By Mick Jensen
Ashburton funeral director Jo Metcalf is keen to ease families through the often emotional time of farewelling a loved one.
She has established Memory Funerals in the former Smitheram Electrical building opposite New World.
Funerals, she said, should be all about the family and giving the deceased a good send off.
Memories from the funeral should be “fond” and should “last forever”.
“The entire funeral process should be tailored to the needs of the family and what they want for their loved one.
“I can offer options, but, at the end of the day, families need to do what is right for them and make decisions at an often difficult time.”
Creating the right environment and developing an empathic conversation with the family was an important first step in the process, she said.
Ms Metcalf said a good funeral director needed to be a good listener, needed to be well organised and also needed a considered and flexible approach.
Sensitive discussions needed to cover a range of “wants” in areas such as embalmment, casket choice and what the deceased should wear.
Facilitating the process included liaising with the person who would conduct the service, discussing where and when it would be held and whether a burial or cremation was preferred.
Ms Metcalf said she was able to conduct small, private services at her new premises and could arrange items such as catering, flowers and music that suited families.
The new Moore Street premises features a reception area, viewing room and funeral lounge.
Jo Metcalf has been involved in the funeral business for nine years and has worked in Geraldine and Temuka.
For the last 16 months she has lived in Ashburton.