Let’s be honest: the topic of death, dying and funerals makes most of us quite uncomfortable. I am sure most of you are familiar with the words of Benjamin Franklin; ‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ So, if death is such a natural and important part of our lives, then why are we still so afraid of the subject?
We are currently in the year 2019, a time where there has never been more information available to us so readily. Between the internet, radio, television and the newspaper, there is a wealth of information on the funeral industry. However, what many people don’t realise is that much of it is not applicable to Western Australia.
WA is one of the few states in Australia to have the funeral industry regulated by the government. This means that no funeral home has their own private cemetery or crematorium, which makes it much harder for funeral homes to cut corners in WA.
For example, recently on A Current Affair it was shown that funeral homes were using a coffin cover (a coffin without a bottom that slips over a basic coffin shell), and then removing it prior to cremation. In WA a large number of funerals take place either at the cemetery or a church, so there is very little chance this can happen, due to all the steps and checks with the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (MCB). Funeral homes are required to write down which coffin the family has selected, so the MCB can tell easily when a different coffin is brought in. This is different from the other states where the funeral home has complete control of the coffin from start to finish and has no one to hold them accountable.
Every funeral home in WA is licenced by the MCB and are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct. This ensures that all funeral homes have appropriate facilities, equipment, insurances and so on. Once again, this stops many potential shortcuts, as there is a governing body keeping a close eye on the industry.
So, what does this mean for the consumer in WA? It means that you have peace of mind knowing that most funeral homes are not doing sneaky things behind your back. At Hetherington Funerals, we are passionate about helping those in their time of need, and we believe in being upfront and honest throughout the whole process.
We are here to educate people, and help them face the realities surrounding the end of life with a positive mindset. Our advice is to help not only yourself, but also those most important to you by discussing and preplanning your funeral in advance.