Blogs contents page

Here are handy links to my 84 articles. Click on the titles that interest you and perhaps open your mind to the inevitable.

A journo of many years, I enjoy telling stories – especially ones that no one else tells. Some of these blogs took weeks of research. The more we learn about death and its rituals, the more comfortable we become with them and our own mortality. I hope these blogs are helpful as you come to terms with your finite existence.

Like the stories you are about to explore, your story is important. Please consider telling yours to your family or community – write parts of it down in places like The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan. I can guarantee you there are things about you that nobody remembers and are very much worth documenting. You matter, and so does your story. 


1,300 remains found – How did the Hutchins School not know?

Meet Barry, a cemetery support dog

Alkaline hydrolysis: the new wave of body disposal

Australia’s only cryonics facility welcomes first frozen ‘patient’

Construction works encroach on Wolston Park Mental Hospital cemetery

When natural burial doesn’t meet the needs of mourners

Building on top of cemeteries

A ‘freight train’ of palliative care need is on its way

Living and dying with cancer: John Thompson’s swan song

The Vatican changes the rules about ashes storage

An ethical dilemma. Who is a funeral for? 

What happens when an earthquake hits a funeral?

The adventures of Rob’s parents’ ashes

Funeral director furphies and rip offs

John’s gun cartridge coffin

The men who scoured the battlefields for our war dead

The Wishing Well: mourners’ memories

No footsteps as the Queen lies in state

Does your estate’s executor know who you bank with?

Toowoomba’s intriguing railwaymen honour board

The consequence of scattering ‘ashes’

An aerial photo and a sharp memory: location of missing Wolston Park Mental Hospital patients identified

Mental asylum mass exhumations and missing remains: the tale of Wolston Park’s lost and forgotten patients

Catering over coffins: new report shows what we really value when it comes to funerals

A song and a tattoo: the gift that Kelly’s mum left for her family.

When your 1800s great great great great grandfather becomes a media star in the 21st century

Site of asylum’s hidden and forgotten cemetery acknowledged on Qld Heritage Register

All I want for Christmas is transparent funeral pricing: ACCC releases report into funeral sector

Getting stuff done in ’21: The Australian states focused on funeral regulation and consumer outcomes in 2021

Etched in stone: Cemeteries reveal a typhoid history

A memorial party? What will I wear?

Four sons killed in war and a pull-down blind to hide their names

Traditional funeral homes reluctant to embrace new Aussie technology that helps families connect with funerals

Growing a garden grave: giving new life to a forgotten grave

How does a woman die a spinster in a gold mining town? The tale of Elizabeth Richards

Country singers’ ashes flushed and put in rhythm shaker

COVID-19s forgotten front line: Claims that mortuary staff and funeral directors have been left unprotected

Prime Minister’s latest Covid 19 advice sees funeral giant’s share price plummet

Funeral photography and memorial photobooks: telling your loved one’s story

Books and a death mask: it’s funny what you find in the library

Creator’s ashes in foundations of Warwick sculpture

The photo that changed it all: a funeral, a pact and an outlandish dress.

Headstone symbol reveals convict past

Coffins and company: the coffin club changing lives

Funeral trains: All aboard at Sydney’s Mortuary Station

More Aussie deaths this winter to boost Invocare’s profits

What a visit to my local mosque taught me about Muslim funeral rituals

Old Uralla Cemetery: more than just bushranger territory

Cemetery symbolism: what do the shapes, engravings, and symbols on headstones mean?

Digital death: Facebook takes memorial accounts a step further if you die

Where are the graves? A quick guide to natural burials

Telling stories from the grave: Gold Coast teen’s memorial becomes a technological world first

The inventor who safely lowered coffins into graves

A taxi driver’s murder, executions and the missing graves: Darwin’s fascinating Fannie Bay gaol

Discrimination in death: Why are there so few headstones in Derby?

Test cricketer lies in unidentified grave in WA’s Goldfields, Cricket NSW searching for descendants

Lost remains of Wolston Park Mental Asylum patients buried in trenches

Who should you call when someone dies at home? Funeral director Rick White discusses the practicalities of death.

Goldrush murder: Assassinated Afghani cameleer rests in outback WA cemetery

Searching for gold, laid to rest under tin: a prospecting history captured in WA’s remote Menzies cemetery

The life lessons of dying children

‘Coffin swapping’ discussion highlights changing views on funerals

The grape-ful dead: A wine with body fit for a funeral

“Killed by a blow from a whale”: The tragedy of the Kelly family

The volunteer headstone repairer: Eddie Mason’s cemetery passion

Burial at sea in shallow waters: Only in the Territory

Are you sure you want to die in Queensland? Getting the facts on funerals

No fowl play at Mackay toy shop offering life lessons ahead of Dying To Know Day on August 8

Cultural sensitivities: Why aren’t we saying Dr G Yunupingu’s first name?

Nancy’s advice and tale of loss: a first-hand account of being left behind to sort ‘things’ out without a will

Fowl play suspected as chickens ruffle feathers in New Zealand cemetery

Five hundred bodies lost: The troubling tale of gold fortunes at Arrowtown

Cemetery tales: typhoid and death by beer barrel

Dissenters to the right, Roman Catholics to the left – segregation in death

Listening to the dying and giving them a voice too: The emerging role of the Death Doula

Funeral faux pas: I showed up to the wrong funeral

The Stupa: a high rise for generations of human remains

Where did the cemetery at Singapore’s Fort Canning Park go?

A mass grave and tributes to our war dead: Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore

Advance care plans and Facebook legacy contacts: new additions to The Bottom Drawer Book’s second edition

Umbrellas over graves and coffins hanging from cliffs

Ashes scattered by fireworks means loved ones go off with a bang

Christmas can suck sometimes

About the author

Author Lisa Herbert

Lisa Herbert is a death awareness advocate, a cemetery wanderer, journalist and audio producer, and author of The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan – an informative, modern, and quirky workbook and funeral planning guide for those who want to prepare for the inevitable. The third edition is available in Australia for $29.95.  For international buyers, The Bottom Drawer eBook is AU$11.99 on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Booktopia and Google Books. To purchase, click HERE.

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