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The migrant journey often poses uncertain and unexpected scenarios. One is the uncertainty around dealing with the death of a loved one or a friend. It is essential to know how funerals are conducted in Australia.
New migrants may face an overwhelming situation when an unexpected death of a loved one happens.
When a death occurs, family members tend to go into shock and grief and may not know what to do next. For many, it could be a first-time experience.
- The funeral director ensures that all the formalities are carried out in the appropriate manner.
- The coroner gets involved in certain scenarios where more information surrounding the death of a person is required.
- The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry provides various services ranging from issuing the death certificate to passing on information about a death to multiple organisations.
Mathew Kuriakose who lives in the southeast of Melbourne says when death happened in his family a few years ago, they didn’t know what to do next.
“When death happened in my brother-in-law’s family. So, his son died after birth… three days, due to heart problems. The uncertainty was what to do next.”
Organising the funeral in Australia was quite different from what they experienced in Kerala, India where Mr Kuriakose’s family comes from.
In these circumstances, the first thing one should do is to contact a funeral director, says Scott Duncombe, funeral director at Sydney Funerals Co.
“When someone does pass, and the family members tend to go into shock and grief and really confused as to what to do, because not often [do] people get to organise a funeral in their lifetime. But when a time does come, the most important thing is to contact a funeral director, because they have all the knowledge, they have the understanding of everybody and the processes that are to go on, whether it be to the bodies to remain in Australia, or if it is to be repatriated overseas.”
It is important not to rush things as this is an uncertain and challenging time, says Mr Duncombe.
“Allowing families just to take their time is the most important part of this process when somebody does pass away. Because quite often they're making decisions, they're a little bit stressed out, they're trying to grieve this so that they could be in shock, but they just can't make those decisions straightaway.So quite often we will take a loved one into care, will then meet them in a couple of days after that. And then the funeral will most likely take place, you know, five to 10 days following somebody's passing.”