By , October 30, 2009 3:44 am

Patty BeechamHelping families since 2004

Patty Beecham is a wife, mother of two, community activist, broadcaster, writer, thinker, ideas person, communicator, and a do-it-now-girl, who loves to help facilitate people’s life events. More here….

Using my own life experience, I can help you in yours.



When my father passed away, he was a much-loved big fish in a little sea in Rockhampton (and also a former Queenslander of the Year 1987, and a O.A.M. Recipient) and I wanted his funeral videoed for our family. I also took my own film camera (of course!) and my husband dutifully shot the various speakers and family members as they paid their tributes and delivered the Readings. I rang the Morning Bulletin newspaper, asking if they intended to send in a photographer

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world Patty” they assured me, and so it was on that sad day in February, we adult children formed a straight sober line outside the Anglican Cathedral.

Grandchildren also joined us to present dad’s ‘Symbols of Life” which included things such as his diving helmet (already placed within the church) and his books, awards, pearl shell, Bible and so on.

I could see the photographer there waiting, and was pleased to see him raise the camera to his eye.

*snap. Got that image.

*snap, captured that image too.

I was very happy and relieved to have him there. The video bloke held his one position throughout the Service.

At the end of the Service we all gathered around the hearse to sing dad farewell and to give final Blessings. The photographer leaned in and photographed dad’s beautiful bright flowers. I sang loudly, as dad would have wished.

The next day I went in to the newspaper to ask for the images, but the chief photographer came out and told me that “someone thundered ‘How dare you photograph Father Warby’s’ funeral!’ and demanded that the images be erased.”

I was stunned and couldn’t speak for a long time, fighting to control my tears and emotions.

It was the early days of new-fangled digital cameras. Now I would have requested that he use digital retrieval software; but back then, the images once erased, they were gone.

I learnt that some people mean well, but actually stuff things right up! Some things cannot be left to chance, and knowing we can never recreate that special day, with the images gone forever. Thank goodness I had my husband’s images, and the video.

I thought “This is really important” and so it was that I became a Funeral Photographer. I have buried many family members, a brother, father, uncles and aunties and so on, so I too have walked the walk, that you now tread. My heart has also ached with dull heaviness, and I do understand a little of how you feel.

Dad’s Funeral DVD sits in my drawer and it gives me great comfort knowing it’s always there for me. I hope my Funeral DVDs bring you much comfort as well.


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