Today was dad's funeral. It went really well and the only thing I would change was that it was really cold. But at least it was sunny. Dad lived in the country on a big block covered in the gum trees he planted. We had the ceremony outside surrounded by his beloved trees. I took some photos later on, I'll post them tomorrow when I get home. I got through my eulogy ok, and only cried afterwards when we were walking behind the coffin to the hearse and my cousin was playing guitar and singing. We drove the kilometre or so to the local cemetery and - is interred the right word? - him while kookaburras (native bird) chuckled in trees nearby. Then back to the house for a light lunch and lots of conversation with relatives I rarely see.
As a child I spent a month every summer on my grandparent's farm there, and I had a million cousins all around. Ok, maybe about fifteen. A lot, anyway. Some grown up enough to have their own children around my age. After my grandparents died and we grew up most of my generation moved a bit further away, into town or even to a city. We only visited the farm occasionally, usually dad came to us. It was lovely to see these kids I spent so much of my childhood with, no longer kids! I didn't recognise them all, or them me. More people came over to me after my eulogy, because I'd been introduced for that and now they knew who I was! My kids played paddock cricket with the next generation, which was lovely to see. It was something my dad always had the kids doing when I was young.
We've been invited over to a cousin's house for dinner tonight with a few other close family, the people I spent the most time with as a child, so I look forward to that.
It was weird to see everyone grown up! I still have them as teenagers in my mental image.
So, despite the sad nature of the occasion, I had a pretty good day. We shared lots of memories of dad. He won't be forgotten in a hurry. I found with mum as well that a funeral is really important in saying goodbye.