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October 12, 2014

Welcome to our first post on the Hills Family blog!

We have been a member of the community for over 25 years and we’re starting a blog because we want to open and enhance conversations within the community.

We understand the importance of shedding light on things we often find difficult to face and we hope to provide comfort to you and your family in critical times.

First though, you might want to know who we are, what we do and why we’re here.

Who is Hills Family Funerals?

Hills Family Funerals is a 100% Australian and family owned business tucked away in The Hermitage cottage – the first home built in the area by European settler, Frenchman Verincourt de Clambe in 1802 – a few doors down from Chemist Warehouse and across the road from the Anglican Retirement Village in Castle Hill, New South Wales.

At Hills Family you’ll find owner Richard Spiteri and his team, including someone you will see in town or featured on our blog, community relations manager Annemaree Gibson.

We’re not just colleagues working at the same funeral home, we’re family.

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We deal with death but we celebrate life and do our utmost to showcase the individuality of a loved one to ensure they’re remembered and celebrated in a way that reflects what they meant to a family and who they were. We would want the same for our own family.

Why are we here?

Many people are surprised when you tell them your funeral home has created a blog but there are many reasons for us to be blogging.

You know as well as we do that our world has changed and we have started having conversations we would not usually have with our families. We want to open, join and enhance those conversations and discussions within this community.

As John Troyer writes, “It is not weird or macabre to have these discussions,” in fact it’s normal. “Discussing death is a meditation not on dying but on living life.”

We plan to dispel myths and provide truths that we hope will mean something to you.

“Our aim is to shed light on things that are often difficult to face,” Richard Spiteri says. “We want this blog to be an online space that you and your families can find comfort from and the information that you need during different times in your lives, especially critical ones. Family is as important to us as it is to you. It is the central element of everything we do.”

What will we be blogging about?

Although we’ll be talking about planning one of the biggest events of our lives and making it the best celebration it can be, we also hope to have a laugh with you over funny things kids say or famous last words, and find more ways to enjoy ourselves while we’re here.

Some of the blog’s topics will include:

  • Ways to plan or personalise your funeral
  • Ticking items off your bucket list
  • What TED Talks teach us
  • Dispelling myths within the funeral industry
  • Talking about grief and loss
  • Interviews with experts in the industry
  • Annemaree’s role in the community

We will include monthly or so rundowns of some of Annemaree’s favourite community events because at Hills Family we love being active in the community.

In Annemaree’s words, “One of the most rewarding things about working for Hills Family is bringing the community together and the other is, as a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunty, a grandmother, and a friend to many, being able to relate to a lot of people.”

We don’t want to make the Hills Family blog all doom and gloom by any means, so don’t be scared off by the fact that we’re a funeral home. We want to provide support and guidance and

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show you the same respect and thoughtfulness we would want for our own family.

What do you think so far?

It’s our job to listen to families and that’s why it’s important to us to receive your feedback, so please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Tell us: Why is family important to you? Feel free to ask any questions too.

Thank you for reading our first post!