Happy New Year everyone - sorry I haven't written for a while. It's been so busy, getting ready for Tim's funeral, and also dealing with a bad gastric flu which my FIL gave us on Christmas Day!
Son, Hubby and I drove down to Cobargo on Thursday. Our contribution was a 15 minute long slide show, with music, of photos of Tim over his life. It was days of scanning etc on my part, and Hubby did the electronics and managed it on the day of the funeral.
I've been to about eight funerals in my life, so far, and this was the best one - as far as a funeral can be good. My SIL is a newly-qualified civil celebrant, and this was her first funeral - very tough as it was also a family funeral. She and my brother did a wonderful job. The whole funeral was really a family affair. My brother Dave made the casket. My mum sewed a kimono-like garment for Tim to be buried in. My dad helped with the slide show. The service was held at my mum's home... and so on. I won't go into all the details. But it was really perfectly designed, bringing the family closer....
Early in the day just the family gathered, to bring Tim's casket into the garden, and then stand in a circle around it, holding hands, and each saying how we were feeling at the time. This was really good - gave us all a chance to say things that we mightn't want to say in public, and cry, and resolve some tensions. Tim's life was a stormy one, after all, and it was so hard for all of us.
Here the men of the family bring Tim's casket into the garden - L --> R - my dad Barry, brother Dave, Hubby, brother Ben (only just back from his honeymoon), step-father Ivan, brother-in-law Richard.
This is a photo taken by my dad of Tim a few weeks before he died, in a very typical pose! I printed and framed it. I also designed the wedge-tailed eagle which Dave painted on the casket - a symbol which Dave chose to symbolise freedom.
Then there was a family lunch, and guests arrived - extended family, and friends from the area. There were about 35 or 40 people in all, I think.
This is the casket in the covered ceremony area in my mum's garden.
All of my immediate family spoke, Mum and Dad at length, us siblings gave shorter speeches. All pretty hard, I think most of us were crying as we spoke. But it was important to do, and I'm glad we could say the things that we said.
An olive tree was planted in Tim's memory. Then his casket was driven up to the cemetery - a 15 minute walk away, along a grass track - on a trailer pulled by Ivan's old tractor! We reckoned Tim would have been having a huge laugh about this time!
Son helped carry the casket to the grave, and lower it in (he's the one in black with long hair at the front). Deb read some poetry and finished proceedings. We placed tokens on the casket (ours was a bunch of rosemary (for remembrance) tied with some of Dotter's hand-spun), it was lowered down, and those who wanted to helped replace the soil. Very confronting, seeing the casket so far down in the earth, but I'm glad I looked. I did about 6 spadefuls of soil. My brothers completely filled the grave themselves.
This is the view over Cobargo from Tim's gravesite.
We walked back to Mum and Ivan's place for the wake. A good day, surrounded by family, old friends and new friends; difficult, but cathartic and a fitting celebration of Tim's life.
In knitting news - to answer one question - I haven't seen the VK issue yet - so no further news on the article. The lovely woman Hubby, Son and I stayed with (my Mum's neighbour) is a KNITTER and might be moving back to Canberra, fingers crossed! And damn bugger and blast, I lost my knitting notebook, probably fell out of the car in the carpark at Cooma - and yes, we went back to look on the way home, and it wasn't there :( Two years of notes....