A heartfelt, personalised memorial for Kristen Johnson’s mother

Losing someone you love is one of life’s most difficult experiences, but for Kristen Johnson, giving his mother the perfect farewell became easier because of Caryn and Phil Barling.

Image of the deceased with a flower beside it

Mum’s wishes were clear

After planning a loved one’s funeral years ago, Kristen’s mum expressed her desire for restraint when it came time for her own. She didn’t want the family spending a fortune on it. And she didn’t want a big chain company involved.

When she passed away suddenly in December last year, Kristen wasn’t sure where to turn. He wanted to honour her wishes, but still make sure the family could properly celebrate her life.

“I was looking for a unique, non-standard funeral option.”

Kristen’s wife stumbled upon Something Beautiful Remains while searching the internet for independent funeral homes.

When Kristen saw Phil and Caryn’s dog, Izzy, listed as the Barketing Director on the ‘About Us’ page, he reached out. He knew he’d found the right place when Caryn picked up the phone herself and he didn’t have to speak with a call centre.

Young girls painting in a canvass board

“Nothing was a hassle. They were happy to handle everything.”

“The hospital just gives you a death certificate for the funeral home and sends you on your way. But Caryn came to our house that day. She said she’d hold my hand every step of the way, and she did.

We were promised personalised service and Phil and Caryn were true to their word. They’d pick up the phone day and night. And on public holidays too.”

Arranged flowers on table with the crochet materials

“My mum would be so happy with the special day that Something Beautiful Remains planned and organised for us.”

Everyone in attendance felt that Kristen’s mother’s service was special and truly reflected her personality and interests. She was an avid crocheter, and Caryn and Phil had decorated the room with balls of colourful wool and crochet hooks, needles and pieces that Kristen’s mum had made over the years.

Caryn also made a special effort to involve Kristen’s young daughter and his wife’s niece, who were both very close to Kristen’s mother.

Caryn suggested they each wear their “Special” Nanny dresses and because of their interest in art, that the girls might create a piece of art. Caryn provided the all art supplies.

The two then worked together to combine their individual canvases to fit together to form one heart. Kristen was grateful for the beautiful gesture and says it really helped to cheer up the girls.

Two young girls happily holding and showing their paintings

“Caryn and Phil are the closest thing to angels that you will ever meet.”

“When Phil came around to hand deliver mum’s death certificate, I thought he might just drop it off and leave. But he stayed. He asked how I was. He shared his personal experience.

I still think about the things he said to me that day.”

“Choosing Something Beautiful Remains to handle my mum’s memorial is one of the soundest decisions I’ve made.

I was able to say goodbye to my mum in a way that was important to me, that also honoured her final wishes. I cannot recommend them enough.”

Young girls dancing in a funeral

Planning a funeral is one of the hardest things to do, but you are never alone in this period of grief.

Take our hand and we’ll help you create the bespoke memorial your loved one deserves.

If you’re not sure what to do next, just give Caryn and Phil a call any time, day or night.

Once you’ve spoken with us,
your job is done

We are here to help you. Call us today and leave everything to us.

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