This was a very special day. As a community we celebrated the life and early death of a child. I wrote a poem for the parents to read privately later (see below) and the service, conducted by a celebrant and the parents with a huge number of family, friends and young children, was held on their property, which overlooks a serene and precious pocket of rare eucalypt forest. We were asked to bring plants to help create a special garden. There were enough plants to cover the whole enormous property!
We cried, we laughed, we ate and drank, and caught up with people. Our choir created the completion of the beautiful ceremony (poems, testimonials, quotes ...) by singing Steal Away. Later the child's mother - who is a choir member but had just spent seven months caring for her severely brain-damaged child - said, "It was beautiful the way you just nailed it." In the car on the way home my adult daughter said, "Did anyone else have to resist the temptation to clap after every speech?" Well, I did, and so did our driver. Why is it that funeral services must leave out the applause meant as acknowledgement, acclamation, being with what's said and who's saying it? After all, the ceremony is for the bereaved, and our presence is intended to bear witness with them.
For me, the pleasant and uplifting surprise was the number of people there I've worked with over the years. The kind of work we've shared has created bonds stronger than just liking, agreeing, or having common interests with someone. The love I refer to in my poem was powerfully present at this, the most inspiring completion conversation I've ever had the privilege to participate in.
The Poem:To three extraordinary
Natasha, Peter and Dylan
I enter your world, your home.
Love greets me, moves me
through the light.
I see, hear, smell, taste, touch
but Love wraps and lifts me
lets me Be.
I am in Heaven
even before Love opens the door.
I leave your world, your home
will always keep you safe
and let me Be.