Monday, 2 February 2015

Dad's Funeral Party

Today was a beautiful day for Dad's funeral.  The weather hasn't been great lately, so it was especially nice to have beautiful weather today.   I had been preparing all weekend for the funeral as I had been nominated to give the eulogy, since I'm the eldest in the family. I also put together a slideshow of photos with music for it, so I was glad when this morning came to know that all the work I had been putting into it, would hopefully help make it a special day for Dad. 

Kobe said yesterday 'I can't wait for Grandpa's 'funeral party'" which made us laugh.  He has been sad  on and off, but I think that it's mostly going over his head and he realised that the family would all be together again, and he thought it would just be a lovely day for Grandpa.

Dad had actually planned most of his funeral with Mum, before he passed away, so we knew exactly what he wanted which was nice.  He even listed the hymns he wanted and the list kept getting bigger and bigger. We ended up using all the hymns that he wanted in some way as we had instrumental versions being played as the coffin was coming in, and also at the cemetery, and had a men's and children's choir.

All of the grandchildren got to hand out the programs as people arrived and they were so excited about their job.  They were all racing each other to see if who could hand it out first. They were even running to people as they got out of their cars!

 All of Dad's sons and grandsons wore one of his ties today.  The grandsons were so excited to tell everyone that they had Grandpa's tie on.
The service was really lovely and the whole time I just kept thinking about how much Dad would love it.   My brother Eden gave a beautiful talk and shared lots of memories he had about Dad, and my sister Nicki shared memories of Grandpa from all the grandchildren.  Some of them were very funny.  Jalen said that Grandpa always reminded him that he had a girlfriend when he was 15, and wanted to know which girls he was interested in.  Harri said Grandpa always told him he was handsome and should join the choir and Kobe said that he loved hearing a funny story that Grandpa would tell them about when he put a cat in the oven as a child, and that Grandpa always gave him lollies from his lolly jar in his bedroom.

My brother Christian shared a couple of readings, and our 'Uncle' Jim also spoke.   Dad would've loved the choirs so much.  All the kids from the family sang 'Families Can Be Together Forever' and it was very cute.  Kobe was cracking us up as he was singing so loudly and proudly.

The chapel and hall were filled with hundreds of people and it was so nice to have family from the mainland and all around Tasmania come. 

Dad knew that he wanted all of his sons and our brother in law Alex to be the pall bearers, as well as Jay and our cousin Levi.  Levi was born on the day that our brother Daniel passed away, and Dad has always had a soft spot for him. 

Harri was being so lovely all day long and stuck very close to my Mum.  He said he didn't want her to be sad, and sat with his arm around her the whole time and kept making sure she was okay.   He has been very sad since we knew that Dad was going to pass away and has had lots of tears, but is also being very brave.  He's had a couple of nights of sleeping with me, but is doing so well considering what he's been through again.

Dad wanted to be buried at the Deloraine cemetery as our brother Daniel is there and also Nan and Pop.  It was nice to see that his grave wasn't far from Nan and Pop's.

The kids are always fascinated with the deep hole.

Mum was so good all day.   There was lots of crying from all of us, but we all felt like it was a lovely day and that Dad would've loved it.  Kobe told me that he cried when he saw me crying when I gave my talk, and as he was telling me his lips started quivering again. 

The funeral home asked if we wanted a mechanical lift to lower the coffin, but the boys said they wanted to do it themselves. I think it's a nice final thing you can do for someone. 
Just a few weeks ago Dad told us that at his funeral he wanted to have rose petals thrown into his grave, as we have done it at other funerals.  We have been asking lots of people for rose petals and we had baskets full of them.

It was so beautiful to see his coffin absolutely covered in them. 
Each of the grandchildren released a balloon.

It was actually really lovely at the cemetery as everyone just spent some time together, before going back for refreshments. 

Everyone was so helpful and brought along food to share. There was so much food which was good, as there were a lot of people to feed. It was nice to talk with everyone, meet relatives that I hadn't before, and catch up with cousins who had come down from the mainland. 

It was actually a really lovely day and even though there were tears, it was lovely to be able to give Dad the funeral that he had hoped for.  I'm sure he would've loved his 'funeral party'.  Thank you Alison for taking some photos for us. 


  1. Oh dear Lisa. It was too much for me to see your family at another funeral and gravesite. May the Lord bless you.... I have only lost my dad, and that alone has made me much more excited about going to the other side some day. My girls don't like to hear me say I'm not afraid to die. What exciting reunions await! I wonder so much about the other side. Do you think Aaron feels he is missing out by not experiencing what you and your 3 here are doing daily? Or is it such a happy place that they don't feel sad about being apart? Well hang tough. You are such an example to so many of us, even though I'm sure we don't get the full picture of just how tough life can be for you. Love from Nancy in Nevada

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. You guys have been through too much in the last few years. Sending you big hugs xx

  3. It looks like a lovely send off Lisa. Your Dad would be pleased. Hugs to you all, and an extra one to your Mom.

  4. It sounds like you are earning your PhD in grief. You are a strong woman and your boys are learning so much from you, even when you feel like you are struggling. I love how you concentrate on loving and spending time with your boys. *hugs*


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