My 1st Service …..

Can I sing Hallelujah!

The day as told by Mumsy –

  1. Woke up early, ‘faffed’ about, with a lot of pacing. Changed part of the Eulogy, as was thinking about it in bed last night, that I had to move a paragraph or two.
  2. Got daughter to move said paragraphs and reprint. Had cig.
  3. Swallowed more health food tablet relaxers – meant to have 4 a day I had 5 in the morning…wasn’t taking any chances.
  4. Showered, dressed, pinned my name badge on my jacket. Respectfully dressed in black linen pants, black suit jacket , black shoes and a mustard colour top underneath (sounds terrible but it’s okay~trust me).
  5. Paced, breathed, inhaled, exhaled making noises.
  6. Had another cig (mybad I know) more pacing.
  7. Time had come to leave – wanted to ‘call in’ – sick.
  8. Packed briefcase and drove away, all the time self mantra’s of –  I can do this – I will be excellent. I will not fail, going through my head.
  9. Arrived and finally found a car spot – arrived an hour early.
  10. Walked up to  group of people and as they saw my badge – realised who I was.
  11. Daughter in law and son came up to me and a kiss on the cheek (don’t know if that’s normal for a Celebrant) but we had talked over the phone quite a bit and it seemed natural.
  12. I went inside and paced and went to the loo twice, then paced some more. Doing the A E I O U exercises (quietly).
  13. The ‘gathering room’ overlooked a lake so I stood at the window..more ‘mantra-ing’.
  14. The FD Assistant Robyn arrived – introductions. I asked her about presenting to the coffin and where do I stand at the end, she said I could do what I felt was right and told me to breathe (I must have looked as if I wasn’t at that stage) and she assured me I would be fine…..uh huh…sure…
  15. TIME
  16. I walked up and looked at the woman lying in the coffin, the woman who I had never known, that I wrote about and said this is for you Josie.
  17. The family came in for the viewing.
  18. The rest came in and sat down.
  19. Robyn and I walked between the seats, manoeuvring around 2 pushers that 2 young mums left in the way….
  20. Presented and I walked to the Lectern.
  21. Started (am I too close to the microphone…too far??)
  22. Made a couple of furfies with some words 2 – possibly 3 times throughout. Never try to say ‘Joke Telling Tradition’ as it ends up Joke Trelling tradition – I corrected and moved on.
  23. Introduced the granddaughter, she said a poem and recited a memory. though a few tears, she did well.
  24. My real boo-boo was –  my cup of water was on her right hand side and I was standing on her left and as she was reading I reached behind her and grabbed the cup, realising well that will look good in the recording…damn it!
  25. There were a few laughs and also tears, a combination which was accepted.
  26. Finished and Wind Beneath My Wings was the closing song. It started and half way through I went and stood facing the coffin at the front. Then I bowed my head in respect, until the curtain closed.
  27. I then turned to face the Assembly, reassuring smiles and small nods of “It’s ok”.
  28. Robyn was behind them all,  facing me…….. she gave me a thumbs up!! I couldn’t believe it.
  29. Then she walked up and stood by me, announcing that the ceremony had finished and for them to go into the adjoining tea rooms.
  30. Everyone started filing out, one elderly gentleman (I don’t know if a relative or friend) hung back and whilst Robyn was standing next to me (remember she was judging my performance)  came up to me took my hand and said “That was really beautiful”.   Do you know how I felt then? I was smiling inside and out and graciously thanked him.
  31. I was invited back for a coffee with the family and stood rather awkwardly, wanting to leave them alone. One lady came up and said that I was wonderful.  Another said you have such a beautiful speaking voice, I have heard some celebrants and they sound like fish wives, you did a beautiful job thank you. Then another said the same.
  32. Robyn then came up to me as I was leaving and said  “You know I did have my doubts, with this being your first service, but you did a really wonderful job and I will be recommending you!”

So my friends – I did it, I got through and as I sit and write, I’m pretty pleased with how I did, though I think the adrenalin is still cursing through my veins as I have more butterflies now than this morning.

I want to thank  ALL OF YOU for your encouragement, your support and your kindness and really your comments HELPED ME GET THROUGH THIS.  So ….thank you from my ‘beaty thing’.

Mumsy

xxx

Something different from Prose – Just a ramble

I forgot to do a ‘How my weekend was’, mind you I did not have enough to write about.  Friday I spent the day at the penguins and did their weeding for 5 hours, yes my bum cheeks and thighs felt it Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, went to the ‘The Circle’ to watch the fledging mediums strut their stuff, unfortunately no one wanted to talk to me. Sunday? Um Sunday – scratches head – oh yes Sunday in the afternoon went for a demonstration of a Thermomix machine the whizz bang German made cutter, slicer, dicer, scales, cooker, bread & maker everything you can imagine all in one unit that does everything apart from brown the meat. At $2,000.00 a bargain…. no I did not buy one. I hardly cook these days and not working still thought better of it.

Remember the diamond I lost out of my ring, I didn’t have enough Insurance so they only could pay out $1,000 (the diamond was $2000) so sadly instead of putting it towards another gem, I will be using this money to help with the bills etc.

I did see a service last Monday with another Celebrant from the same company as the first one I saw. This one was a gentleman however. It was a bit eerie as the service was held in the same Chapel where Mr. S.’s mum had hers. I watched him ‘do his thing’ and although he spoke quite well, to me he was to business like, there was no emotion in what he said, though he paused at the right moments.

The positive that came out of this was that this time,  I met the owner of the F.D Home. Mal, a lovely elderly gentlemen. He said Liz (the lady I first saw) I know I am testing memories here from previous posts, has been with them for years and she does generic services (I call that lazy). Greg has also been since the company started, so they have to give them priority. BUT  (I know you can’t sentences with but) he said that his niece also did services but didn’t really want to do them anymore, so they have 2, but they could do with 3… and to keep in touch with his son who is now waiting for an appropriate (hopefully smooth sailing) funeral for me to conduct on trial.

So each day I sit and write, and visit the folks – oh yes, sorry,  I haven’t really updated them have I. Dad is doing okay after his 3rd fall. We are off to see the Oncologist next week. We have to wait till the end of Nov for mums Geriatric assessment. We are in the process of getting the medical alerts pendants and also another assessment to how they are coping living in their home.

Pop is feeling weaker though, I went in yesterday and he was asleep at 10 (he wakes at 5) but normally doesn’t sleep till the afternoon. In fact sometimes when I am sitting there during the day he nods off in the chair at the kitchen table. Mum started crying, which got me going and he said he is feeling useless and weak.

Each day as it comes, that’s all I can get through and hope that he is with us for a long time to come.

 

Now just to brighten the mood a little…. Daughter # 2 has a onsey – I tried it on this morning for a giggle, so that you may too. Erm I’m a Unicorn in case you are wondering.

 

Onesy anyone

 

 

Monday to Thursday for anyone who is interested in babble

Good evening everyone out there in Blog WP land.

How are we all this evening, morning, afternoon?

It's so hard to keep track of times and days for that matter.

This is just a rambling blog post from moi.

Just because I can :-)   Ahh the freedom of speech isn't it grand ~ oops no poetry this evening.

Updates on my week - you ready? Comfy? Drink in hand be it coffee, wine or beer? Perhaps some cheese on crackers to go with that?

  • Started the juice diet for 4 days straight I drank nothing but squeezed out fruit and vegetables (my hat goes off to all you vegetarians out there by the way). Yesterday I was in a complete daze, had no idea where the day actually went, proceeding into the supermarket to top up on fruit and veg and other things. Yes, I forgot the other things - my brain was frozen in a sludge state.
  • Tonight yee ha I had a meal, I never knew how much I enjoyed the physical art of chewing! I ate some calamari and salad. Treadmill in the morning, so all will be good Weird how I felt guilty for actually eating after 4 days though.
  • No wine consumed for 4 days (I know,  how the hell did I do that) tonight I am shouting myself to a scotch with Pepsi Max (it is soooooo good) yes the treadmill will be a definite in the morning.
  • Went out twice with Pop on his scooter ~ hmm little concerned as he still doesn't look left and right before crossing the road and I think he feels as if he is still in a car to protect him a little. More practice required, more of me running or walking very fast at his side.
  • Attended a funeral on Tuesday (for learning Celebrant purposes) I did not know the deceased. 20 family members. Song being played for reflection time - wrong song. Try again - wrong song. I sat in the back row cringing, oh and taking notes.  The Celebrant though (as she told me afterwards) "It's best to stay calm when things go wrong, so the family remains calm".  Tell me if I'm wrong readers (this way I will know if you have actually read this far ) her reaction after the song not being played twice was "Right we will move onto the next part of the ceremony".  What the??? No apology for technical difficulties now we will move on??? Nothing? The service went for 20 minutes (family's instructions) but to me way too quick, no time to absorb what was happening, no speakers apart from the Celebrant. The music that the family chose for the recession (the walking out of the service) was a classical piece interspersed with quite 'bubbly' violin… not my choice AT ALL. This had to be played by the FD (that's funeral director lingo) who held a portable CD player at the back of the room. All went well till his/their recording jumped, hopped and skipped and crackled towards the end. I was mortified readers mortified! I shall do better (if I ever get a gig…(no gig isn't the right terminology is it?)
  • Lastly, I want to thank all the people that commented on My Gate is Open piece for DVerse - I am being guided and supported most admirably and for that I thank you one and all.

Okay that's it, hope I haven't bored anyone, thought I'd do it all in one blog (I so hate that word) post ~ thanks for listening..I mean reading.

Moi

xx

Sea-Change

and so I write tonight not entirely of prose, poetry, my daughters, or my Mr. S,  but of me.

I listen again to Loreena McKennitt, for after Miriam introduced me to this amazing woman, I simply cannot stop playing her. She puts me in a special place of calm and tranquility.  I need that now.

Why do I write of me tonight?  Simply because I am considering a career change and I wish to share this with you, if I may.  For those who do not know my circumstance, presently I am working at Mr. S’s work place, it was only a contract and it ceases in 2 weeks.  Then unfortunately, I am out of work.

Life has thrust quite a great deal onto me, especially over the last couple of weeks and with the sad passing of my ‘proxy mother-in-law’  (I say that with love and admiration for this beautiful lady ) as Mr S are not married,  that I have decided to venture into something completely out of the ordinary,  for me at least.  For some time over the last year,  I have contemplated leaving the office environment, the politics, simply the mundane existence of working in an office, which I have done since I was sixteen years of age.  For five years I ran my own business from home, importing electronic components from trading houses overseas, this, though profitable it had no choice but to come to end when the internet came to being (and yet it doesn’t seem that long ago).

Then again time passes so quickly as we ‘mature’ our lives seem so much shorter and I do not wish to spend eight or more hours of the day, just getting through, because I feel that is all I am competent of doing.  The older we become, the more hesitant we are in change, of trying to discover anything new about ourselves or our capabilities. When we were young the ‘world was our oyster’, the doors opened for us, if we were willing to push them.  As we get older, self confidence slides and we find not trusting ourselves, our worth, as we may have done in our youth.  It may be due to the lack of certain skills, not keeping up with technology, or simply not fitting in. A few companies over here only will hire mature aged workers (40 plus) which is comforting for those (especially mums) who wish to re-enter the work force again, to keep their brains active, to earn a little ‘pocket-money’.  Jobs as in any country however are fairly scarce here and it can take anywhere from six to twelve months to find one, then it is a matter of will we be happy in it?

I have a birthday this week, I shall turn 58, it is time for a change of direction, a sea-change as we call it (though it has nothing to do with the sea).  At the end of July I am enrolling in a two day course to be a Funeral Celebrant. This is then followed with one to two months of assignments.

The reaction I have received when I tell friends and family?  A couple have giggled, but then after a moment thinking, with serious faces have said – “You would be excellent”.  I take this on board and hope but also wonder if I would be.  The more people I tell, the reactions are nothing but positive, this is what is spurring me on.

Why do I think I should do this – could do this? My reasons are simply these.
I have empathy. I am often asked for advice. I can write. I can talk in front of people.

I wish to work with families in their time of need, to help and guide them.  Some say what a depressing role to undertake (pardon that pun) but I spoke to another Celebrant who has been conducting services (and Marriages) for 7 years.  She told me that as you don’t meet the deceased and only know of their life through photos and family, that you are able to distance your self emotionally.  I hope that is the case, like any job, a professional veil must be worn.  There can be no breaking down half way through reading in a service, control must be had at all times, with a professional and caring attitude.  My age is of benefit (for a change) I do not know (at least over here), of young people conducting funeral services.  A mature, compassionate outlook is required, something that age has given me.

This could be my calling, this could be what I am destined to do, I have looked through the foggy lens of past employment, where I have not been truly happy, I am hoping that I complete the course and then begin a new life, where the pictures are clear.

My only worry is that I need to find something to keep me going financially throughout the time, as there are many Celebrants to choose from and it is a word of mouth existence, until Funeral Directors get to know of you and have you on their ‘books’.  So I begin the search for something perhaps part-time or Agency work as I step forth into this new life. My love for writing must be in my life and writing a service and poetry and helping those in grief who need sympathy and a shoulder … how gratifying and humbling would this be.  I hope I am up for the challenge.  I thank you for reading.

Below is the poem that I wrote for Mr. S’s mum ‘Rosy’ which I read at her Funeral.

The door shall not close.

We shall not close the door, or say goodbye
we simply stand and wave
the world remains a different place
now you have stepped out from our lives

a wife, mother, grandmother and great nanny
you enriched our lives with love, with laughter
with, courage, valiantly forging on, till the
battle was lost early Saturday ‘morn

we know that you had suffered
counting minutes of your pain
though you hardly ever grumbled
this was simply, not your way

amongst the loved ones, you have
left behind, of family, treasured friends
know, that they will smile once more
but their hearts need time to mend

our thoughts will be, of who you were
the life you lived and shared
your tenacity to face your fights
and faced you did – head on

we recollect your cheery smile, your
long blonde flowing hair, your eyes
the colour of the sea; there is a name
etched in our hearts – and that is Rosemary

you have taught us how to conquer
and taught us what is brave
and this, we’ll use in our own lives
with what we do, each day

so, if, we must wave to you
as you leave this earthly coil
it is not final – nor complete
we just wish you’d stayed a while

our hands, will be held in your hands
as you journey onto rest
we love and we shall miss you Rosy
in knowing you; we were truly blessed