Passing. Goodbye. Going home. Reconnecting

 

Today was the funeral of a dear friend of mine’s father. He was two days shy of 62 when he finally succumbed to a long and bitter battle with kidney disease.

He was one of those men – kind, gentle, softly spoken, tough, clever and creative. The passion with which you could see he loved his beautiful wife, now bereft of her soul mate who had been by her side for the last 40 years, and their two children could honestly take your breath away.

A large part of my formative years did not feature a traditional mum, dad senario and there were friends whose families filled out that picture for me. I remember dinner’s with K’s family of Amazonian giants (seriously they’re all 6ft or taller) and being both scared, intimidated, in awe and in love with the volume and energy a dad at the dinner table brought. J’s dad was a farmer and that was another whole realm but one I just soaked up. I marvelled at how he’d yell at J and her sister in the paddock not doing whatever they were meant to be doing but then that was that, done with, forgotten. What happened in the paddock stayed in the paddock I guess. And then there was L’s dad. Beautiful man.

My faith has taken a great deal of interrogation over the last 14 years and I am in a weird twilight zone where I see the role faith can have in your life but no longer believe. Today’s service showed me, reminded me of the comfort a faith can bring in times of intense emotion.

Driving down to the service (just the other side of Wollongong) brought other memories flooding back. All the container ships sitting there off the coast. We used to stand on Nan’s verandah and count them and every Boxing Day watch the boats sail by in the Sydney to Hobart. Funny the things that stay with you.

A very dear person was at the funeral today. I had hoped she’d be there. Years ago – as in a DECADE ago – we had a dust-up on email. Stupid stupid email. It came off the back of a couple of incidents where I had behaved badly, lying to her rather than being honest and then both of us being at different place in our lives. For me I was jealous, intimidated by her and some of her friends and their confidence and comfort in their own skin. I felt like a very ugly duckling. Funny, I was always told how mature I was and yet I look back on how I let our relationship down and realise what a child I was. I found it so hard to move on from the ‘fight’, feeling self-conscious and clunky but now, I realise, I was embarrassed. GOD. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. Not one day. I think it’s about time I pay that forward yeah?

 

Felix came with me today – Chef couldn’t get away from work as his boss was interstate and it was a long way to go (2+ hours each way) on my own. Can I just say, my boy? He does me proud every single day. It was the first funeral he’s ever been to and he handled it with grace and care, offering me a squeeze and a hand around my shoulders every so often. We came home on the coast road, stopping for an ice cream at Stanwell Tops and marvelling at the view back down the South Coast. He went to say it was a good day but stopped himself for obvious reasons. But you know what, with immense sadness there was peace, reconnection and time to stop and say goodbye. I think he was right.

 

Onward.

 

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  • http://blackbird17.blogspot.com blackbird

    Nice post there, Miss.
    blackbird recently posted..remember when I used to write from my HEART?

    • http://www.allconsuming.com.au allconsuming

      xxx

  • http://www.baby-mac.com BabyMacBeth

    There’s a lot to like here, and I like just about the lot of it. That Felix is indeed growing into a wonderful young man. Ever think that his friends, all the boys friend’s are looking at you in much the same way you did your friend’s Dad? You are doing good each and every day my friend x
    BabyMacBeth recently posted..Last light

    • http://www.allconsuming.com.au allconsuming

      Well that’s just about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you beautiful lady.

  • http://mymummydaze.blogspot.com Fiona @ My Mummy Daze

    Beautiful post Kim. You certainly have a way with words. I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s father’s passing – 62 is so young!
    Bald Hill is a special spot for me. Shared many secret moonlit rendezvous there with my hubby. Such a special view. And yes, those coal ships always feel like home. Have a great weekend xxx Fi
    Fiona @ My Mummy Daze recently posted..The 52 Week Project: My little shadow

  • http://www.denysewhelan.com.au Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist

    Oh Kim, I am so very sorry to read that. B and I are 63 and 62 respectively..and with him sick with Parkinsons I “know” we are going to lose him sooner rather than later too. He is already lost to us in many ways. Tears are now forming…
    You write so beautifully, so forgivingly too, and I loved how this trip (sad as it was) was another journey from the past, and into this present with your young man. Beth is so right…how good must those visitors to your house feel when they see such a mum with her sons.
    Soon we will have lunch..soon. BTW, I grew up in the Gong, and my family is from the area south…Dapto.
    Denyse XX
    Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist recently posted..Friday 13th.

  • Paola

    Nice post, one of those that make you stop and think.