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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love a great funeral.

Eltham Methodist Uniting Church
I like a funeral for someone who has lived long and well,
where the service is a true reflection of that person,
to some degree a dissection
and truly a celebration of that life.

Flowers picked from a grand daughter's garden and
lovingly arranged by a daughter in law.
A good funeral is one that brings together family, 
friends, acquaintances and community.
 One where people gather and reminisce, cry a little, smile
and laugh, share stories and anecdotes 
with people they haven't seen for ages.

A truly great funeral makes you think
about friendship and family,
about how life has changed,
about the meaning of life,
about society,
about your own life
about what is important.

Oh...and whether you are religious or not
a truly fantastic funeral must have hymns 
and people who are willing to belt them out.

It is even better if the person whose funeral 
it is has chosen them herself.

Well Tuesday's funeral was one of those
 and it was a for the matriach of a family 
not unlike my own 
at a church that was once 
the centre of both our families' lives in many ways.

She was a gentle but strong woman who
raised five wonderful people.

Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren
all made contributions to the service.
She had a chance to cuddle her newest great
grandchild, who bears her name,  before she left.

Their love and respect for her were obvious in their
words, their faces, drawings, the photo boards,
the audio visual display and their clear determination
to share her life with us.

She loved to play cards and was still beating
family members at Scrabble until quite recently.
She enjoyed traveling, sewing and a good cup of tea and a chat.

I caught up with her recently in the aged care hostel
where she lived and where Mum is residing.  

She told me not to worry, that it was a good place 
and she was full of assurances that Mum was in good hands.

The last time I saw her she was enthusiastically 
singing along to the piano.

Vale Mrs Gangell.


  1. A lovely celebration of her life~!

  2. What a lovely tribute to her Hazel.

  3. Oh, that made me all teary... what a lovely post and a wonderful way to live & love, die and be remembered.

  4. oh yeah love a good funeral too.. on my frige i have a death notice of a woman I don't even know but it was so touching i had to keep it.

  5. A bit choked up myself. A fine remembrance. Well done.

  6. Tearful here as well, that was a most beautiful reflection of a lady's life. Thanks Hazel.

  7. I went all goosey when I read your lovely tribute to VG.


  8. That's just lovely Hazel, what a beautiful life she must have had. This is how I'd like to go, loved and needed, and hopefully singing pretty loudly.

  9. It was a wonderful funeral Hazel and your thoughts and photographs document it beautifully.
    Vale Valis

  10. Oh Hazel this made me quite sentimental and sad, it is just a few days until the anniversary of my dear old mum's funeral. You were such a gem helping me at that time. xxx

  11. Beautiful tribute Auntie Hazel.xx

  12. A brave post, Hazel. Not an easy subject, but you have handled it very sensitively.

  13. A very touching post Hazel. Making me teary reading it! How loved she is - she must have been a wonderful, interested and interesting lady. I love that scrabble tribute.

  14. Very heartfelt. Everyone's the richer for having known people like your lady. Thank you for this inspiring post.


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