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In service to absent loved ones

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In service to absent loved ones

SHIRLEY SINCLAIR speaks with a compassionate woman who fulfilled a long-held business dream late in life.

As a young adult, Di Niass always lamented never visiting her father Brian’s gravesite.

It took her 20 years and the passing of her mother Patricia before she made that pilgrimage.

But now, at 65, she not only empathises with people feeling similar pangs of regret but also has followed through on a long-held dream to create a service to give them peace of mind that, in their absence, loved ones’ graves are being cared for.

Grave Thoughts is a specialised floral-delivery and gravesite-maintenance service that can ensure the year-round upkeep of a loved one’s resting place.

With the utmost dignity and respect, the service, established in 2022, promises: “To show them you care, we can be there. When you wish you were near, we will be here”.

“My father passed away when I was 16. My mother had been left to bring up five children – we are talking about in the early-’70s,” Di recalls.

“Well, my mum had her hands full just trying to survive and also trying to do the best for us kids.

“She didn’t have time to go and grieve or sit by a gravesite and talk to dad and she probably didn’t want to.

“She was probably thinking, ‘It’s okay for you. You’ve gone, put your feet up and left me with these five little rascals. I haven’t got time to talk of such matters. I have to get on with the hand that life has dealt me’.

“We were young kids trying to make our way in life without a dad. So, the years passed and we all went on.

“Then, my mum passed away. We were all an adult age by then: working, married, not depending on our mum and it was then 20 years later.

“I realised I had never visited my dad’s grave and now I was going to because of the passing of my mum.

“Well, the gravesite wasn’t dilapidated because my father’s brothers and sisters had visited on occasions over the years and that made me feel good.”

Di Niass with grandsons Max and George

Di understands only too well that there can be a variety of reasons why it may be challenging for people to personally tend to their loved one’s resting place – from geographical constraints and demanding work and life schedules, to physical or emotional limitations, or the distressing nature of the task.

A resultant feeling of neglect can further exacerbate the emotional burden.

“I was living interstate and working. So, when it came to my dad’s birthday or even my mum’s, I wasn’t able to go visit their resting place and this troubled me, even though they had passed,” Di says.

“I needed to say, ‘I’m thinking of you on this special day and thank you, because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today’.

“So, my dream began and now 30 years later, I’m following that dream.

“I suppose the moral of the story is never give up on your dream. I’m not.”

Grave Thoughts’ specialised services can be customised to specific needs and honour the memory of loved ones on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, religious holidays, or any other significant event.

As Di says: “Just because they are gone doesn’t mean they should be forgotten.”

The cost of individual and special occasion services varies, tailored to meet the specific needs of customers. They include:

  • flower replacement
  • candle placement and lighting
  • reading a memory or special verse
  • playing a favourite song
  • headstone cleaning
  • weeding, trimming, cutting and
    tidying turf
  • cleaning or replacement of pebbles
    or vases
  • maintenance and cleaning of existing decorative flora.

 Visit gravethoughts.com.au

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