Geelong grandmother of two, Sharon Milburn, has heartfelt memories of sending her late mother off with a sea scattering along Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road some years ago. Thinking about when it comes to her time to say goodbye, she wants to provide the same simple yet peaceful farewell for her children.

Sharon knew she wanted to take action and plan for her future after the passing of a neighbour. Sadly, Sharon’s friend was just 49 when she died without a funeral plan or the finances to pay for one.

The funeral cost and arrangements fell on the neighbour’s family who were not financially prepared. The cremation took more than a month to arrange and the family wasn’t overly happy with the process.

Sharon Milburn prepaid her funeral to save srtress on her kids later on.
Sharon Milburn prepaid her funeral to save stress on her kids later on.

The terrible experience helped Sharon realise that arranging a funeral is a financial and emotional burden that usually falls on the family – but it shouldn’t have to.

“I’ve got four children. I don’t want them to go through what the other family went through,” she said. “It’s something that I want to take care of myself and not stress them out with.”

The 51-year-old has since arranged a prepaid funeral with Bare Cremation to prevent that burden on her children later on.

“It was on the bucket list; I’ve been meaning to take care of this for a number of years. My neighbour was just 49 – so when your number’s up, it’s up!

“I want to have peace of mind – get it paid and it’s done!”

With only a small family and many loved ones living interstate, an expensive funeral ceremony isn’t the way Sharon wanted to go. She decided on a Bare Cremation based on affordability and the ability to have a simple cremation without an elaborate ceremony.

“I’ve been told in the past that funeral funds can cost triple the price of a funeral,” she said. “I don’t want anything fancy. I want to be cremated and returned to the family.”

Sharon said she has already told her Next of Kin her wishes for a simple direct cremation, followed by an ocean ashes scattering near where her mother was farewelled.

ashes sea scattering at Victoria's Great Ocean Road
Sharon wishes for a seaside scattering at Victoria’s Great Ocean Road when the time comes.

Going your own way

To avoid the financial stress on your family later on, you can arrange a prepaid funeral through Bare Cremation, like Sharon has done. And advising your executor or a close family member of your funeral preferences in your Will ensures you’ll ‘go your own way’ when the time comes.

To find out more, visit the Bare Cremation website here or call 1800 870 601.

For ideas on ways to personalise a memorial ceremony, read our articles 10 Alternatives to a Traditional Funeral Service and 9 memorial ideas with ashes in Victoria you may not have thought of.