Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Saying Goodbye to my Mother

Dad was impatient to be up and dressed this morning - worried that he would be late (as if!).

The rest of us tried to keep things calm, perhaps privately dreading the inevitable tears, and hoping that they would remain more-or-less private. And I write that, having yesterday published the Graeme Connors text. Anyway, I guess I can acknowledge that we all choked up at various points, but we got through the formal processes of the day.

The Requiem Mass was modest, but with nice hymns, appropriate readings and prayers. Importantly, many, many people came to pay their last respects to Mum and to express their support to Dad and the rest of the family. There was a good crowd of people, including friends and relations, including many visitors from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It was great to meet again some people who I had not seen in 40+ years.

I was worried that Dad would "lose it" when Mum was buried, but he was very dignified. Once Mum's body had been lowered, those who wished to, added a symbolic scoop of gravel, as our participation in the burial process. To me this simple ritual allowed me to participate in the actual interment process, making it seem more real, less clinical, and closer to my heart. Today I helped bury my Mother, with dignity.
Interestingly, some of the great-grandchildren added some little rainbow coloured "sparkles" (star-shaped tinsel pieces), presumably to brighten Grandma's new world. A nice touch, which Nonie herself would have appreciated.

After the funeral we returned to the parish hall, where Dad met and talked with nearly everybody who attended the funeral. The rest of us got on with catching up with particular relatives and friends. The day went off as well as anyone could possibly have hoped for.

1 comment:

Greg Chapman said...

Hi Denis and Zoe,

I feel for both of you's at this time.
My thoughts are with you both !!