In 2004 Jennie Barnes’s life changed forever. Her 20-year-old son Jackson was dying from terminal cancer. Whilst most people struggle to come to terms with this fate – Jackson displayed integrity beyond his years. In the last 6 months of his life he created a funeral that his loved ones would treasure. It was his way of giving them one last memory of him. At the time there was very little in the way of crafting a personalised funeral, especially in rural South Australia. Tradition still ruled many aspects of a funeral, options (and approval) to personalise his send off were limited. So he took to hand making 100’s of paper cranes for mourners to throw over his coffin. He also took full control of organising the music he wanted played and by whom, where he wanted to be buried and who to conduct the service.

Jackson taking on these tasks meant that when the time came for Jennie to farewell her precious son she didn’t have to make these decisions in a state of grief and doubt that her choices were what Jackson wanted.

Over the last 15 years there has been a change and more people are demanding their own unique requests be honoured over a relatively traditional funeral. This led Jennie to finally be able to contribute to that growing surge of personal expression. Why can’t we have an orange lining with skulls and roses on it? Why can’t the family or friends pour their love into building and decorating a plain pine casket? Why can’t I have butterflies and fairies stuck all over a casket? And what about love notes under the lining?

From personal experience and discussion with people that were grieving the imminent loss of a loved one came Jennies business of passion – Last Expressions. They offer one simple casket design made from pine and ply. It can be delivered anywhere in Australia, to the public and funeral directors, as a flat-pack that is a blank canvas ready to be uniquely decorated. The packs come with step-by-step instructions, along with all the screws, glue and lining, they are easy to assemble with just a screwdriver. Jennie also offers timber tattooing – pyrography. She can burn a design of your choosing into the timber of the casket. Lachie, one of her other sons is a world renowned tattoo artist and is also available to help with timber tattooing. It’s a family affair.

Leaving in your own style is what we want for everyone – express YOU for the last time.

If you would like to speak with Jennie she has an Exhibitors Table at the next AIFP CONFERENCE, or visit their website at

Last Expressions Story

A Mothers Grief to Life Purpose

Contact Info

We're in New York City

Address: 25 Mulerry St, New York Hours: 11am – 8pm Everyday
Phone: +1 493 202 4855 Email: