Friday, July 30, 2010


Today I went to a funeral. The third funeral that I’ve attended in my 31 years. I am thankful that I have not had to attend more.
I was nervous about going to the funeral of my primary school teacher. I thought it might be strange for me to be there, that I might be intruding on a private family moment. I had reassurance from a friend that all would be well, that we would just stay at the back, pay our respects and be off.
The funeral of this 49 year old woman, taken too soon from her young family, from the community that loved her and that she gave so much to, was full of love. Love and sadness.The main floor, the mezzanine level and the foyer were full of people there to celebrate her life. I listened as her husband and friend took turns to share memories, and watched as her children sang Amazing Grace. I was reminded of my school days and the creative, caring, fun and inspired teacher that she was.
I walked past that heavy wooden box, trying not to think of my teacher, their mother, his wife, inside. I placed a flower on top of many others, and left a card with a few words for her family. A few words to let them know what she had meant to me, and hope that it gave them some comfort to know that she was so appreciated.
I hugged my childhood Best Friend. The one that I shared heart shaped pendants and secrets with. We knew that she would be happy that we had found each other again (in real life, and not just on Facebook). We talked for a long time afterwards, sharing our own memories of that favourite teacher and rediscovering each others lives as proper grown ups. It won’t be the last time that we meet, but hopefully next time it will be without such sadness.
I am so happy that I go to say goodbye properly, and that Miss C got to share one last piece of wisdom with me in the form of this poem. Read it carefully and feel the weight of each word.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.


  1. I still have that heart shaped pendant along with so many wonderful memories. You are right, it wont be the last time we meet xxxx
    Miss C would have been happy to see us meet again today, she is such an inspiration. I came home and hugged my children a little bit tighter today.
    RIP Sue Rapson

  2. That poem is fantastic - i'm going to steal it, perhaps for my blog.
    Cyber hugs for you today if you need them Kylie...


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