More than just low-costs

“Do not let the cost of saying goodbye add to your grief.”

When I first began SDF, I wrote this line (above) with a focus on the funeral costs.  Giving families a real cost alternative was something new to Nelson.  Providing only low-cost, set priced funerals had never been done before because funeral homes could charge what they wanted.

Over the years I have discovered that it wasn’t just the financial savings that people appreciated.  There was something else that families appreciated – even more than the price….

Owen and Holly
When I first started it was just me and Holly.

SDF has a unique style – unlike other funeral homes.  The thing that makes us different is the way we manage funerals for families.  From the very first phone call, you are dealing with a person, not a business.  Our focus is solely on what you want and need.  I know how daunting organising a funeral can be.  So, my goal is to take away any stress I can and not add to it in any way.  Families are often surprised how easy things went, which was a huge relief to them. 

What people find is that they enjoy my approach.  I’m not formal or showy – I’m just myself.  I want families to feel at ease and know that even if they don’t know what to do next, they will make the decisions they want.  There is never any pressure from me to encourage them to do something they don’t want to do.  No hidden agendas to get them to spend more.

Death and funerals are quite uncommon for many people.  So, another aspect I focus on is making death a little more natural for families.  The person who died is still their loved one.   And even though it can be incredibly upsetting for some people – there is nothing to be afraid of. 

Our process also means families don’t need to rush.  They have plenty of time and space to make decisions.  Sometimes these decisions are already made.  Sometimes not.  For example – do they want to come to the chapel at the crematorium or not?  Sometimes they want the person to stay home before going to the funeral.  Sometimes they have said their goodbyes and leave the person in my care.

It is common to hear laughter every now and then.  Not because I’m trying to be funny.  Rather my style encourages people to relax and be themselves.  Being able to laugh at something (usually something silly) can be incredibly therapeutic.  I had one family say their loved one hated Ford and his last ride was in our Ford.  They thought that was typical and amusing.  I had one family say that they wanted to say how much fun the funeral was but thought that people might get the wrong idea (please don’t get the wrong impression now).  There are often tears with laughter.  The point is for families to feel reassured.

Great service, very efficient. No hassle’s down to earth exactly what we wanted simple cremation with dignity and respect. Thank you Owen for your humour and care during this difficult time.
One of the many positive reviews from families.

Reducing stress and empowering families is what I think people appreciate the most.  Afterwards, when the funeral is over and life slows down a little, families look back and appreciate how things went.  They didn’t become lost in the hustle and bustle that often comes with funerals.  And importantly, they were able to be more present.

I know that SDF is not for everyone.  It never intended to be.  There will be those who want a funeral to be taken by a funeral home.  I have absolutely no problem with that.  People should have options.  Funeral homes have a particular style to them that people like.