real life

Most funerals are still traditional, dated or soulless. That's all about to change.

If you’ve never had to plan a funeral, count yourself lucky.

Those who’ve had to go through the process will tell you it’s a difficult few days of decision making at a time of extreme grief. It often begins with a Google search simply because people don’t know where to start.

Options are limited, dated and often soulless. And what if you’re not religious? The bereaved, at times, find themselves going through the traditional processes of the church because they simply don’t know what other options are available.

That’s where Rite Of Passage Funerals comes in.

The newly launched Australian business based on the Gold Coast plans on disrupting the funeral industry by empowering families to take back control of the dying process.

“Rite of Passage Funerals is what I’m calling an ‘Enlightened Funeral Experience’. We are big-hearted, soulful funeral directors who provide services for all stages of life through to after death,” founder Yasemin Trollope told Mamamia.

“We help empower families to reclaim control of the dying process by offering all kinds of services, including home funerals, enlightened memorials, living wakes and bedside vigils.”


Yasemin explains that the aim is to bring death out of the shadows and into the light.

“We want to get people talking about death and understanding how many different options there are available to them. I’ll be hosting sacred space healing groups for people experiencing grief as well as workshops that talk about how accepting the inevitability of death can give you the power to live a more meaningful, enriched, fulfilled life.”

Yasemin was previously a health and wellness journalist living and working in the United States when the idea came to her.

“I was reading an article on perceptions of death and the idea hit me like lightning. I realised that there was so much room for improvement when it comes to funerals and thought that if I could marry my work in health and wellness with the most prominent life teacher of all – death – then I could create an opportunity for families to farewell their loved ones in a deeply rich, meaningful and sacred way,” Yasemin said.

Rite of Passage funerals aims to offer an alternative to traditional services and provide a rich offering for the non-religious.

“We plan on giving as much power back to the family as possible. I believe the time after someone dies is truly sacred, but often loved ones are immediately taken away and much of the process is left to a stranger.”

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with this and for many people that model works really well, but I wanted to create an alternative that allowed families to be as involved as they felt comfortable – including keeping their loved one with them or holding a home funeral, helping dress or prepare their loved one, or if that didn’t feel right, even just helping decorate the funeral venue and help create some meaningful rituals and ceremonies that can be held on the day of the service,” Yasemin said.

“I believe a funeral has the opportunity to be a truly transformational event, so Rite of Passage Funerals’ service are centred around love, ritual and ceremony that reflect the life of the person who has died.”

“I want my families walking away uplifted and hopeful and feeling like the send off was perfectly aligned with how their loved one lived, not like another funeral they’ve been to before. Because a funeral should be as individual as we are.”

 Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow reflect on the concept of death, and speak to professionals about what we can learn from those who have passed.