Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Funeral

The Funeral was the best funeral i've ever been to.. i am not sure how to explain why.. but i'll try.. where i work is a very poor, disadvantaged area.. when i pulled up in my shiny govie car at the address i was given for the church... it wasnt a church-like building at all ... more of a hall..

.. there were many ppl standing round.. some moving to join the family inside the building.. and others, mothers with children in prams.. some old men.. just seemed content to stand outside and look on..

..i went inside.. the small church was full.. but a young man was setting out another row of stackable chairs.. (all the chairs where this type) - no church pews..

..there were banners everywhere saying "BRONCOS" .. and a large screen photo of the 66 year old gentleman that was the focus of this ceremony, in younger days.. when he had been in the army... ..and more recently, he had been a Bronco's fan.. was a very different ceremony to funerals i have attended in the past.. it was basic and raw.. there was no elaborate, planned agenda.. the minister spoke briefly.. and then asked the family if they would come forward and speak in memory of their father.. grandfather... etc..

..there was some sense that this was a planned procession of speakers.. but it was very organic.. when a family member came to the front of the congregation, and begun talking.. and then had trouble for all the tears that welled up.. another family member would come along side and encourage and support.. there was a sense of these ppl having supported each other before... in many other situations.. it seemed organised.. although unplanned.. there was a harmony in the way they supported each other..

..the treat for me.. was that the oldest foster child in this family, now 18.. was the first to speak.. and she was announced by the minister.. using the family name as her own.. a sign of respect for the ppl she calls her parents.. ..she went on to read a heartfelt peom she had written... about her dad...

..i felt so privileged to be able to witness this funeral..


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