Wednesday, 21 October 2015

2 Funerals and a Friend

This last week I have attended two funerals.  Last week was for a very good man, Steve Skinner.  He passed away in a road accident on the 5th October 2015.  He is survived by his wonderful wife Denise and two children Holly and Kaya.  I dedicated this photo in memory of Steve as I was fortunate to stop by Moeraki Boulders on the way up, enjoying the salt water and sand on my bare feet and the serenity of being in a special place with no one around.

 Dedicated to Steve Skinner who passed away on the 5th October 2015
This image is dedicated to Steve Skinner

It was a day trip up and down.  Driving back to Dunedin, my Sister called to let me know my God Mother had passed away that day.  Beverly Macleod was 85.  Steve was 45!  I stopped on the beach for a walk.  It was cold, windy and grey now.  Not like the morning.  And as I felt the chill of the sand squeeze between my toes, it was all a bit much.  The image below is dedicated to Bev and all my close family from my recent trip north, to attend her funeral.

 Dedicated to Beverly MacCloud
This image is dedicated to Beverly Macleod

There are no comparisons between each event.  Nothing could ever come close, yet there are similarities.  It has struck me how important it is to attend funerals if you can.  I understand it is not always possible, yet, it is important.

The two events have affected me profoundly.  To say the least it has been an important reminder that going to funerals are very important.  Why?

The main aspects I think are:
1. It serves as an action of respect for that persons life, who they stood for (warts and all).
2. It is a celebration of their life, what they have done and love they have shared throughout this period.  In some way they have touched you, and it is vitally important to reflect and rejoice in their life, once been.
3. It is about remembering that person and etching the love shared into your heart
4. Finally it is about you living the grief of that loss.  In my view it is to self indulgent and selfish to continue this grief and wallow in it, however we all have to have that time (and there is no set time for this) where we we must grieve and then be able to move on to spending more time to celebrate that persons life and what wonderful things they did within ours and other lives.

Death, like life is part of the deal and western society does not deal with it that well  - I believe.  We need to talk about it more, and grasp an acceptance and what it means for each of us.  The one thing we all have is; the ability to share love and kindness to each other, saviour the richness of life, embrace the adventure and appreciate every little second we have on this fragile planet.  Do what you can to make a difference to others, and never take it for granted.  Don't hold grudges - let go, but have conversations that matter.  This included embracing and living the crappiness of what life throws at you too.  Life is not meant to be easy, and I would be disappointed if it was.  All of it is fantastic.  It's what you make of it that matters.

Funerals do bring people together.  What struck me was the catching up that goes on and this is a good thing.  We do need to make an effort to keep in contact, however weddings and funerals are such occasions that makes people re connect.  This is good!  I saw such wonderful people again that I had not seen in years at Bevs funeral.  It was fantastic to see Warren, David, Julie again and their families and neighbours from the past like Mrs Duffy at 93.  Wow!

One aspect of the last two weeks that have been incredibly important is the support I have had from my partner Jo.  I only hope I can do the same.  She has made the difference and thank you so much Jo xx.

Good luck

Andy Thompson

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