Thursday, 15 January 2009

the house is quiet as everyone sleeps and i am revelling in feeling a little better than i have. today i have been free enough from pain that i don't have to collapse into bed an exhausted wreck and i might regret it tomorrow but right now i want to savour the moment.
it was big Al's funeral today. there were hundreds of people there to farewell an ordinary but extraordinary man. i hope that i will be remembered as fondly when my time comes.
i'm developing a list of things someone should know in the event of my death. there's not much on it right now but i can say with certainty that i don't want red flowers at my funeral. i don't want wreaths and i don't want the word "mum" spelled in chrysanthemums.
i do want pretty colours. i want white and cream and buttery yellow. i want pink and mauve and cerise. i want soft draping forms, nothing too hard or structured.
i want happy music and i want folks to have time to reflect on my life, not so that they can think about me but so that they can compare their own life against mine, not so they will see mine as better but because reflection helps us to understand where we are going.
the preacher today told us that the success which comes from our doing is lost when we die but the fruit which comes from our being is only just beginning to be seen.
that will take me some chewing over.


  1. My dad has had his funeral songs picked out for years and years now. If I hear one on the radio or somewhere I have a hard time listening to it...

  2. Hey, How are things going? I hope you are feeling better. I got a call from Bindi the otherday, she had her baby on Monday. She had to have a C-section, but everything went fine, and they will probably be going home tomorrow. Her friend Milly from New York is staying with her to help her out. I've been meaning to tell everyone, but I just haven't been on here enough to post it. Thanks for the wonderful support you give. Sorry I haven't been here in awhile, but life is what it is right now. I don't want to ever hear my dad's funeral songs. At least not yet.

  3. Yeah,
    I was at big Al's funeral.
    He had a 30 piece pure brass band,British style, that is no flutes clarinets saxaphones etc to accompany hymn singing and provide part of the musical prelude. I was honoured to be part of the band as a brass player.
    Theservice was conducted by Don Woodland, Salvation Army Lt Col
    who is the author of Picking up the Pieces, his auto biog.He's a former chaplin to firefighters,police, and served in Vietnam as a Red Shield Sally man. He stayed at stuart Diver's side in the Thredbo Disaster.
    What an inspiration as the service alternated from humout through to reflection.
    Kylie your description of the service is superb.

  4. Please excuse all the spelling mistakes and bad grammar,bad logic everyone. The hour is late!

  5. Happy music at a funeral becomes sad music...this I know from personal experience.

    I like the idea, though, of coming to terms in concrete ways with one's mortality.

    And I love what the preacher said. I'm mulling it too.

  6. Kia ora Kylie,
    I have actually made a tape of some music and poems I have written while in the mountains which I recorded. Just a couple of songs, the main one is "The Healing has Begun", by Van Morrison.
    I think, just as we have a will, we should put thought into how we will bu farewelled, and what that will be like.
    My condolences on your friend, reads as if he impacted a few lives, and those are the best tracks we can leave on this Earth.
    Have a lovely day. Rangimarie.
    Ka kite ano,

  7. megan,
    listening to your dads funeral songs beforehand would be rather spooky but i think it's good that you can be sure of what he wants and when the day comes you wont be agonising over what would be best


  8. hi cece,
    life seems to be all challenges right now but it could be much much worse and what doesnt kill us makes us stronger....

    thanks for the news on bindi. i'm so pleased it's all good

    i'm sure your dads funeral songs wouldbe devaststing to hear right now bbut i hpe one ay they will be something beautiful for you

    much love

  9. hey dad,
    i reckon Al would be amused with the little stir he has created in blogland!
    it was a fitting farewell

    they say it's a good idea to proofread but i always just want to hit publish!


  10. hey leah,
    i'm not at all sure that i'm coming to terms with my mortality, i probably just like thinking about aesthetics :)

    like i said to cece, i hope that one day those melodies that are sullied with pain will develop a poignant beauty for you

    lots of love

  11. robb,
    good to see you back here :)

    thanks for your kind words

    i told you i liked the maori....
    my mum is a kiwi and i think she's likin it, too. new zealand is a bit distant for me, being aussie born and bred, but we still refer to pukus or puku nuis around here!

    forgive spelling, i didnt look it up


  12. I haven't read any other comment for one reason. I'm crying. What a beautiful post and tribute to an amazing soul. I mean that with all my heart Kylie. You made me think very hard and that's a wonderful thing. You are an amazing friend to so many. I can honestly say I can't imagine my life without you and your friendship.

    I love you.

  13. Although the subject is sad, I enjoyed reading your post and your thoughts. The last funeral I went to was for a miltary man, and the 'last post' was sounded on 3 trumpets. It was incredibly moving, haunting. I think it is a shame that often we save our best tributes for a person when they are no longer here to hear them! In general I mean- not relating to your friend. 'Fruit which comes from our being'- one of my biggest worries is how my sons will turn out- just have to keep on ploughing in all the good stuff. And hope for the best in all situations.

  14. cinnamon,
    the last post will bring tears to my eyes every time. it is extraordinarily beautiful.

    as for your boys, i always think that if you do your best with your kids it will eventually make for a decent adult and if something goes wrong at least you can say you did all you could

    parenting really contains the highs and the lows doesnt it?


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