Category: Funeral Photographer

Letting Go…Signs of Passing

By , June 8, 2011 9:02 am

Have you had any personal experiences of your Loved Ones passing over? Would you be prepared to share them with us? At a time of grief many of us are sensitive to the other world, and perhaps we see into things too much, or perhaps they are really there.

Perhaps your Faith helped you in your time of distress? We all have a spiritual side to us, and one we should honour and respect.

Perhaps that breath of wind on your face that made you smile was really…what?

That flicking light, the bird at the window, the rainbow?

I know when my father passed over, we had many, many signs – which gave us all great comfort. If you would like to share your story, please email me or comment below.

You do not have to use your name if you like, I understand.

Blessings, always….

Today arrives. Funeral day.

By , April 21, 2011 9:23 am

They touch her head when they hug her, rubbing her short cropped hair with their stubby men’s fingers.

They hug with such intimacy and emotion that I feel like an intruder, watching. Eventually they release their hold, pull apart and look each other straight in the eye, and repeat the embrace. It’s like they want to climb into her skin, with grief and love.

Talk about a transfer of energy! So powerful to witness.

With each friend and mateship embrace, I can see Ann’s back grow straighter, as if they are feeding her with their own strength.

It’s working, Ann’s face is red-eyed and tearful, but her smile is straight and genuine, her stance strong and hopeful, her body, ready for the next assault of emotions, whatever they may be.
~~~
I know her as Ann Marie. A couple of weeks ago she called me Pat. No, I corrected her, it’s Patty, now. I like to be called just Ann, she replied. So just Ann it was.

At the funeral, meeting her friends, they call her Annie, not Ann. It’s a friendly affectionate name, borne over three decades of card-playing, late night talks on the dark verandas, line-dancing evenings, and many, shared holidays.

Annie.

She smiles and grins with delight in their company. Old friendships are like our favourite jeans, we can slip them on and immediately feel at home where we belong. She belongs in these arms of company that surround her today. Thanks for being my friend Ann’s friend, your friend Annie’s mate.
~~~
Driving to the Nambour funeral, I pass country I haven’t driven through for years, not since the kids were little, and only then, some. Bli Bli castle, sitting proudly on the hill, boasting ‘Opera in the Castle” coming soon. It’s up for sale, looking for not only a buyer, but some loving. Low lying cane fields sit in puddles of rainwater; the country had had torrential downpours here overnight, and the cane looks tired and fed up.

Mentally I run my hand over the tops of the grass as I drive past, windows up, singing.
~~~
After introducing myself to Dean, the Funeral Director, we both enter the Chapel. Ann has requested I photograph Colin, and so I shall. There is to be a viewing before the Service but I want to film him now, quietly, by myself.

Dean removes the casket lid and places it upright, standing to one side.

Hello Colin, I say softly, and wait for Dean to leave us.

He lays there, a smile on his large ruddy face. He’s holding a photograph of a card with a smiling woman on it. I wonder if this is his Irish friend. I raise my camera, and begin.

Really, he could be sleeping. I could almost shake him awake, with a cheery you-hoo!

Click.

His hands. Click.

His face. Click.

His beautiful Funeral corsage of orange flowers: happy geraniums, thoughtful, elegant white lilies, sweet, dear little orange roses, sophisticated white orchids, and simple white daisies. Click.

An orange and black Go Tigers! Flag is placed on the casket, it’s his wish.

I place my white ceramic box of his favourite yellow roses near his casket. The card reads: To my dear friend Ann’s gentle man, Rest in Peace now. Be still, my Soul, Patty.
~~~
When I arrive at Ann’s home, I am greeted by the familiar faces of her good friends from the Hunter Valley. They have been staying with her for the past few days, I am so grateful to them, and very pleased for her.

Cups of tea, buttered hot cross buns, chat and phone calls. Eventually Ann comes out of the bedroom, after speaking to his only brother, about certain funeral arrangements. Her face is red and blotchy, and she throws her arms around me and sobs: I never would have thought I’d be asking you to do this for me Patty.

We both shed tears, but quickly compose ourselves. It’s all good. We are adults now, and we can do this, one step, one tissue, one song at a time.

To be continued…

When tomorrow comes…

By , April 19, 2011 12:35 pm

Tomorrow I am going to help my old school friend bury her husband.

After decades of pain and depression, he finally ended it all with a brand new white rope.

She found him.

She has asked me to bring my video camera to record the Service, as she explains: “Patty, I always remember you saying, that you might not want to view the images now, or even next week, but one day you will come to a place in your life where it might be good to view the funeral, and the DVD will be there, quietly waiting for you.”

So, tomorrow, I will help my old school friend bury her husband, who loved her, but depression and constant chronic pain won out.

Rest in Peace.

~~~

Today I am going to help my old school friend bury her husband. I’ll be the oldest friendship there to support her, and although her nursing friends and old bridesmaids will be there, although her small family consisting of her only brother and his wife and kids will be there, I will be the one with the oldest memories of her; memories of a single girl, a carefree, happy redheaded blue-eyed school girl, in the school hallway bent over laughing at my jokes.

We both travelled to Cooktown together in our senior year, keeping a watchful eye on the young boys as we were plunged into a series of small train tunnels, pitch black and groping hands, to emerge in the blinking daylight, slightly dishevelled with smug teenagers sitting opposite us, looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth. It was a game and we played along, much fun.

Over the years we kept in loose touch. If I was staying in the Hunter Valley helping my old wine-maker friend Jim Roberts pick his grapes, I would stay with her and her husband.

Her husband was a soft, gentle man, a large man, a lumbering giant heaving an unworkable broken body around the best he could. In those days he drove a taxi, and could get around a little bit, but the passing years were unkind to him, and gradually depression began to taint his world and the shutters closed in.
~~~
Today my husband was showering early, and I heard him yelp from where I was in the kitchen. I called out: Are you alright? Darl? Are you ok? And with his silence my footsteps quickened to reach him.
He stood there, water droplets from the shower covering the paddocks of his back and shoulders. On Sunday he had spent most of the day changing over 45 fluorescent light tubes at his work, and one of the tubes had cut his finger deeply. It was this sore finger that had banged against the towel rail, and it had silenced him with sudden pain.

I gently took the white towel and slowly, tenderly, wiped his back, his legs, his chest. “There you go, the rest is up to you” I said, and left him to finish the job.

Some days marriage is like that, you have to be there and step forward.
~~~
“When you first told me what you did, I couldn’t understand it, I thought ‘A funeral photographer? What the hell?’ but now I totally get it.” We speak softly, the phone nuzzles into my neck, and I close my eyes and imagine we are once again sitting in the spa we shared only weeks ago. “I want you to photograph him, and film the funeral, in fact I want to take the DVD over to Ireland and share it with his old friend. She can’t make it over for the funeral. I’ll take it to her.”

Already in her mind, she is moving forward, seeing a fresh day, a new start, a different tomorrow.

A fortnight ago we stayed at O’Reilly’s in the Gold Coast hinterland, the four of us women coming together in solidarity of having some time to ourselves. I spoke to her about everything but her husband. She needed the break, and I made it clear that the topic was always there if she needed to, wanted to speak about him; I was all ears and arms; to wrap around her. We watched an opera DVD, Cecilia Botoli. Eventually, she leaps to her feet, and begins to move to the music.

This is the first time I ever lined-danced to opera she says. I try to keep up with her steps, but it’s not for me, the set routine and boredom of repeating movements. I lash out and wobble my bits in joy, dancing for a moment in the rainforest. We laugh and giggle, like the old schoolgirls we still are.

Neither of us then imagined that we would be arranging his funeral. My friend is my old schoolgirl mate, childless, now widowed. She’ll rise above this, and move forward, and I’ll be there to help if I am needed.

Personal Funeral Photography

By , March 10, 2011 2:02 pm

I know most crematoriums and Chapels now offer to record your Loved One’s funeral, but do you really want a standard, genetic DVD showing either the backs of people’s heads, or just one long image staring from the front of the Chapel? I offer personal, bespoke video, capturing your special moments with sensitivity and flair. Contact me on 0417 887 316 for further details. Once taken, never forgotten.

My promise to you as a Funeral Photographer.

By , January 11, 2011 8:18 am

I promise…

I promise not to charge you for every little transition, edit, effect or pan and zoom movement when I create your funeral Tribute DVD for your Loved Ones. This is all a natural part of creating something worth watching.
I promise not to fill your screen with images of birds, sunsets, the ocean or clouds unless they are relevant to your Loved One. You are here to honour and remember them, not look at nature or butterflies.
I promise not to bombard you with trivia and details of DVD creation that you are unable to take in at this distressing time.
I promise you that if you request me to create a Tribute DVD, you can relax knowing it will be done and you will have peace of mind.
I promise you that if you request me to film at a funeral, you will know that I am quietly there archiving your life.

I promise you can rely on me.

I promise to use my years of experience to create a DVD you will watch, and love, and share.
I promise you that I will create a Funeral Memorial Book you will love, look at, and share.
I promise you that I will always be discreet, and sensitive. I too, have lost my Loved Ones.

I promise you I will respect your wishes at all times.

I promise you I will use the music you have selected where possible.
I promise you I will use the names, dates and any quotes, poetry, psalms or prayers you select within the Funeral DVD Video.
I promise you that I will always use the highest quality software and transitions to create a video worthy of your Loved One.

If I knew then what I know now…funeral client says thanks

By , November 15, 2010 9:45 am

I had a phone call late on Sunday afternoon.  I nearly didn’t take the call, as I was half asleep and the mobile was upstairs, but I bounded up to grab it before the caller hung up.  It was from Susan, the daughter of my late dad’s old regimental army buddy Dennis.  I photographed his funeral for her 18 months ago, creating a DVD to watch if and when she felt up to it, and also creating a photographic book for her family to keep.

At the time of Dennis’ funeral, Susan was a little distant; (perfectly understandable, funerals are very stressful) and although she wrote me a lovely note at the time, I felt that she didn’t have any intention of looking at the book, or the DVD.  That’s ok, we all come to things at different times.  She may have never wanted to look at either, but if she changes her mind, it’s always there for her, quietly waiting.  I am archiving her family history.

Anyway, she told me that “the whole idea of you photographing my father’s funeral didn’t sit well with her at the time, but now that 18 months have passed, she now looks at the album each week.” 

I love to look at the album, thankyou so much Patty.

“If I knew then what I know now, it would be so different” and then she went to apologise to me for being a bit stand offish to me at the time.  I’m a little used to this, I know I am the devil’s advocate sometimes, as I am sure some members of the families think “why would we want images of this?  Why do we want to remember a most painful day of our life? Why take photos at a funeral?”

Obviously I am at a certain funeral because other members of the family do want me there, and so I try to become invisible, not intrude on their grief, not to cry myself (but some days I do wipe a soft tear away, I am human too) and I always have to capture all the special moments of each Service.  The heads bowed in respect, the Poppy Tributes, the signing of the Condolences Book and so on. 

A long life well lived is a sad funeral, but not necessarily a tragic one. The family usually gather and regroup, and honour their darling beloved one, and share his wonderful life.  I love funerals like this, and I love to learn new things about someone I though I knew…for example Dennis was a great dancer, and loved to have friends around each weekend, pushing the lounge room furniture to one side, covering the floor with pops, and spending a few dreamy hours waltzing their wives around, arm in arm.  Such a beautiful memory.

Anyway, Susan tells me on my phone that she “loves to look at the album” and appreciated my taking photos of ‘the old RSL men, and the reunion buddies”.  I am so thrilled with her call I can only smile and thank her.

She tells me she hesitated in ringing me, but thought that she should, as she and her whole family just love the album so much, and really value it now.  From what I gather, they haven’t yet watched the DVD, but that’s ok, each to their own, and in time, who knows?  It’s there for them, when they are ready. 

I hang up and feel validated, and valued.  Thanks Susan for your call, it made my day.  I am so happy and pleased my work gives you and your family pleasure and memories.

~~~

I wrote about meeting Dennis here: Meeting Dennis

Church bans footy club songs from funerals

By , September 10, 2010 10:25 am

The Catholic Church has banned football club songs and popular music at funerals under strict guidelines sent to priests and funeral directors.

“Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs or football club songs,” the guidelines state.

The guidelines were sent by the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart and state that a funeral should not be a “celebration of the life” of the deceased.

They say any celebration should be done at a social occasion before or after the funeral, the Herald Sun reports.

Outspoken Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire has described the guidelines as “insensitive.”

He said the new rules would pose a dilemma for clergymen.

“If the bosses say you can’t do it, then we’re in a position where we have to say you can’t do it,” he was quoted as saying.

But Bishop Les Tomlinson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, is standing by the guidelines.

The main focus of a funeral should be “commending the deceased person to God,” he said.

What do you think?  Do you agree with the Bishop, that funerals that a funeral should not be a “celebration of the life” of the deceased.

Full article here:

How to plan your own funeral

By , September 3, 2010 10:53 am

This note was sent to me by an old friend today, and it gave me an opportunity to speak to you about your funeral.

The President of the Colostomy Association where I volunteer passed away and I went to his funeral and didn’t like what I saw.

The whole service from start to finish including the coffin disappearing behind the curtain took only 30 minutes. Not much for a bloke who gave so much to the community during his life. The celebrant even made an announcement at the start that someone’s car was blocking another car and could they move it.

So I came home and planned my whole funeral: where, what music, who should speak, what poems etc; down to what colour hearse.

You only get one funeral so I want mine done right.

Many people may be unaware that around Brisbane and in other cities most crematoriums only have an hour booking for your funeral.  This gives the funeral director 15 minutes to set up your coffin, set up the DVD or PowerPoint presentation of your life, any music, flowers; and to welcome guests, sign the Condolence Book and so on.

Then you are given 30 minutes to actually have your funeral, then another 15 minutes to tidy up, exit the Chapel/Crematorium and leave it clean and empty with no lingering mourners, so that the next funeral can take place.  I don’t know about you, but it’s not long, is it? It’s a busy world, even with funerals.

 Death is something we all have to do, no one has a monopoly on it, and we all shuffle to our mortal end eventually.  Are you ready? More importantly, is your family ready, and do they know what you want for your own funeral?

Do you want to be buried or cremated?  Do you want your ashes scattered, or left in a brick wall, or taken home in an urn?

Below is a quick check list of ideas.  I will add to this when I have the time, but for now, it’s a start.

Don’t forget to select your music, (3 – 5 songs) and any photographs you would like to be remembered by.

Choose at least 30 – 50 images, more if you want.  Personally I’ve told my kids I expect lots of crying and lots of photographs, haha. Actually, I wouldn’t like them to grieve to much; I’d like a celebration that I was here.  I existed.

And you? What would you like to be remembered for?

To Do Immediately After Death.

When someone close to you dies, most of the time the hospital or other authorities are there to take care of the medical necessities and formalities for you.

If someone dies at home, you should contact the person’s doctor who will explain what steps to take to get a Death Certificate.

What do you do when someone dies?

This depends on where the person has died and the cause of death.

When someone dies at home, his or her doctor is the first who you should call. The doctor will prepare a death certificate. Then call the Funeral Director to arrange for the deceased to be transferred to a funeral home.

When someone dies in a nursing home, the home will call the Funeral Director nominated by the family at the time the now deceased first took up residency.

When someone dies in a hospital, the family calls the Funeral Director of their choice who will make all the necessary arrangements with the hospital, transfer the deceased to the funeral home, confirm arrangements for cremation or burial and attend to all the details involved in arranging the funeral.

When a death is sudden and unexpected, accidental or a suicide, the doctor or the family must notify the police who will arrange transfer to the John Tonge Centre (Brisbane) by the government contracted undertaker.

In these circumstances the cause of death, possibly involving a post mortem, will be ordered by the coroner. Funeral arrangements may be delayed until necessary documentation has been completed.

When someone dies interstate or overseas, the local procedures must be followed and local authorities will liaise with your Funeral Director while making arrangements for the deceased to be brought home.

Because so many Australians are migrants, there are those who wish to be interred in the lands of origin. Your Funeral Director will attend to this responsibility on behalf of the family.

  •  Check for any written instructions for the body disposition, funeral plans and other details.
  • Contact family, friends, and co-workers who may not be aware of the death.
  • Gather information for obituary and contact newspapers.
  • Contact deceased’s employer.
  • Take security precaution.
  • Assign a house sitter.
  • Remove valuable items from deceased’s house.
  • Forward mail.
  • Cancel newspapers.
  • Remove any jewellery from deceased.

 Funeral Arrangements to be made.

  • Select clergy.
  • Choose funeral home.
  • Decide the location of the service.
  • Burial or cremation or Memorial service?
  • Decide on place and time of funeral service.
  • Inquire about special religious services.
  • Choose a burial container.
  • Choose a burial site (find burial property documentation of ownership)
  • Decide either outer burial container or crypt.
  • Pick out clothing for the deceased.
  • Choose scripture to be read.
  • Choose individual(s) to read eulogies.
  • Pick type of flowers and music.
  • Photographic presentation of life.
  • Choose pallbearers.
  • Order a funeral limousine.
  • Find type of religious, fraternal or military service of deceased.
  • Choose the memorial type and inscription.
  • Sign necessary papers for burial permit.
  • Choose a charitable organization to receive donations.

 Personalizing Your Ceremony.

Provide guests with small gifts to remind them of you:

  • If you love to cook, provide guests with a stack of your favorite recipes
  • If you’re a photographer, provide guests with some of your favorite snapshots
  • If you love to garden, provide guests with a packet of flower seeds so they can plant them in your memory
  • If you’re an avid wildlife person, ask your guests to release wildlife in your memory (pheasants, butterflies, birds etc.)
  • If you absolutely love ice-cream (or any other type of food), throw an ice-cream social after the ceremony (or for the ceremony, if you prefer)
  • If you’re all about being Green, invite guests to plant several trees in your honor
  • If you do a lot of volunteer work, provide guests with the information of the places you volunteer at and ask them to continue doing your work
  • If you were a firefighter or other type of serviceman, have your funeral procession led by the respective vehicle
  • Animal lover?  Invite your guests to bring their pets to an outdoor ceremony
  • If you plan on having a very small, intimate funeral ceremony, consider writing all of your guests a personal note
  • If you’re a music writer or song composer, provide your guests with a pre-recorded version of one of your songs
  • If you’re a writer, write your own obituary and funeral message.  That way it’s you speaking to your guests, not someone else speaking about you
  • If you’re an artist, create a self portrait of yourself which could be photocopied and given to your guests
  • Compile your favorite photographs and create a slideshow that could be shown during the ceremony or reception.  That way, you’re the one in charge of sharing the memories you want to with your guests.  
  • If you participate in an activity or sporting event (softball, basketball, triathlon, broomball etc) ask individuals to create a team in your memory and play or participate for a season
  • Provide postcards that are addressed (to family, for example) and stamped, then, ask guests to take a few home with them and when they think of a special memory, they can write it down on the postcard and mail it.  That way, special memories and stories can always be shared with the family
  • Instead of having your casket covered in expensive flowers, encourage family members and friends to bring in memorabilia to lie on the casket instead (IE: old sport jerseys, handmade blankets, pictures etc).  This allows all funeral guests to share in special memories.  

 Facts to Find for Obituary.

  • Given name – favorite pet name, nicknames (Johnno, Bluey)
  • Date and birthplace.
  • Mother’s maiden name and birthplace.
  • Father’s name and birthplace.
  • Those who have proceeded in death.
  • Survivors and relationship to deceased.
  • Occupation and employer.
  • Hobbies, interests.
  • Schools attended.
  • Armed services number

Other Things to Do Before Funeral.

  • Meet with funeral director and clergy or celebrant.
  • Write a eulogy.
  • Search for special wishes included in will.
  • Keep a list of callers, flower tributes and donations.
  • Pick out clothing for deceased to wear (men usually wear a suit, women would like makeup)
  • Arrange care for infants or other minor children.
  • Meet out-of-town attendees.
  • Provide lodging for out-of-town attendees.
  • Answer phone calls and letters.
  • Prepare your home for family and friends.
  • Remember to eat!
  • Have a glass of something special, to toast your Loved One and to ease your own stress.

Documents to Locate

Always a good idea to place allof your special documents in a drawer or file, and tell your next-of-kin or executor where to find them.

  • Will.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Insurance policies (health, life, property)
  • Property deeds.
  • Income tax returns (past two years)
  • Disability claims (if any)
  • All documents necessary for deceased’s taxes (ask your accountant)
  • Military discharge papers.

Notify the Following

  • Doctor.
  • Family members.
  • Close friends.
  • Cemetery and funeral home.
  • Attorney, accountant, executor of estate.
  • All insurance agents.
  • Religious, fraternal, civic organizations.

Bills to Be Paid

  • Funeral director.
  • Family burial space.
  • Clergy.
  • Interment/burial services.
  • Florist.
  • Memorials.
  • Funeral services.
  • Limousines and funeral hearse.
  • Newspaper notices.
  • Refreshments.
  • Clothing.
  • Medicine and drugs.
  • Others (rent, mortgage, taxes)

 There are many ways and many ideas, these are just a sample few.  What are your thoughts?

Don’t know what to say on your Sympathy Card?

Here are some well known sympathy quotes taken from this helpful site:

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

A human life is a story told by God. ~Hans Christian Andersen

To live in hearts we leave behind. Is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell, “Hallowed Ground”

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran

He kept at true good humour’s mark. The social flow of pleasure’s tide: He never made a brow look dark, nor caused a tear, but when he died. ~Thomas Love Peacock

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. ~Rita Schiano, Sweet Bitter Love

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to Heaven And bring you home again. ~Author Unknown

It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; ’tis rather an embrio state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals? ~Benjamin Franklin, 22 February 1756

With what a deep devotedness of woe. I wept thy absence – o’er and o’er again, thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain. And memory, like a drop that, night and day, falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away! ~Thomas Moore

And with the morn those angel faces smile. Which I have loved long since and lost awhile. ~John Henry Newman

The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God. ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said. Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days. That are no more, and shall no more return. Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed; I stay a little longer, as one stays. To cover up the embers that still burn. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

When he shall die. Take him and cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of heav’n so fine. That all the world will be in love with night. And pay no worship to the garish sun. ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow. May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

While we’re mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Unknown

Good men must die, but death can not kill their names. ~Proverbs

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. ~Rita Schiano

I look at life as a gift of God. Now that he wants it back I have no right to complain. ~Joyce Cary

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

Unto God, the Lord belong the issues of death. ~Psalm 68:20

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

For some moments in life there are no words. ~David Seltzer

A grave is braced not just by a tombstone but by angels as well. ~Adabella Radici

Death— the last sleep? No the final awakening. ~Walter Scott

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahil Gibran

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you. ~Winnie the Pooh

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. ~William Penn

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger Generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. ~Albert Einstein

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. ~Leonardo Davinci

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. ~Leonardo Davinci

Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on the earth. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. ~Seneca

The greatest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. ~Thornton Wilder

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

Such a beautiful human blessing to cover hurt and longing by words. What was your favorite?

 

About me

By , July 30, 2010 12:37 pm

I did a Masterclass on YouTube the other day and I began by telling the class a little of my background, and it felt strange to hear my voice saying all the things I did (left out half of it, lol) – I recall thinking, ‘blimey, have I really done all of that?’

So here’s a little of my background.

Ran my own restaurant aged 18 – 20; did all the shopping, cooking, serving etc. I would make a huge batch of beef curry in the afternoon for tomorrow, and meanwhile do the set-up for the nights trade, glasses, cutlery, fresh tablecloths and so on, then close the shop, dash home to shower and change, and come back and waitress and serve. Busy days, loved it and it taught me the value of following through, doing one job from go to whoa.

I tried to buy it outright from the always absent owners but at 18 I looked 12, and the bank manager wasn’t going to loan me any money, even with my father sitting beside me. Thanks dad for your support and belief in me.

Then I moved to NSW and Taree, where I worked in a Greek café for a couple of years, learning to make coffees and deal with bus coaches and people management. (Just before I arrived, the Woolworth’s Bomber blew up the local supermarket in Taree. It turned out to be my old boss Greg, who owned the restaurant in Rockhampton, bizarre! He was jailed.)

The boss wouldn’t give me a day off for my 21st, so I also learnt that even though you can work your heart out, reward and appreciation doesn’t necessarily follow. After that a brief stint in Waltons selling crappy typewriters to students, and LED watches that continually broke. I was embarrassed to sell junk rubbish like that, and learnt to deal in quality as it repays you time and again. No, that’s wasn’t a watch pun, but cheers for asking, lol.

After a while I read about a job vacancy in the Manning River Times, and so I went in on a Melbourne Cup day for my interview. It was 2pm. I rang first, to say “uh, you DO realise it’s Melbourne Cup Day, and the race will be on?” I was told to come on in anyway, regardless of the race, or the Cup. I learnt that not everyone shares the same interests as me, and that things I hold important aren’t necessarily so for others. We all have different priorities. I became the first female to be employed by the paper as an Advertising Representative. John Doust was my boss, and I grew to adore him, and his gruff, kind ways. We both shared a wicked sense of humour and used to love to play tricks on each other, good times. I looked on him as a father figure, and he will always be a top man in my books. Thanks JD. I worked there for nearly 4 years, looking after my clients and taking home marketing books to read over the weekend, arriving fresh Monday morning bursting with ideas and inspiration. I loved my little 2nd storey flat overlooking the glorious manning River, squeezed behind the shops and pub.

Taree was then blessed with 3 pubs and then the 4th would be built in bushland, but I would usually go to the middle pub whose name I have forgotten. The Exchange? It doesn’t matter, but I would sit in the small cocktail bar no one ever used; it was private and a touch above the beer swill out the back. Over time other friends would join me there, and we built up a small group of mates. I called the bar The Wankers Bar, and Jeff the publican made a sign for me, and hung it proudly over the counter. We even had an opening, and for once, I was on the other side of the counter. He gave me a huge farewell, we could barely fit into the tiny space, and they bought me a briefcase as a farewell gift.

At a conference I met some blokes from The Land Newspaper, and soon afterwards I began working for The Land, based in Dubbo. In those days I drove my little Suzuki 4wd, and I asked the comp boys to make me a sign: DUBBO OR BUST. I bought a large white teddy bear I named Patrick, so Patrick the bear and I set off on our adventure. I bought a map at the service station going out of town, as I had no idea where Dubbo even was, just somewhere vaguely west and south of Taree. Actually it’s almost a straight line west, and it took me 7 hours at 100km with a stiff wind behind me. I’d never seen such open space, the land yawned ahead of me.  I learnt to plan ahead, but on the other hand, some things just work out.  Don’t fret.

I’d miss the weekends when I’d ring my dear friend Merrilyn, and say “We’re going up the beach, wear your bra!” Some days we would drive all the way along the beach and arrive at Port Macquarie, buy some shoes, and drive home via the highway, stopping in at a pub to refresh ourselves.

We’d bounce and laugh and lurch along, and sing to Donna Summer; all the way up the rough bush tracks that ran parallel to the coast, before the tiny entrance, hidden by coastal heath bushes, revealed the glorious wild beaches north of Taree.

Crowdy Bay. Diamond Head.

Collecting sea urchins washed up by storms. Great stands of Banksia, standing proud above the bushland. White sands; patches of Christmas Bells and tiny Melaleuca flowers. Waving to lonely fisherman as we drove past, windows down, our hair tousled by the salty wind, flocks of seagulls rising and settling, leaving the soft echo of Donna Baby, and our chat and laughter.

I am constantly drawn back in my mind to those beaches. Our dear family friend Kylie Tenant wrote her book Man on a Headland, about that area. (She also wrote about our family, in Speak You So Gently). Only once did I think I was bogged on the sand. A rising tide, a setting sun, I had become too involved in looking at EVERYTHING and my little Suzuki, affectionately known as ‘The Eggbeater’ just sat there helplessly revving. No mobile phones in those days, and I began to panic. “You can’t bog a Suzuki! It’s impossible” I roused on myself, but I had simply knocked the gear out and it was sitting in neutral. Whew. I drove home wiser and I learnt to check things before panicking.

Again, I was the first female to be employed at The Land, as a travelling Rep. Often I would drive 500kms in a day, say from Dubbo to Parkes/Forbes, Bathurst and back to Dubbo, pulling into my driveway at 11pm, met by my lonely cat. I loved working for such an established newspaper, and enjoyed the whistles between the teeth by male dominated businesses (agricultural equipment, irrigation supplies etc) as I walked through the door.

My God! It’s a young woman!

I soon learned to wear gumboots as routine when my gorgeous light purple pumps were ruined in the mud at Orange National Field Days. I walked around in my ivory silk pants suit, and briefcase. *blush, yeah, I know, I know, you don’t have to laugh out loud. That night it snowed, (it was November) and I turned up for work the next day dressed in thick jumpers (new) and white short gum boots (new) and a clipboard. Much better! I learnt to walk in my own shoes and bugger what other people thought.

After a year of Dubbo, The Land transferred me to live in Newcastle, doing the coastal strip of repping, down to and including Sydney. In those days they had just moved to Windsor, so I learnt to take short cuts to Wiseman’s Ferry, and it was just another hurdle and adventure to be had.

I enjoyed living in Newcastle in my 2 storey terrace, and began to churn out poetry with a passion. Each afternoon I would push away from my desk and drive all along the beaches, from Nobby’s and then south, right down until it would be time to stop watching the waves and the setting sun, and go home to cook dinner for one. I would often visit the art gallery in my suburb of Cook’s Hill, sitting on the long bench in front of the Brett Whitley painting I so adored. On weekends I would drive to the Hunter – having first been there as a 20 yo.

I began to know the wine makers, and they knew and liked me too, often sharing with me their special bottles and ‘good gear’. The public never saw these bottles. I had a great collection! It always helped when I said I worked for The Land, as it was known as the Farmer’s Bible, then, and still is today. Years later Jim Roberts, from Bellbourie Winery (now closed) rang me when I lived in Toowoomba. “Patty, I’m dying, can you come?”

We cried together on the phone. He said: I don’t even know why I’m ringing you; you are the same age as my daughter. But I knew. We were connected.
We sobbed again, together.

I jumped on the overnight bus straight away, and helped Jim and his grown family pick a late harvest of Madeira grapes. We bottled and labelled it that day, laughing and calling it “Mad Era” as it was a crazy time: with Harley’s Comet overhead; as we helplessly watched our beloved Jim become frail from cancer. I still have 2 bottles Jim, plus the port bottle I had a cartoonist design for you, remember? They are safe with me. Rest old boy. All is well. Although Jim was very clear what he wanted for his funeral, it didn’t happen, and I learnt that you need to respect people’s wishes, even if you don’t agree with them. Jim, your jazz band and wine appreciation soirée didn’t happen. Sorry mate.

So anyway, I am driving up and down to Sydney, and Port Macquarie, and all points in between, having to drive twice back to Dubbo to train my replacement. It took me 7 hours each way, and I would sing to the Little River Band. Sing loud! I cannot imagine a life without music.

After another year of this, The Land placed me in Qld, to be the first Qld Sales manager, also repping for Qld Country Life, based in Toowoomba. At least I was closer to my parents and family! I rented a dear little 1 br round house at Murphy’s Creek, (below the range) on 5 acres; and bought myself chooks, a rooster, geese and a naughty cocker spaniel puppy; to keep my cat company. Each day I would feed the magpies and chooks; at night I would feed five possums and the owls who would gather to swoop on the insects and moths attracted by my outside lights. God I loved that house.

I filled a book with my poetry.

I began a media club with 500 members. I called it RAPT, Radio, Advertising, Press and Television. Toowoomba has one of the highest percentages of media around, with both local and capital city television stations. I published regular newsletters and we met monthly. It folded after a boozy lunch with Waynee Poo Roberts who swore like a mad trooper, and annoyed a lot of people. I copped the blame for that, but how was I to know who he was? I learnt to stick up for myself, and also that no matter what you do for people, there will always be someone that begrudges you, and makes life difficult.

Fast forward to another year and by now I am living in Toowoomba; living in a share house perched on the rim of the range, driving in the fog, and becoming a little lonely. I began to read books on childbirth. One night my housemate named Scrubber (whose brother went on to write a best selling novel Praise) climbed through my bedroom window at 2am. What are you reading Snide? (My nickname then, long story) “Birth, and enemas” I replied, barely glancing at him. “Oh,” he said, and with that Scrubber stumbled off to his own room. I learnt that at a certain age, nothing surprises me anymore.

Another change was needed! I bummed a lift overnight in a semi with a friend of a friend, and applied to the Sydney Morning Herald as Advertising Rep. At this stage I had met my husband to be when I worked briefly at an Advertising Agency. I bought a block of land and began to plan my dream house, an A-frame. With chooks!

When the job was given to me at the Herald, I was completely torn. To stay, to go? I moved everything to Balmain (I was pretty skilled at packing by now, yeah) and shared a gorgeous terrace with a very un-gorgeous man who would drag women home, shout at them and bang them all night. Just saying. If only I were DEAF! He told me I wrote like James Joyce. I’d never heard of him, and still haven’t read him. Perhaps in my old age, when I find the time? I learnt that sometimes my company is the best company to have.

After I while I questioned what the heck I was doing down there, so moved again (!) back to Brisbane to live with my now husband Chris. He was a rep too, for Holden, so I would drive him to the airport each Monday morning, and collect him Friday afternoons. I spent all day each week by myself, and by now, I was pregnant, so I needed a birth centre. Enter Boothville Mother’s Hospital. I delivered our first son here, and I was totally shocked at the wonder of him. I felt like I had robbed the whole world of its beauty, and placed them all within his dear little face. Even writing that sentence can make my weep with joy at the memory. Never underestimate birth mothers, haha.

In two years time I would be organising a rally of 500 women and families, to protest against it’s closure by the Salvation Army. The Sunday Sun came to photograph me with my toddler son, and I boastfully threatened to “push this pram to Sydney if I have to, to keep the doors open for birth mothers and their families.” When this was reported in the paper the next day, I turned to my husband and said “do I have to walk to Sydney now?” He assured me that he would be my backup vehicle, but it never happened, thank goodness, but we did keep the doors open for another 5 years. It was at this time I was fortunate enough to meet some dear friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin, and together we 3 girls coped with pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, breastfeeding and so on. Meeting after meeting, press calls, marketing plans, billboards, radio interviews, speaking engagements harnessing the power of women and families.

During this time we all sat on the hospital board as consumers, and I would often pinch myself as the Minutes would be handed out, or I would field a call from the Medical writer from the Courier Mail. How did I get to here? Sitting on a Private Hospital board? I did all the marketing, flying down on a jump-seat with Ansett to present a marketing plan to the Salvation Army in Sydney. I was 30 weeks pregnant. My friend CJ did all the girly stuff, the cake stalls, the networking. Fiona did all the accounts and books, she kept us in the red, and we were busy, busy. Four pregnancies. Three Births. Two sons. My joy, my life, my amazing sons.

I learnt if you truly believed in something, then get out and fight for it. Be passionate. Never be ashamed to stand up and be counted. Things matter! Become involved in your community and reward and Blessings will follow you.

During this time, to amuse myself from the day-to-day grind of saving Boothville, I began to ring the radio station and enter competitions and so on. Everyone talked, so I thought ‘I’ll sing!’ and so I would create songs and make up lyrics on the spot. I did this for nearly 2 years, until one night Chris came home and announced he had dobbed me in to be a guest announcer on 4QR Abc Radio, (now 612 Brisbane) at the football in Lang Park. I immediately applied with a pounding heart, (I am a radio girl, as well as newspapers, spent my entire teenage years chatting to the DJ’s between songs each weekend, loved it) and to cut a long story short, found myself at my first ever football match with Gerry Collins and Chris Avenel. Gerry and I remembered each other from the Dubbo newspaper days, so it was a relaxing night and very different for me. I had no idea what I was doing, but it had never stopped me before. I learnt to go with the flow, and hang on for dear life. What a ride!

The following week I was in the radio studios and bumped into Peter Dick. We chatted and he asked me about 100 questions, and offered me the job of Roving Reporter, the first for any ABC Radio station in Australia. We broke almost every rule, giving away tickets and petrol and prizes, and we rated our heads off. What great days.

I was the public face of Breakfast for that station for 4 ½ years and moved on after a series of bizarre muck ups with my pay and a change of direction with the Breakfast Show becoming a more serious show with current events. There was no room for bridge climbing, tandem parachuting or other ‘housewife adventures’. The best job I ever did was over, and I was over it, and so threw myself into my children’s’ school committees, becoming President of the P&C and installing one of the first web sites for schools. I did ask everyone I knew to design a website for us, but no one was game to take it on. “How hard can this be?” I thought, and so over a weekend and with a template, I created an 8 page website.

I think in those days there were only 3 or 4 schools on the net, and we were one of them. I had invited the Governor and his wife to help us ‘cut the cake’ for the school’s Foundation Day, and to launch our website. The three television stations all turned up with their cameras and reporters. I was in the administration office, sobbing, on the phone to Telstra, who were trying to get our site fpt’ed up onto the net. Giddy days, but I did it, we launched the site, and within a year I began webcasting our special school events with my webcam.

In order to learn what to do (it can’t be that hard, can it?) I began my own webcam site, with the intention to call it Magpie cam, as I fed my loyal and greedy magpies each day, but I soon changed my mind and then Pattycam.net was born!

I had Pattycam.net for 10 years, and if you click there now I understand it’s a porn site, so yeah. It’s amusing to me now to see people now embracing Twitter and Facebook, when I have had a decade of message boards, tagboards and so on with my own site. I dislike how judgmental people are, unfollowing others and blocking on a whim. Oh well. It’s a reflection of the society we now live in, where knockers and whingers complain endlessly and mock anyone and everything.

So now what do I do, how have I evolved? Now I am a *Funeral Photographer, and I design photo books and create DVD’S for 18th, 21st and 50ths and so on. I love it. The other day I gave a Masterclass on YouTube video creation. Go figure. Trying to teach in four hours what it’s taken me 10 years to learn, from the early days of creating my files and driving them on a disc to be transferred to video tapes. No one had a DVD then.

I want to pursue my writing and who knows what’s around the corner? Life is a wave and I’m riding the crest, I’m not one to be left in the wash and flotsam.

Our two beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful sons are pursuing their dreams and study. The house is once again empty, childhood seems like a dream. I am an Empty Nester, and as busy as I ever was. Each day is beginning; each night shuffles us towards our death. Life is grasped with both hands, gentle on the steering wheel, full steam ahead; relaxed thumbs.

At times I glance in the rear view mirror; you need to know where you have travelled from, in order to reach your new destination.

I don’t often know what I’m doing, but does anyone on the net? It’s a constantly changing thing. It’s another challenge to overcome and an opportunity to learn. The view is great!

Thanks for reading.

*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.

{{embrace}}

 

 

NOTE: Please understand that this is a very quick, very simple explanation of my life, to show me more than anyone what I have learnt. If I haven’t mentioned you, or given you credit or honour, I apologise now, but please understand it’s just a very quick scribble, and I may come back and flesh out more details as they surface. I just can’t write 52 years of my life in 3 hours, sorry. Please don’t be offended.

What I have learnt, is that even when it’s all about me, it isn’t.

Funeral Sympathy Quotes

By , July 7, 2010 8:12 am

Don’t know what to say on your Sympathy Card?

Here are some well known sympathy quotes taken from this helpful site:

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

A human life is a story told by God. ~Hans Christian Andersen

To live in hearts we leave behind. Is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell, “Hallowed Ground”

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran

He kept at true good humour’s mark. The social flow of pleasure’s tide: He never made a brow look dark, nor caused a tear, but when he died. ~Thomas Love Peacock

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. ~Rita Schiano, Sweet Bitter Love

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to Heaven And bring you home again. ~Author Unknown

It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; ’tis rather an embrio state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals? ~Benjamin Franklin, 22 February 1756

With what a deep devotedness of woe. I wept thy absence – o’er and o’er again, thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain. And memory, like a drop that, night and day, falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away! ~Thomas Moore

And with the morn those angel faces smile. Which I have loved long since and lost awhile. ~John Henry Newman

The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God. ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said. Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days. That are no more, and shall no more return. Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed; I stay a little longer, as one stays. To cover up the embers that still burn. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

When he shall die. Take him and cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of heav’n so fine. That all the world will be in love with night. And pay no worship to the garish sun. ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow. May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

While we’re mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Unknown

Good men must die, but death can not kill their names. ~Proverbs

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. ~Rita Schiano

I look at life as a gift of God. Now that he wants it back I have no right to complain. ~Joyce Cary

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

Unto God, the Lord belong the issues of death. ~Psalm 68:20

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

For some moments in life there are no words. ~David Seltzer

A grave is braced not just by a tombstone but by angels as well. ~Adabella Radici

Death— the last sleep? No the final awakening. ~Walter Scott

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahil Gibran

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you. ~Winnie the Pooh

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. ~William Penn

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger Generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. ~Albert Einstein

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. ~Leonardo Davinci

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. ~Leonardo Davinci

Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on the earth. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. ~Seneca

The greatest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. ~Thornton Wilder

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

Such a beautiful human blessing to cover hurt and longing by words. What was your favorite?

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