The Cool Beds

The Cool Beds  are a reliable resource allowing families to take their time in those precious and often confusing days immediately following a death.  They are available to those people who wish to conduct a vigil or simply keep their family member at home for a while after they have died, before you need to engage the services of a Funeral Director.

The Australian Health Department Regulations allow for families to keep the body of their family member or friend at home for up to 5 days for personal and cultural reasons. Most people wish only to extend their time by a few hours or overnight.
The proviso to this is that the body needs to be supported by keeping the temperature between 1-5 degrees and surrounding area cool.

If the death is unexpected then it may become a ‘reportable’ death meaning that the body of your family member or friend may need to go to the Coroner for the cause of death to be determined. in this case, you would engage the services of Life Rites to bring your person home for the vigil.

By slowing down the process between death and the funeral arrangements, you are literally able to catch your breath and begin the task of knowing what is best for you, your family and community.

A Life Rites practitioner will talk you through the set up and use of the cooling beds and how best to support all involved in this time. We can deliver the bed to your home, walk through the preparation of your family member with you and be available to oversee the vigil as needed.

Please contact Victoria by email to arrange a consultation where the process and service fees will be discussed. 

Read about cool beds:

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Julie Goswell and the First Cool Bed in the Sydney Metropolitan Area

When Jules's cancer returned in 2008, at the age of 35, she was determined that her community would have the opportunity to travel with her as she met the challenges of living and dying. She wanted to know as much as possible about what wold happen to her body as she died and after. It was important to both her and her partner that she stayed at home after she died. This we did with dry ice and lots of hands on care. Her coffin was brought to the home and decorated and people came and spent time with her. It was a rich and bonding time for everyone involved. It was an act of consumate generosity in keeping with Jules's nature and politics, that she left a bequest that enabled the purchase of the first cool bed in the Sydney Metropolitan area that has since supported many families to continue to care for their own. We loves you Jules x 



Rosies Vigil

Rosie lived and died on this very couch. She and her family continued to care for her as they had during her illness for 4 days. She was celebrated with a home funeral and there couldn’t have ben a more appropriate way for her family and friends to reflect who Rosie was and to remember her.



Sophie and Russell

''I feel very strongly that it was the right thing for me, and the right thing for my daughters,'' Townsend says. ''If he'd died in a hospital, it wouldn't have been as real. This was earthy. It felt natural. It allowed us to take a breath. This is the cycle of life.''