AFL grand final, ancestral burial ground, Care Bear, coffee habit, cold turkey, cremation, funeral, graveside service, green tea, Mantra, tombstones
The funeral was nicer than I expected. For one thing, the wild wind, rain and hail held off til later in the day (just in time for the AFL grand final, hehe!).
Sure it was cold, and definitely surreal. I’ve never been to a graveside service before… and the cemetery itself was weird.
Sort of a bad clash between the old and the new, what with 70’s style concrete graves, modern standardised tombstones towering over others, with their gold lettering on black stone, all looking the same except for the family name emblazoned at the front. And everything from Greek Orthodox to Catholic, Presbyterian and Church of England graves. All hanging out next to each other rather peacefully, in a way they probably wouldn’t if still alive.
And hey, little did I know that several generations of my maternal family line are buried there, including my grandfather, great-grandparents, great aunt and uncle and several others. A modern ancestral burial ground. Go figure.
Have to say, while holding my mantra and cuddling my niece, I was thinking how glad I am that my post-life plans are for cremation. All this space taken up by the deceased and expensive monuments to the past… just doesn’t work for my sensibilities.
Also, more people showed than we expected. Some of Margaret’s fellow housemates and carers turned up. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, nieces, my paternal uncle, and get this, the Yeti (aka my rarely seen brother)… okay, he did skedaddle before the service ended but hey, it’s a show up.
I couldn’t find a nice enough looking toy cat, so I’d bought a little purple Care Bear finger puppet. My niece and I placed the bear amongst several wreaths that would eventually cover Margaret’s coffin which, for the service, hovered over the open grave containing her parents – she’d outlived them both by a good ten years or so.
Mum gave a lovely eulogy for Margaret, reminding us all of her playful nature, so it was in the end, a good service.
And we threw Narties into the grave, instead of flowers.
Later, I went to my sister’s place to paint, dance and generally have a little fun.
By the time I got home around 8pm, I had a raging headache which settled in for the rest of the weekend. But then it hit me… been having these headaches nearly every weekend lately. What was the common thread?
This naughty, naughty writer has been indulging in a coffee-a-day habit for about twelve months now (any more than one a day and I climb the walls). But on weekends I tend not to bother. It’s a workday habit. And actually, I didn’t drink coffee at all for many years because I’d read enough to understand what a powerful and damaging drug it is.
But then the lovely soothing latte aroma seduced me once again… doh! And now it seems, I’m getting coffee withdrawal symptoms when I go without for a day or two.
In my view, that means it has to go. No more once-a-day-lattes during the week. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, its feeling penned in by my own habits!
So I’ve gone cold turkey and I’m now on Day 4 of no coffee. I still drink green tea which has a teensy amount of caffeine, but nothing that’s gonna give me a case of the jitters, like a latte does.
Monday’s headaches were as bad as the weekend ones, but today (Tuesday) I’m feeling kinda okay again. Just need to keep hydrated to stay on top of it all.
There’s been so much going on, it’s been kinda hard to keep up with myself. But I’m hanging in there… more stories soon!
Svasti — I’ve been to four funerals in my life and they’ve all been surreal, so far removed from the life of the person being memorialized. It sounds like this was a fitting ceremony, even if a little strange (the ground, the space being taken up by gravesites. It always seems strange to me, anyway). Nice to remember Margaret with Smarties and a toy cat.
I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve visited here!
I love that you went back and celebrated in a way appropriate to her memory! paint and dance. wonderful 🙂
I also admire you for leaving coffee off in your life! seriously. Good luck to you! 🙂
No coffee? WOW! That’s hard core. I’m in awe of that type of will power (and I write that staring at my empty 16 ounce cup-o-joe).
I’m left contemplating…
Sounds like a good way to pay tribute to Margaret’s life. The Narties and finger puppet were a nice touch.
@Jennifer – Good to see you here, but don’t worry about how long its been!!
I’ve been to about four or five as well. And yeah, they *are* all surreal. But this one, or at least the cemetary’s lack of visual style really offended me. A little, anyway.
@EcoYogini – Yeah I guess we did, but then, I was also entertaining my little niece. Who loves all those things too. Coffee seriously has to go when its causing physical withdrawal symptoms!
@Christa – Well, I’ve never had a heavy coffee drinking habit, which I think, helps. But also I don’t have an addictive personality. Or, I do, but then I can decide “that’s it” and make changes when needed. Thankfully!
@tricia – It wasn’t so bad in the end. In fact, except for the seriously bad visuals in the cemetary’s design, it was kinda ok.
No coffee!! Are you mad??