Our history

Wray Owen Funerals is a family owned and operated Funeral Home established in Nowra. Our Funeral Home and Chapel is located at 52 North Street, Nowra, NSW. 2541

Wray Owen Funeral Directors commenced business in Nowra in March 1954.

Kath and Ian Strathie purchased the business from Maida and Wray Owen, on Ian’s retirement from the Royal Australian Navy, having served 20 years. We bought the business in March 1985 and subsequently acquired Muller’s Funerals in Nowra in 1995, Muller’s was established in 1864.

Our two children, Scott and Fiona are part of the organisation.

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Support for parents

Gone Way Too Soon…Coping With a Child’s Death

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“Parents are not supposed to bury their children,” David cried out. “This is not how it’s supposed to be.” You likely identify with this dad, expressing the shock, disbelief and grief of a child’s death. Whether in an unexpected car crash, through suicide or after a lengthy illness, the death of a child turns the world upside down. Regardless of whether the “child” is a toddler, a teenager or a middle-aged parent herself, a child’s death upsets the “natural order” of life.

A big part of the grief process for parents is described as a “search for meaning.” In early grief, finding meaning in a child’s death is an impossible task, and for some, no sense is ever made of the death. Eventually, though, most bereaved parents, family members and friends do find meaning in the loss-or at least in spite of it. You might embrace a cause to prevent other families from experiencing the same tragedy or fondly recall the rich living crammed into a few short years by a young person gone too soon. You may eventually find a depth to your own strength or vitality in your faith you never knew existed.

The Child’s Siblings and Friends

Siblings and friends of the child who has died need an extra measure of patience and support and there are many practical ways friends and family members can provide help. Though parents desire to shield surviving children from the pain, and even if the other children have not been told what happened, siblings sense the tension in the family, realizing intuitively, “something is wrong.” When they do not get honest information about their brother or sister, they sometimes erroneously conclude that parents are upset because of their actions.

The Child’s Grandparents

Grandparents also experience the loss deeply. In the words of author and bereaved grandparent, Mary Lou Reed, “Grandparents cry twice.” Not only must grandparents bear the grief after their grandchild’s death, but they also must helplessly witness the intractable pain their own child experiences as the grandchild’s now-bereaved parent. If you know a bereaved grandparent, inquire not only about the well-being of the bereaved parents, but also ask how he or she is doing, too.

Your Marriage, Family and Coping

Do not believe common cultural “myths” about parental bereavement. Your marriage is not “doomed,” though a child’s death does put an unprecedented strain on even the best marriages. And ignore the well-meaning suggestion of friends or family members who suggest something like, “Since you’re young, you can have another child.” Children can never be replaced, regardless of their age at death.

A child’s death is a life-altering event, but for parents and other family members, it does not have to be a life-ending event. Grief shakes us from “top to bottom,” leaving no part of life untouched.

Finding Support

Some bereaved parents want to talk about their loss with a counselling professional, and you can find one at the Association for Death Education and Counselling. In addition, mutual help groups like Compassionate Friends, Bereaved Parents of the USA, Bereaved Parents of Canada and Care for the Family provide excellent online resources and links to community-based chapters.

Surviving children may also benefit from a bereavement support program. The National Alliance for Grieving Children provides excellent resources and a searchable database of bereavement programs for children and teens. Learn from others who have walked through parental bereavement. Biographies often include anecdotes about how people have faced the deaths of children. Reading the stories of bereaved parents like John Walsh (America’s Most Wanted), Candy Lightner(Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Marc Klaas (Klaas Kid’s Foundation) may encourage you in your own journey.

Written Resources

Though you may be unable to concentrate on long books, you may find these helpful:

  • How to Survive the Loss of a Child by Catherine Sanders
  • The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child by Suzanne Redfern and Susan K. Gilbert
  • Life after the Death of My Son: What I’m Learning by Dennis Apple
  • Giving Sorrow Words by Candy Lightner and Nancy Hathaway
  • A Grief Unveiled: One Father’s Journey Through the Loss of a Child by Gregory Floyd
  • When the Bough Breaks: Forever after the Death of a Son or Daughter by Judith Bernstein

Additional Resources

www.selectedfuneralhomes.org/coping/parents

Contact Us, your local Selected Independent Funeral Home.

About Funerals

For thousands of years, funerals have been a means of expressing beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone who was loved.

Today, the funeral ceremony:

  • helps us acknowledge that someone we love has died
  • allows us to say goodbye
  • provides a support system for us, friends, family members and our community
  • allows us to reflect on the meaning of life and death
  • offers continuity and hope for the living
  • allows us to reflect on the stories and memories that was our loved one.

A Step-By-Step Guide

Sound decisions are based on good information.

We sincerely hope the information on this website, “The Funeral Guide”, will answer many questions, stimulate you to ask others and enable you to make wise choices regarding funeral services.

When a Death Occurs

The Conference

The Details of Funeral Planning

Why Have Funerals

Your Planning Options

Managing Grief & Loss

If you have recently lost someone in your life, this may be the first time that the word grief has become personal; no longer is death something that happens to other people in other places. The multitude of experiences resulting from this overwhelming loss—emotional, physical, social, spiritual and cognitive—comprise what we call “grief.”

Experienced by people of each generation, in all cultures, and from every walk of life, grief is a universal experience. Most simply, grief is the process of learning to adjust life after a significant loss. That term, “adjust life” might seem odd, but remember grief is all about learning to live in new ways. We don’t really “recover” from grief or “get over it.” Instead, we learn to manage life in a radically changed world.

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Saying Goodbye to Your Spouse

Whether the relationship was measured in months or in decades, the death of your lifemate is a loss for which you are never completely prepared. Well-meaning friends and family members sometimes encourage you to “move on” and even remind you that your mate “wouldn’t want you to be sad.” But that’s just not how grief works… Learn More


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Facing the Death of a Parent

The mental picture most have of an “orphaned child” is a sad-faced youngster trying to make sense of a scary world. But what about facing the death of a parent, when you are no longer a “youngster?” Even grownups face the hard task of saying goodbye to a parent. As adult children, we bear a unique perspective on grief that is different from that of a surviving spouse… Learn More


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Support for Parents

Gone Way Too Soon…Coping With a Child’s Death “Parents are not supposed to bury their children,” David cried out. “This is not how it’s supposed to be.” You likely identify with this dad, expressing the shock, disbelief and grief of a child’s death. Whether in an unexpected car crash, or illness…Learn More


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Support for Children and Teens

Grief is no respecter of ages; children and teens grieve the deaths of loved persons deeply. But because youngsters don’t grieve exactly like adults, finding appropriate ways to support younger grievers is often difficult. Practice honesty. In the words of child and family psychologist David A. Crenshaw, “Children can bear the truth, no matter how bad, better than they can bear being deceived.”… Learn More


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Support for siblings, work colleagues and friends

Whatever age people are “supposed to be” when they die, most of us feel like it should be a good bit older than us! That’s why it seems so hard to face the death of someone who is our contemporary, who likes the same kind of music and remembers the same television shows. When a friend dies most of us experience our own grief and sense our own needs for care. At the same time, we want to provide care for others whom we assume must be hurting even more… Learn More


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Twelve Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

Nineteenth century poet, Emily Dickinson wrote simply, “My friends are my estate.”Now that a friend is dealing with a loved one’s death, in a poignant way, you are part of their “estate,” and what you do can have immeasurable impact on their life. Consider these ideas as you seek ways to help your friend in grief… Learn More