A new service offering funeral planning has been set up in Seychelles by Angelique Soomery and her husband, Ralph Soomery, called Last Journey.
The couple decided to set up the service to cater to people who find themselves challenged following the loss of a close member of their family.
SNA talked to Angelique to learn more about Last Journey.
SNA: What prompted you and your husband to set up Last Journey?
AS: I believe that this is something that God has placed on my heart. During the past two years, I lost a few members of my family. During such time it is always the strong ones who take ownership of the planning and coordinating the funeral service. When this happens, the ones doing all the planning do not have time to grieve as they are busy.
Most of the time they start grieving after the funeral once the burial or the cremation has taken place and that is the time when one realises and starts grieving, but at this point, everything is done and as a result, the grieving process may take a longer course.
I realised this when I lost my grandmother. I was so busy throughout the planning of the funeral and did not grieve as much until the day itself when all was over. We realised that this service is much needed and decided to open our business to help grieving families.
SNA: When did Last Journey start operating?
AS: We did a soft launch but we officially launched on our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram on August 15. My stepfather passed away due to COVID earlier this year, he has helped me immensely into becoming the businessperson that I am today. I wanted to celebrate his life by launching it on the day of his birthday.
Angelique Soomery and her husband, Ralph Soomery, set up the new funeral planning service called Last Journey. (Last Journey ) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
SNA: What do you do as a funeral planner?
AS: As a funeral planner, our main role is to work with the family and guide them into making decisions and arrangements for the funeral. It is important that we get to know your loved ones to ensure that the ceremony reflects their personality.
We provide modern and genuine planning and coordination to celebrate the life of the departed person you love according to your budget and preferences.
SNA: What are the services that you offer?
AS: We do not have a limit per se as we believe it all depends on what the family wants, and we do the utmost to ensure that all needs are fulfilled.
SNA: Do you outsource some of your services?
AS: Yes, we work with other local businesses to cater to the services that we do not provide.
SNA: What is the starting price to plan a funeral at Last Journey?
AS: We do not offer funeral packages as we firmly believe that we are in this business to provide a service. We therefore work according to the budget of the family. How you want the funeral ceremony to take place depends also on how you want to give your loved one their final send-off, their last journey.
Last Journey works according to the budget of the family. (Last Journey ) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
SNA: Do you plan only for the deceased ones or assist in advance planning if some want to?
AS: Our services at any point one wants to start. If a family wants to prepare in advance for the funeral after knowing that their loved ones will soon depart, our services are available also as it gives more time to ensure a better send-off.
SNA: How does an interested person book your service?
AS: They can send us a message through our Facebook page or they can give us a call, send a text or WhatsApp us on 2500144. We then organise a meeting at my office or at the client’s place.
SNA: Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
AS: The business started in the COVID period, so we are adapting to the guidelines required even to the extent of assisting with managing social distancing where required. COVID is here, one needs to adapt to survive.