Welcome to Mother Bond

Monday, 23 April 2012

A fond farewell

My grandmother died on Easter Saturday and I took my eldest two children (aged 8 and 6) back home to Tasmania to say goodbye.  I am the eldest grandchild in the family and I was also the closest to Nan.  We had had an opportunity to become friends in the years following my grandfather's death when I was at home with small children. I would slip in to see her when I could and we would enjoy a chat and I would listen to stories and copy down recipies. It was a precious time I now cherish. 

I was extremely grateful to my aunt and my Dad who allowed me to be a part of organising the funeral, it allowed me to feel a part of the farewelling process. It was a privilege to choose the colours for the roses and the style of floral arrangement for the top of the coffin. We selected gold and apricot colours reminiscent of the roses she had grown in her own garden many years ago. 

                                                   Nan with me and the children in January

Nan was 93 so the funeral was not a desperately sad occassion. She had been suffering in the last few weeks of her life and she had expressed her wish to move on out of this world. Ben and I thought it was important for our older children to go to the funeral. They knew Nan, and the photo above was taken when we last saw her in January. Some people were a little alarmed that I was taking the children with me, but I wanted them to see that death is a natural part of life, especially when you are 93 years old. My maternal grandfather died when I was about 11 and my brother and cousins and I were not allowed to go to the funeral. Children didn't go to funerals then. We hung around in the garden while all the adults went to say goodbye and we felt empty and left behind. I didn't want that to be the experience for my kids. I also wanted to remove some of the mystery surrounding death and funerals for them, especially as this funeral was so much about celebrating the long life of a lovely lady.

The funeral itself was truly a family affair. My father, a minister with the Uniting Church, took the service and my sister-in-law, Cheralynne played the piano for the stirring music and hymn selection. My brother and cousin read from the bible. My aunt, Nan's eldest daughter gave a eulogy and I gave a eulogy representing the grandchildren and great grandchildren.  It was a very moving service made more so when 5 of the 8 great grandchildren sang 'Amazing Grace'.  My brother's 3 children and my older 2 barely had 20 minutes practice the night before, but sang so beautifully and true.  Nan would have been so touched.

Nan's funeral was followed by a great 'wake' with lots of family, many cousins, aunts and uncles etc., eating pizza with wine and fizzy cordial at my aunt's place.  The kid's were happy on the Playstation, while the rest of us shared memories interspersed with much laughter.  Nan would loved it!  

I just want to thank my Auntie Gail and Dad for making sure the funeral was held when it was so that the children and I could be there.  I will always be grateful to have shared such a special time with you and all the family, and for the opportunity to participate in farewelling our Nan.
Kate xx
4 grandchildren at the 'wake'. I'm the rose amongst the thorns!!

No comments:

Post a Comment