Monday, March 15, 2010

The Day We Buried Our Father

The weather could not have put on a better show. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t windy – in fact a perfect day for anything but a burial and funeral.

We left home at the required time to get to the location of the burial and funeral in plenty of time, even allowing for minor traffic hold-ups.

We did NOT consider the possibility of a major road being shut down completely for 45minutes or more. I don’t think anyone does – not even funeral directors.

45 minutes from the cemetery a log truck goes over the edge of the road and blocks the traffic in BOTH directions. Who could believe it? – Certainly not us and most certainly not the guy in front of us who stormed out of the car and threw his phone at me and said please make it work, it’s new and I HAVE TO phone some people, they are expecting me in 60 minutes.

This guy was dressed in a checked shirt and jeans (with his fly down) I don’t know what made me notice that! I made the phone work and he dialled the number while standing in the middle of the road. He seemed panicked – but then again – so was I. I was trying to contact my daughter and my mother. My daughter somewhere behind me and my mother, waiting for us to arrive, so my father could be laid to rest.

Suddenly I realised that the guy standing beside me was trying to contact my mother. I put two and two together and figured out this guy was connected to the funeral parlour and he was explaining that there was a delay. He finished his call, and I interrupted explaining who we were. He realised that we could all be late. The hearse was behind him somewhere and no-one was going anywhere very soon.

He told me to ring my daughter and tell her to pull up on the side of the road and wait for the hearse, and then pull in tightly behind him, he would get the 4 of us through regardless of everyone else.

He walked ahead of the cars and obviously arranged something. I’m not sure how, but before I knew it, the traffic was moving and we cleared the accident and he pulled over, so did too. I was hoping that my daughter had done as instructed. No sooner had we pulled over than the hearse AND my daughter pulled in behind us.

It turns out the road block allowed traffic through until the hearse and the white car had passed and then the road was shut down again.

We proceeded through to town, of the cars that got through the road block all except 4 of those cars had the same destination in mind.

The burial took place on time, at the end of the ceremony and as people were paying their last respects a noise was heard. It sounded like rocks being thrown into the grave. Turns out it was gentleman, who often played cards with my father and apparently the last time they had played cards (before the fire) a debt of copper coins was owed. He had repaid the debt! – I suppose stranger things have happened.

The service went as planned, the number of people predicted turned up and then some. There were no more glitches, thankfully. The day was a day of reminiscing and reunions. The number of people I had not seen for many years were numerous, all saying thank-you for stopping the evacuation, saying thank-you for the cookbook and saying thank-you for having a father who cared enough to stay and help in their time of need.

I was also told that I am already filling the shoes of my father, I’m sure that is a compliment, but it is very tiring, and I am not sure I want to tread in the shoes of my father. He was brilliant at everything he touched, I’m only a beginner. I have many years of learning ahead of me.

Dear dad – the memorial service did you proud, there was plenty of food and if you had been arranging it – you would not have changed a thing!



  1. Lovelly post x. Hope you get a bit of time to just take some time for you Bern x

  2. My eyes are glistening. I heard about the truck rollover but did not pay much attention. Stress you didn't need on the day, but you obviously chose the funeral company well. Copper coins raining down upon the coffin paints a wonderful picture.

  3. Bern - tiem? - that is a mythical thing that everyone talks about and I rarely see - but soon things HAVE to change - I'll make them change.

    Andrew - the gentleman concerned is actually the father of one of the boys we have spoken about previously - the event that made us both cry, that made it even more touching.
    The funeral company was Heritage, if you ever need their services just tell them a friend from Marysville sent you - I'm sure they'll know who.
    Thank-you both for your kind comments - not all sad days are bad days - only some.