A personal struggle has inspired a Kiwi woman to launch New Zealand's first online directory of funeral providers, including where to find coffins made from Lego and pet funerals.

Managing director Annouschka Martinsen set up Celebrate Me to help families find information on funerals during a distressing time, as she experienced herself when her father died.

She found there was no one-stop information source when it came to planning his funeral.

"I just want to provide people with a clear idea of what is available to them when it comes to planning a funeral either for a loved one or pre-planning for themselves," she said.

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"Then when they go to see a funeral service provider they already know what they might want.

"Funeral directors are open to all sorts of suggestions to help you celebrate your loved one's life just the way you want - whether it's a service at home, at your local church, community centre or on a boat - perhaps a customised artwork coffin or scattering ashes at sea."

The website also provides inspirational ideas, articles and support services for people facing terminal illnesses.

"When I miscarried my first baby I struggled to deal with the grief - as part of the healing process I planted a lemon tree in their memory. This helped me a lot."

She said the opportunity to "mix and match" and create a specific, unique funeral service was important to people.

"They want the right celebration. Many families now want a funeral which is personal and truly reflects the life and personality of their loved one."

Martinsen said the website will also provide information on a range of commemorative products, including video keepsakes, ash diamonds, memorial jewellery and memorial trees. There is also information on businesses who can provide services for pet burials and cremations.

"To know their loved one's wishes are being fulfilled and that their life is being celebrated in a personal and loving way is a healthy step in the process of grieving. Everyone's life deserves to be celebrated."

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