Author Archives: Deb


Suggestions of support/interest groups?

We have had a few phone calls here at State of Grace that have promoted me to take action of behalf of our families who are left feeling that they now have too much time on their hands since their husband/wife/partner has died. It is tough facing a future alone, and in the last week I have spoken to three of our families who have someone needing a bit of help with how to fill their day.

We would welcome suggestions of interesting groups/ organisations and fulfilling things for people to put their energy into. Some of our families have joined choirs, bowls, CAB,  and we would love to know what other meaningful and satisfying opportunities there are out there for us to pass on.

So – if you know of any groups requiring volunteers, or any other helpful suggestions – please let us know.


Miranda Brown Evening.

We held a small event/fundraiser last week,  showcasing the stunning fashion designs by Miranda Brown. Mirand worked with us to create our silk shroud, and has also applied some of the prints in her summer collection to beautiful new ‘Passing sheets” – pure cotton sheets to be palced around a body, with pockets above the heart to pop special messages/mementos into. They will be on the the website later this week and will cost $90.

The night here was just great – house was full of happy chatting women, eating lovely food and drinking wine, and strutting about in gorgeous clothes for each other to admire. Really recommend having a look at her website – All made locally, sustainably, and available online. Look out for further collaborations between us.



We recently organised a massage for a family member who was at the end of her tether, and she reported that is was so beneficial and allowed her to really be present at the funeral, rather than completely lost in her grief. This got us thinking about how we could support other families in this way. So, we put the call out on our Facebook page (have you been there and ‘liked’ us yet?), asking for recommendations of massage therapists.

The first people to offer us something were the lovely people from Tamara Spa ( They have offered us as many vouchers as we need for $50 off any treatment. We are grateful to them for their kindness and will encourage families to take time out for a bit of body work to help them through.

We have had other people give us the contacts for their favourite massage people, and will add them after we have collected their information and costs etc and put them on this blog.


Almost got to the fashion show…..

We have had such a busy week – five funerals – really pushes us to capacity. So Fran and I were very excited about our invitation to the Starfish fashion show at Fashion week. We were fellow contenders for the Emerging Business at the Sustainable Business Awards a few years ago, and they won! No hard feelings from us, they have such beautiful clothes and committed to sustainability. Check them out at

 Fran and I were going to the show straight from a funeral so taking the hearse for a city outing, dressed to the nines of course.  It was with some disappointment therefore when I chatted with a friend earlier today ton find that she had thoroughly enjoyed the Starfish show LAST NIGHT! I got the date wrong……. I forced her to give me the details of the goodie bag which made things worse.  Fran says it is because I am old, but I know it is because we are so busy!

We took ourselves off to Villa Maria for lunch instead, and ended up investigating it as a potential venue for funerals  – an amazing big space called the Barrel Room which would be perfect for up to 300 people,and a great finger food menu. Really beautiful and peaceful surroundings. We will add it to our venue page soon.


We were lucky

We were lucky enough to get a few minutes on the Afternoons with Jim  Mora show on National Radio – a wonderful opportunity to talk about our work. Have a listen here if you have a few spare minutes:

National Radio interview



Here is a group

Here is a group whose service really impressed us. We mentioned them on our Facebook page and now it seems that a local group is forming to offer this service right here in Auckland.

The all-women Threshold Choirs honor the ancient tradition of singing at the bedsides of people who are struggling: some with living, some with dying. The voice, as the original human instrument, is a true and gracious vehicle for compassion and comfort.

The group offers its service at no charge, and relies on donations.


Funeral Photography

Funeral Photography.

We have  discovered a great service, found at the following site –

We now have two wonderful photographers who are available to take beautiful images on the day of the funeral.

One is Emma Bass –

And the other is Michelle Hancock –

Both are lovely, sensitive women who will work unobtrusively at a service and provide a beautiful record of the day.

Please contact us if you would like any further information, or would like to see some of their work.


Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our blog.

We will use this page to bring you news, interesting little bits and pieces that we think you may be interested in, and generally give ourselves an opportunity to communicate with you on issues, events and information.

The same information can be found on our Facebook page – State of Grace Funerals – so do go and have a look there and become a fan!

We have found a couple of stunning books that we wanted you to know about, in fact we have ordered them ourselves to have at work.

The first is a beautiful, poignant photo essay made by a son of his father in the latter stages of the father’s life. Such a moving and loving tribute to his Dad and well worth ordering from your local library.

The book is called Days With My Father, and there is a website to preview the book:

Phillip and Edward Toledano: Days with My Father 005

The other book we want you to know about is called Grace Before Dying.

It is a photo-essay as well, of a group of Death Row inmates who have been trained to care for fellow inmates who have terminal illness.

The hospice volunteers must go through a difficult process to bury their own regrets and fears, and unearth their capacity to love. Grace Before Dying looks at how, through hospice, inmates assert and affirm their humanity in an environment designed to isolate and punish.