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Call us “We know what to do”

How to make the 'death experience' a little less daunting

As funeral directors, we often have people say to us, 'I never want to experience a death or funeral'. But unfortunately, it's something that all of us will experience one day - whether it's our own or the funeral of someone close to us.

In our role, we like to help people feel more comfortable around the idea of death. We totally understand that death and the resulting grief are never easy things to deal with, but it's something that everyone should learn more about and grow from their personal experience with it.

For many people, it's the day of the funeral that gets them. After a week or two of finding out someone has died and making all the arrangements, the day of the funeral is like the final farewell and is often when it all hits home.

So, let's explore how you can start to talk more freely about death and cope with the entire 'death experience'.

Talk to your family about your funeral ideas

Yes, we know this isn't a normal conversation to have around the dinner table (by society's standards that is), but openly discussing your ideas can help your family when you eventually pass (whether it's expected or not).

Let them know what you'd like to happen. For example, have a list of songs ready to go, a location is chosen, and an idea of what you'd like to happen (e.g. burial or cremation).

At first, they may find it weird. But trust us, if something happens to you, they are going to be so thankful you let them know what you wanted as they'll find planning your funeral a little less stressful.

For this reason, many people choose to pre-plan a funeral so that when the time comes, their family can grieve without any additional financial or emotional stress.

Look at death as a celebration of life

It's a weird concept that you'll never physically see someone again. That can take some time to get your head around.

As Melbourne funeral directors, we encourage our families to view the funeral as a celebration of their loved one's life.

Funerals don't have to be all sad and morbid with everyone dressed in black. Some of the best funerals we have arranged are full of colour, country music and even a truck being used as the transport vehicle (he enjoyed his last ride!).

When your family gathers following a death, talk about all the good times you've had, share a laugh and say cheers! You've probably heard this before, but your loved one wouldn't want you feeling overwhelming sadness from their death. Yes, you'll need to grieve and learn how to cope with it but know that when you celebrate life, you'll cherish all their memories and find each day gets a little easier.

Talk to your funeral director about what happens at death

The thing people often fear most about death is uncertainty - what happens when you die, who sees your body, how will my family see me?

At Brember Family Funerals, our funeral directors are here to answer any questions you have about death and to make it a little less daunting for you. We're open to any questions and here for you in your time of need.

When we bring a deceased person into our care, they are treated with the utmost respect and dignity at all times. Although their soul may have left their body, they still deserve kindness and to be treated as an individual.

We ensure all those in our care are prepared with dignity and we often speak to them as we're getting them ready for their funeral. You don't need to feel like they're alone as we're with them while they're in our care.

What happens on the day of the funeral?

On the day of the funeral, your loved one will be transported to your venue of choice. As your funeral directors, we will be there beforehand and have your loved one waiting. Some people have a private viewing prior to the service.

Your funeral director will meet those attending the funeral and direct them to sign a registry (if you've selected this) or to the room the funeral service is being held in. Once everyone is ready, the funeral service will begin, with the celebrant and funeral directors making sure the service runs to plan.

When the service ends, you will either follow the hearse to a gravesite or say your goodbyes while we transport your loved one to the cremation. If you've arranged to view the cremation, your funeral director will let you know where to go to follow them.

The rest of the day is then yours to celebrate your loved one's life with your family and friends.

Ask us anything about the 'death experience' and we'll be happy to answer

Our role as funeral directors is to help you have a good experience when it comes to planning a funeral. We aim to banish the stigma of talking about death and encourage you to see a funeral as a celebration of life.

You should never be scared to ask questions as trust us, we've heard lots and they're probably things you're thinking too!

When we help you arrange a funeral, don't be shy. Talk to us, ask us questions and know that we're here to help you deal with death in the best possible way.

The top benefits of pre-planning your funeral

It's inevitable that one day, all of us will pass away. And for many people, it's something that's not spoken about freely. But it should be!

Death is part of our life cycle and deep down, we all know it will one day be our turn.

That's why pre-planning a funeral is a brilliant idea.

Your family will naturally be grieving when you pass, so their heightened emotions can often make planning a funeral a tough task. As funeral directors, we see this daily, and although we are on hand to help, we often hear people question, 'Is this what they'd want?'.

When you pre-plan your funeral, you're taking away any guesswork for your family members and leaving them with clear instructions on how you'd want your funeral to run. Plus, if you've pre-paid for your funeral, you're taking away the financial burden that many families face when planning a funeral.

Why pre-planning your funeral is a great idea!

1. Less financial pressure on your family

If you've pre-paid your funeral, your family won't need to find the funds for your funeral. We've seen families in turmoil as they want to give their loved one the best farewell possible, but are unsure of how to pay for it. When your funeral is pre-paid, you'll ease some stress on your family during this difficult time. At Brember Family Funerals, we offer either full up-front pre-paid funerals or the option of paying regular instalments into a Funeral Bond Plan. You can find out more information here.

2. You can organise it at any stage

You can start planning your funeral at any age, regardless of your health and current situation. When you arrange a pre-paid funeral, the funds are held in an independent trust account until the time of your death (so you can rest easy knowing your funds are safe). You can also start paying a payment plan at any stage. If you pass before you've paid the entire amount, your family will only need to cover the remaining portion that's required.

3. You can arrange your entire funeral

If you have ideas on how you want your funeral to run, you can plan this with your funeral director. You can decide on where you want your service held (church, chapel etc.), the music you'd like, if you'd like to be buried (and where) or cremated (and what to do with your ashes) and more. This means your family have a set funeral arranged when you pass so all they'd need to consider are things like writing an eulogy, flowers etc.

How to pre-plan your funeral

If you'd like to pre-plan your funeral, chat with our friendly team of Melbourne funeral directors at Brember Family Funerals. We have over 35 years of experience in the funeral industry and have helped thousands of Melbourne families to plan memorable and dignified funerals.

All your funds for your pre-planned funeral are held in independent trust accounts, so you know the money is safe and will be used specifically for your funeral costs when you pass. Also, if you're pre-paying your funeral in instalments and your circumstances change, you can stop the payments at any stage. The money already in that account will be held securely until needed.

So, to ease the emotional and financial burden on your family when you pass, arrange your funeral today with the exceptional team at Brember Family Funerals.

What companies do I notify following a death?

When someone dies, it's usually left to the next of kin or the executor to notify various companies about the death of their loved one.

At first, this may seem like a daunting task and something you don't want to be doing right now.

But, take it step by step and you'll slowly work your way through all the companies you'll need to notify.

Once you've received the death certificate, you can start making your phone calls.

Here's a list of companies you should contact to notify of a death:

Brember Family Funerals are here to help you

If you've got any questions about arranging a funeral, the highly experienced Melbourne Funeral Directors at Brember Family Funerals are here to help you. Our caring team are with you every step of the way and guides you on the steps you need to take before, during and after the funeral of your loved one. Call us today.

Tips on how to choose a funeral director in Melbourne.

If the thought of organising a funeral for your loved one is overwhelming, know that you're not alone. Unless you've experienced how to arrange a funeral in the past, it's natural to feel a little bit lost and not know what you're meant to do first.
The best thing you can do is find and choose a funeral director you can trust.
You may have attended a memorable funeral, you may Google, or your loved one may have pre-arranged a funeral for you. No matter how you come across a funeral director in Melbourne, the important thing is you feel supported from the very first point of contact.

What makes a good funeral director?

You'll find your funeral director should take care of every detail for you. From the time death occurs, your chosen funeral director can step in and start arranging the initial steps like transporting your loved one into their care.

From there, they will care for your loved one, respectfully preparing their body with dignity and kindness.

Next, they'll be in contact to arrange a time to start preparing the funeral plans. You won't need to worry about all the finer details as your funeral director will be there to guide you through the planning process.

Listening to your needs, your funeral director should be able to accommodate any requests you have. Often your loved one may have discussed ideas with you and your funeral director should go above and beyond to try and make your funeral a celebration of life in the unique way you ask.

A funeral director, regardless of their own race or religion, should be able to accommodate any cultural beliefs that you need to observe. They are not prejudiced and should be open to attending any church, chapel or cultural centre that you request.

And finally, a decent funeral director will offer you a range of pricing options and be transparent about what's included in their packages. There's nothing worse than hidden costs that come up leaving families struggling to find the extra costs to cover a funeral. Make sure you have all the costs laid out so you can make an informed decision.

At Brember Family Funerals, we believe everyone has the right to a caring and dignified farewell. That's why we offer a range of dignified and affordable funeral options for all families across Melbourne. Our team take great pride in helping you create a cost-effective, memorable funeral that's uniquely yours.

Questions to ask a funeral director:

When you're looking for a funeral director, here are some more options to keep in mind:

Ask - do they:

Once you've chosen...

If you've made a shortlist, or you've already decided who you want as your funeral director, the first step is to speak with them in person. After an initial phone call, many funeral directors will arrange a time to meet in person, whether it's at your home or their premises. It's when you speak with a funeral director that you clearly see if they'll be the right fit for you and your family.

You can see if they're listening to you, showing you compassion and understanding what you're going through (rather than just doing a hard sell on an expensive funeral package).

Handy hint: With everyone being online these days, it's a great idea to read Google reviews or testimonials about your chosen funeral director or funeral home. If a funeral director has performed badly, they will get bad reviews as they would have caused the person even more distress than what they had. Look for highly rated, 5-star companies as you know you can trust them to care for you and your loved one. 

Our Melbourne funeral directors are here for you.

Our team of highly experienced, caring and compassionate funeral directors understand you're dealing with pain and grief at this difficult time. That's why we're here for you and you can trust that we know what to do.

Call us today, have a chat and let's see if together, we can create a memorable funeral that perfectly celebrates your loved one's life.


How to deal with grief when someone dies.

Losing a person you loved or were close to is never easy. You'll experience a range of emotions, including grief.

Grief is a natural response to a loss. And how you deal with grief will be unique to you. How you deal with your grief before, during and after a funeral may differ from others around you. You should never compare how you're feeling to anyone else, as you'll find your grief can be affected by many other factors in your life.

Understanding how you grieve is important so you learn how to deal with it, acknowledge it and slowly work through it. If you don't learn how to deal with your grief, you'll find it may become unhealthy long-term and consume you.

When you learn how to express your grief honestly, you'll find it will lead to healing, and you'll once again find your strength to pick up and keep living.

The first stage of grief you'll experience when a loved one dies:

When you first lose your loved one, all the emotions running through your body may feel overwhelming and confusing. Many people describe grief as having an avalanche of feelings all in one day, including:

The biggest factor to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to feel. And, there's no particular order of feelings - you may experience them all at once, one at a time, or not all of them.

Your grief will depend on your resilience, your relationship with the deceased, and your awareness to understand how you're feeling and deal with the emotions.

Grief is not always connected with feelings alone.

When you're dealing with grief, your entire body is put under a lot of pressure. While you're feeling a range of emotions, your physical health may also be taking a hit. Many people experience a general feeling of being 'unwell'.

For some, they forget to do the basic day-to-day things such as eating, so their body starts to be deprived of all essential nutrients for functioning. And while your brain is working overtime dealing with the grief, it should be kept well nourished.

Others experience exhaustion which comes again from a lack of food or lack of sleep.

It's highly recommended that if you feel yourself becoming rundown and unable to cope, to see your local family doctor. They'll be able to talk to you about dealing with grief and can often prescribe medication to help you sleep or to boost your immunity through vitamins and minerals.

Does dealing with grief get easier?

If you're in the raw, initial stages of grief, you may feel there's no way out. But keep moving forward day by day. You'll find that although you'll never forget about your loved one and have times when it may still affect you, you'll slowly learn how to deal with the overwhelming emotions that grief can bring.

Take each day as it comes, reach out to those around you and know that you've got it within you to work your way through.

The role of a funeral director when dealing with grief.

As a funeral director, we're here to listen to you. Never be afraid to let it all out in front of us. Sometimes, you'll find a lot of your emotions will come out when you're planning the funeral. Whether it's anger or love or any emotion in between, we've seen it all. Some people start the funeral planning process in tears, then end up with smiles as they remember all the fun parts of their loved one's life they'll include in the funeral service.

We're here to support you through the grieving process as much as we are here to help you plan the best celebration of your loved one's life. We also know some fantastic counsellors who we'd be happy to refer you to.

Contact us today for funeral planning assistance or to ask us about who to contact to help you deal with your grief.


Choosing a funeral director can be a difficult and emotional task, especially during a time of grief. In Melbourne, there are many options to choose from, but it's important to find a funeral director who can provide the care and support that you and your family need during this difficult time.

One of the essential qualities to look for in a funeral director is compassion. The loss of a loved one is a deeply emotional experience, and a great funeral director should be able to empathize with your feelings and provide comfort and support throughout the process. This is where Chris Brember from Brember Family Funerals shines.

Chris and his team at Brember Family Funerals are known for their compassion, empathy, and attention to detail. They understand that every family is different and work closely with each client to create a personalised service that honours the life of their loved one in a meaningful way. They take the time to listen to your needs and wishes and are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

One of the things that set Brember Family Funerals apart is their commitment to transparency. Chris believes that families should be fully informed about the costs associated with funeral services, so there are no surprises. This is why he publishes his prices online, so families can have a clear understanding of what they can expect to pay for each service.

When searching for a funeral director in Melbourne, it's important to do your research. One great way to find a reputable funeral home is to check out Google reviews. Brember Family Funerals is one of the highest-rated funeral companies in Melbourne, with nothing but 5-star reviews. This speaks to the level of care and service they provide to their clients.

In addition to compassion, transparency, and attention to detail, there are other qualities that make a great funeral director. These include professionalism, flexibility, and the ability to handle complex logistical issues. Chris and his team at Brember Family Funerals possess all of these qualities and more, making them a great choice for anyone in need of funeral services in Melbourne.

In conclusion, choosing a funeral director is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. If you're looking for a funeral director in Melbourne who is compassionate, empathetic, and transparent, look no further than Chris Brember and Brember Family Funerals. Their dedication to providing exceptional service and support to families in their time of need is unparalleled, and their reputation speaks for itself.

A great funeral director is compassionate, organized, detail-oriented, and able to provide comfort and support to grieving families. Some of the key traits and skills that make a great funeral director include:

1. Compassion: A great funeral director must have empathy and compassion for the families they serve. They must be able to understand and support the family's emotional needs during the funeral planning process.

2. Organization: A great funeral director must be highly organized and able to manage multiple tasks and timelines simultaneously. They must also be able to keep accurate records and handle administrative tasks.

3. Attention to detail:
A great funeral director must have a keen eye for detail, ensuring that every aspect of the funeral service is executed flawlessly. They must also be able to anticipate potential issues and address them proactively.

4. Communication skills: A great funeral director must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with families, staff, and vendors.

5. Creativity: A great funeral director must be able to think creatively and offer innovative ideas to families who are planning a funeral service. They must also be able to adapt to unique requests and circumstances.

6. Knowledge: A great funeral director must have a deep understanding of funeral industry regulations, traditions, and best practices. They must also be current on the latest trends and innovations in the industry.

7. Problem-solving skills:
A great funeral director must be a skilled problem solver, able to quickly and effectively address any issues or concerns that arise during the funeral planning process.
Overall, a great funeral director must be dedicated to serving families with care and compassion, while also possessing the skills and expertise necessary to plan and execute a memorable funeral


FAQ's about Funeral Directors

1. What does a funeral director do?
A funeral director is a professional who specializes in organizing and managing funeral services for
families who have lost a loved one. Their responsibilities typically include:

Meeting with the family: Funeral directors meet with the family of the deceased to discuss the
arrangements for the funeral service. They provide guidance and support, and help the family
choose a casket, urn, and other items necessary for the service.

Preparing the body: Funeral directors work to prepare the body for the funeral service, which may
include embalming, dressing the body, and applying makeup.

Arranging the service: Funeral directors help the family to plan the funeral service, including
selecting a location, arranging for transportation, and coordinating with any clergy or other service

Coordinating logistics: Funeral directors are responsible for managing the logistics of the funeral
service, including arranging for pallbearers, selecting music, and preparing any necessary paperwork.

Providing emotional support: Funeral directors offer emotional support to the family during this
difficult time, providing comfort and guidance throughout the funeral planning process.

Overall, the funeral director's role is to ensure that the funeral service is conducted in a respectful
and meaningful way that honours the memory of the deceased, while providing support and
comfort to the family.


2. How do I choose a funeral director?
Choosing a funeral director is an important decision and it's important to take the time to
find someone who is right for you and your family. Here are some tips to help you choose a
funeral director:

Ask for recommendations: Talk to friends, family members, or religious leaders who have
recently planned a funeral to see if they can recommend a funeral director. You can also
check online reviews and ratings.

Review their services and prices: Funeral directors offer a range of services, so make sure
you understand what they offer and what you will be paying for. Compare prices from
different funeral homes to ensure you understanding what you are paying for.

Trust your instincts: Ultimately, you want to work with someone you trust and feel
comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable with a particular funeral director, it's okay to
look for someone else.


3. Can a funeral director help me with cremation or burial arrangements?Burial Place
This is exactly what we are here for. We can help you plan a funeral including cremations
and/or burials. Bunurong Memorial Park and Springvale Cemetery are local to our Funeral
home in Hallam, but we travel all over Victoria. Lilydale Memorial Park, Altona Memorial
Park, Fawkner Memorial Park, and Traralgon Cemetery are just to name a few.


4. What do I need to know before meeting with a funeral director?
Before you meet with a funeral director, it's important to have an idea of what type of funeral or
memorial service you want to have for your loved one. You may also want to consider the following:

Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on the funeral and related expenses, such as
cemetery plot, headstone, and flowers.

Location: Decide where you want the funeral or memorial service to take place, such as at a funeral
home, church, or other venue.

Burial or Cremation: Decide whether you want to bury or cremate your loved

Pre-planning: If your loved one had pre-planned their funeral, make sure you have a copy of their
plans and any relevant paperwork.

Legal Documents: Gather any legal documents related to your loved one's passing, such as their
death certificate and will.

Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the funeral director, such as pricing, services offered,
and options available.

Support: Bring a trusted family member or friend

The 20th of May 2022 is a date that is forever etched in our minds, a date that Ambulance Victoria lost one of their own, A family lost their beloved mum and as funeral directors, we had to dig deeper than we ever had before.

Pauline Smith, A wife, mother, sister, and friend of many. A paramedic and former policewoman was killed in a car accident on her way home after working nightshift by an impaired driver. A phone call that would change everyone’s lives.

It was only eight short weeks before this phone call that Pauline had reached out to Brember Family Funerals to arrange her beautiful mum, Betty’s funeral. Pauline wanted to give her mum the best farewell she could. Betty would have been so proud; Pauline gave it her all, and with our help, we gave Betty a beautiful funeral that will be discussed for years to come. Our director and celebrant, Chris Brember made people laugh as much as they did cry, He honoured Betty’s wonderful long life perfectly.

A week before this phone call, I returned Betty’s ashes to Pauline and her family. They welcomed me into their home like I was family to them, it was an emotional time, but we laughed and cried and promised to stay in touch.

Pauline’s husband was in utter shock, but he was adamant Pauline wouldn’t want anyone else to care for her family, Brember Family Funerals, to her, were family.

Disbelief and sadness washed over us, knowing the emotional connection and bond we all shared with this family. The day of the funeral arrangement, I walked along the path to the Smith’s front door, familiar faces, big hugs, and lots of tears. No one could believe we were meeting again so soon.

During the arrangement, Pauline’s husband knew exactly what he wanted. Pauline was the kind of person that gave endlessly to others, He wanted to give her a farewell that was fit for a queen. His queen.

The involvement from Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police was incredible, we couldn’t have asked for better support. They co-ordinated an ambulance, a police car, both AV and VP Helicopters as well as the police pipers and drummers. Epic doesn’t begin to describe the effort made.

Chris delivered an incredible service, it was emotional, heartfelt and at times quite humorous. Pauline’s family, friends and co-workers all contributed with stories they told and the memories they shared.

Hundreds of Police and Ambulance officers made a guard of honour upon leaving the chapel at Bunurong Memorial Park. An ambulance, police car, drummers and pipers lead her hearse away as the helicopters made a pass above.

Truly spectacular service for a spectacular woman.

Once the day was over, we shared our own stories and shed our own tears. The people we care for become an extension of our Brember family.

One week later, I returned Pauline’s ashes home to her family to rest beside her sweet mum.


Pauline SmithFunerals Funerals Melbourne

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