Funeral planning service first of its kind in Cork

Funeral planning service first of its kind in Cork

Louise O’Brien and Dara O’Shea of RHEA, a new end-of-life event planning company.

AN event management company founded in Cork has become the first of its kind in Ireland offering funeral planning services to bereaved families.

RHEA-Ireland’s first dedicated, end-of-life event planning company- aims to alleviate the stress and reduce workloads for families facing a funeral or memorial to allow them more time with loved ones.

RHEA Funeral and Memorial Events founders, Dara O’Shea and Louise O’Brien, have more than 30 years combined experience in event planning and management. Their aim is to work on behalf of a client or family- and in cooperation with funeral directors-to organise everything from the location to the music used in the ceremony.

RHEA co-founder and director, Dara O’Shea, said the business idea came from their own experiences of loss.

“Our unique service was born out of personal experience of loss, and seeing firsthand the burden of work that falls on families during the most difficult days of a death," she said. "When loved ones should be able to focus on and support each other, most are exhausted by the weight of work and funeral responsibilities.”

 Co-founder and director of RHEA, Louise O’Brien also acknowledged the importance of a dignified send-off.

“We bring our considerable experience in event planning and a network of tried and trusted suppliers to bear on funeral experiences, fully understanding how important it is for people to honour a loved one with a dignified and beautiful “send-off”," Ms O'Brien said. "We truly believe that through developing and delivering a special, personalised funeral occasion, meeting the wishes of the family and preferences of the deceased, we are helping our clients through this sad time, so they have special memories of saying goodbye and can better begin their process of grieving.” 

RHEA is also available to work with families in the months and years following a loss, particularly for those who lost someone during the height of restrictions when gatherings were limited to immediate family members.

It comes as countries across the globe find new and creative ways to commemorate those lost to the pandemic.

These include white flags covering 20 acres on Washington's National Mall to represent more than 740,000 Americans killed by Covid-19, the highest official national death toll in the world.

Other tributes include memorial flags, hearts, ribbons colouring everywhere from London to Brazil and South Africa.

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