people want to think about and nobody can avoid – what happens between someone’s last breath and their final resting place. Fortunately, there are professionals who specialise in exactly this transition.

Funeral directors are there to help families organise the funeral and take your loved one to their final resting place.

“It’s a difficult time when you lose someone, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible,” says Tony Garing of John Rhind Funeral Directors in Christchurch.

“As funeral directors, a large part of our role is to listen to what the family wants, so that we can ensure a good funeral, one that makes family and friends feel that their loved one has been appropriately honoured.”

The most immediate need when someone passes is preparing for the funeral. There are legal and health requirements to meet. Funeral directors do the legal paperwork, compiling the information needed for the Death Certificate. The family needs this official document for legal and financial reasons.

As an option, funeral homes can provide embalming to prepare your loved one for viewing. Viewings are customary in many New Zealand communities. The funeral home is also where people can access a range of caskets and urns to choose from.

Most people are not experts at planning funerals, so here’s another area where funeral directors are indispensable. They give practical advice on all the arrangements and liaise with celebrants, medical professionals, government departments and cemetery authorities on the family’s behalf.

A funeral home’s services around the funeral can include everything from placing notices in the newspapers; arranging music for the day; organising orders of service and thank you cards; ordering flowers; setting up filming or live streaming of the service; organising refreshments after the service; and arranging the burial or placement of ashes and memorials.

“Of course, the death of someone close to you is emotionally challenging, and some funeral homes like John Rhind offer professional grief counselling as a free service,” says Tony.

“The funeral industry in New Zealand is not regulated – anyone can call themselves a funeral director. So, it is vital that people make sure their funeral director is a member of FDANZ, the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand. FDANZ membership is your best guarantee that you’ll receive professional service.”

* For more information, visit or call 03 379 9920.