Wednesday, April 21, 2004
The funeral was the best funeral I have ever been to.
My day started with a two hour talk to my old pastor Phil Field regarding emerging church, ecclesiology, eschatology and some church management and procedural stuff. Was a great catch up and very thought provoking. More details in an emerging church post later.
David and Sjoerd and I went to the church to set up my laptop for the presentations and check sound and lighting were how we wanted it.
We started off the process at Aunty Jans place for lunch. From there we picked some flowers and paid last respects to Grandma in the open coffin, before they whacked on the lid. Then we practiced pall bearing down the front stairs and out to the hearse. Rufus and I had to brush past a bush that was flowering and got pollen on our black skirt and pants respectively.
A 15 minute ride to the church in procession had us arriving about 5-10 minutes after 1:30. Here we walked the casket in. Fortunately the entire church was facing away from us so we didn't have to make any eye contact.
We sat in the front two rows if the church.
Donald Irvine started off the service and we sung a hymn, then we started tributes.
Aunty Jan was first, followed by me on behalf of my Dad. This was quite strange at first reading what Dad had written, as if I was him. It got more bizarre when I had to talk to myself as he had made comments addressed to me. I felt I managed this one fairly well, only a few tears blurring my eyes and causing me to guess most of the words in a couple of paragraphs.
Uncle Graeme then said his tribute followed by my sister Priscilla reading Mum's on her behalf.
Then Bradley read his, Greer read Danella and Rick's and Brad read Anita's. Anita is alone in Canada, and Danella and Rick are in London.
Then I had to read mine, including displaying an awesome picture from Judith that she had drawn of Gran. Please have a look.
I stuffed a few words up but got it out OK.
Then I had to read Jono's. He is in the Ukraine and I had the hardest time with his because I had called him to give him the news, and we had cried together on the phone, so when I got to the bit where he said that in his tribute, I did it again.
David then read Jo and Frank's, Nicki and Melanie's (their children), followed by two short sentences of his.
RuthEllen and John and Priscilla and Sjoerd went up all together while the two girls spoke their pieces.
Now David's tribute of a 5 minute slideshow of a pictorial walk down memory lane with Grandma was shown to the classical music pieces that she was listening to in the weekend before her passing.
One final hymn and it was time to walk the casket out.
Afternoon tea was a time to catch up with old friends of the family, and to thank the numerous people who had come, over 100 had gathered.
This was followed by a slow processions to the cemetery, where family and a few close friends were invited back to the graveside. She was buried on top of Grandad so they were back together again.
After this we got changed quickly and headed off to Gran's old house. The neighbours are great friends and the people who purchased it have made very few changes. However major renovations were about to be undertaken so we felt some great closure would come from visiting. We remembered all the fun times at their house, playing in the creek, the wattle tree (now chopped down) the silver dollar tree, the grape vine (we gorged ourselves on the ripe grapes and also took bunches away with us), the mini golf course grandad had made in the lawn, the hedge at the back by the clothesline, the "coffins" with flowers in them on the front patio, the glasshouse at the back, the driveway and garage, the last paint job to the roof, the patter tennis we played on the concrete pad below the bathroom window, the french cricket with the homemade bat on the front lawn, the lemon tree and all the special times we had with Gran and Grandy there.