Local funeral home is changing the way families are supported following the loss of a child
Arranging the funeral is the last physical act of caring for a child . It is a time, amid profound grief, when you can acknowledge your child and the meaning your child’s life holds for you and your family.
After a child has died, you may feel shocked, angry, upset, numb and confused. It can be hard to take in what has happened, what it means to you and your family and what has to be organised. The most important thing is to take your time – don’t rush. Do what you feel is best for you and your family. The choices you make now for your child are important now and in the future.
One funeral home in Victoria, Chapter House, is changing the way funeral homes support families following the loss of a child, by offering specialised choices that are specific and respectful to the child and your family.
In his speech at the opening of Chapter House, in Melbourne, late 2017, Troy Upfield said “As funeral directors we have had to learn to mask some of our emotions at times, however there was one funeral that was too much for me. I managed to hide my emotions until I got to the car. We had just finished a service in the chapel with about 20 family members, a beautiful service for a tragic circumstance. It was only the parents that were going to following me to the crematorium while I had their loved one onboard. Whilst I was driving I was struggling to comprehend that I was not in a hearse, I was driving a small hatch back with an 18 month old on the back seat. I could see in my rear vision mirror the parents, I didn’t see them speak once and whilst I knew I could never understand their grief I kept thinking of better ways to do this with dignity for families. When we arrived at the cemetery I slowly lead them to the rose garden where they could say their goodbyes to their little one before I proceeded to the crematorium. As I opened the back door the mother and father had to lean awkwardly into the car to touch their babies casket in the back seat. I was embarrassed and ashamed at this process and delivery of service”.
“When I got back to headquarters I questioned our mode of transport and told them what had happened and how I felt and I was told that ‘this is the only option as infants cannot be transported in a normal size hearse, besides its what everyone in the industry does.’ I was very unhappy and made it my mission to offer a solution to families and rather than accept that this is what the industry has done for many years and continues to do, we decided to change it”.
“So we designed Australia’s first Infant/Child Hearse,” he said. “Our infant hearse has been designed to transport an infant to their final resting place with the utmost respect and consideration to a family. The hearse has privacy windows with very subtle blue, pink or white lighting, dependant on a families wishes.”
According to eziFunerals, Chapter House is not your traditional funeral home. Peter Erceg, Founder of eziFunerals said that independent funeral homes such as Chapter House are changing the way funeral homes are responding to the needs of baby boomers and consumers. Our members are moving away from the ‘cookie cutter’ approach and rigid packages offered by the corporate funeral brands, owned by publicly listed companies (InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners), he said.
Troy Upfield said “Every life has a story to tell and we at Chapter House will assist in crafting meaningful stories that respect, honour and celebrate each individual lives. Because this is their unique story”.
Contact Chapter House
Website – www.chapterhouse.com.au
Instagram – @chapter_house
Facebook – www.facebook.com/chapterhousefunerals/
Principal founder, Troy Upfield
Chief Operating Officer and Principal, Liddy Upfield
Steve Summers, Funeral Director and Principal
William Upfield, Funeral Director and Principal
Elyse Knight, Funeral Director.
400 High Street Kew, Vic 3101 & Level 27, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000