Our Journal

Meet Kate Morgan, Head of Memorials

Melbourne Funeral Celebrant, Kate Morgan is a founding partner at Tomorrow Funerals.

One thing people ask me about this work is “How are you able to work on funerals?”

When I first became a Celebrant, I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond – was there was something wrong with me that I really, really wanted to work in this space? Was I heartless? I wondered at first if it was becuase I had been through (and recovered from) a cancer diagnosis?

What I soon discovered was simple. I found that I just loved being able to help families, at what is often an extremely difficult time. And I found that it was something seemed to come naturally.

And so I began in earnest, working hard to connect with as many Melbourne funeral homes as I could – gaining experience in different types of funerals and memorials.

Since 2016, I conducted almost 100 funeral services – for children, for people who had very difficult deaths and complicated, diverse family situations, through to many elderly people who had led incredible lives.

I can honestly say that it has been an honour to be a part of every single service.

However, one thing I found problematic was finding the right kind of funeral home to align with. I discovered that many of the organisations I worked with seemed to be de-sensitised to death. And in many cases their approach was less than inspiring.

I guess that’s no surprise. We have a culture that does not like to think about death, let alone prepare for it. The funeral is mostly quite an old-fashioned space.

Over time I did less funerals for funeral homes and set myself up as an Independent Funeral Advisor. I loved being able to work directly with clients and offer them options that were more suited to their individual needs.

Back in 2019, when my own beautiful cousin, Janet died I arranged her memorial event.

Janet was a youngish, 60-year-old vibrant woman who loved a family party, a glass of champagne, music and good conversation. With that in mind, we arranged a quality cremation and turned our attention to throwing the most fantastic party ever!

Not going through a traditional funeral home meant we were not rushed to book a chapel, so we took time, invited special friends from interstate and chose a fantastic beach side venue, West Beach Pavilion. It was a cold wintery day so they lit us an open fire and we began in a candle-lit room filled with photos and flowers, where we held a beautiful ceremony sharing our stories. Everyone, (even her children) learned new things about Janet that day.

Melbourne Celebrant Kate Morgan
Melbourne Funeral Celebrant and Head of Memorials at Tomorrow Funerals Kate Morgan

Afterwards, we moved on to celebrations in the room next door – we laughed and cried – we enjoyed good food and drinks. We caught up with people we hadn’t seen in ages. It was wonderful, memorable and it was perfectly Janet!

You can read all about Janet’s fantastic soirée here!

Looking back, this became a kind of model in my mind for what’s possible.

And then, in early 2021, I was approached by a small team interested in looking at the funeral space with a fresh set of eyes. After some exhilarating conversations which were fuelled by a passion for creating something amazing, over several months, we created Tomorrow.

At Tomorrow we offer simple cremations and remarkable memorials. That’s it!

It’s pretty much the opposite of the traditional model. However, we believe that by simplifying what we call the ‘funeraly’ bits (burial options, coffins, coffin handles, mortuary care, outdated chapel hire etc,) we are actually able to offer a lot more freedom for families wanting to celebrate their loved ones in really authentic ways.

Investing more time, creativity and more of the budget into the memorial event itself allows us to plan a truly personalised, unique celebration – one that tells the story of someone’s life.

You can read more about Tomorrow’s ideas for extraordinary memorial style funerals here.

At Tomorrow, we believe that, despite what we are often told or what we assume, a funeral or memorial does not have to be what it’s always been.

What is most important is creating authentic ceremonies.

I know from personal experience that finding genuine ways to honour our loved ones can be an important step in starting to move through our grief.

And that, I guess, is why I do what I do.

This was originally published on Kate’s website, please, have a look at her wonderful work!

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