Yesterday I took my Nana to a funeral, not only because I didn’t want her to attend alone, but because I wanted to do the right thing and pay my respects to both the fallen and her family. Not to compare anyone’s departure from this life as less significant than another’s, but this was a lady whose sudden passing sent shockwaves through the small community we call home. St Francis Xavier Church was packed to capacity in what could only be described as an outpouring of both grief and love, from everyone this woman had touched in her lifetime. From the immediate family and friends, to the students whom she had taught to respect the ivory keys of her first love – piano, to people like my Nana who simply knew her as a lady in her swimming class, the feeling in this house of God was palpable.
As I sat there listening to her children condense their mother’s life story into a heart warming yet brief tale, I felt oddly surreal. Standing before me were clearly devastated people, trying to come to terms with the completely unexpected exit of their mother. How do you go to sleep one day and wake up the next without your parent? How do you put aside all those dreams of introducing your own children one day to your mother? How do you suddenly go from being able to call her for advice from anything to cooking, washing and shitty colleagues, to having to pause for a second and wonder who you can call instead? These children of hers were incredible, having the strength to stand there in front of a packed Church and recount happy memories of times with their mother. Put aside their grief and try, try so hard to focus on the positives. It really made me stop and think about the uncertainty of life, and how important it is to cherish all those small insignificant moments. The nights spent inside cooking, laughing together and sharing a bottle of wine. The moments of frustration when you stub your toe, or your puppy chews another shoe. This is life, every single day that passes we are another step closer to our own exit from the world, and I sure as hell don’t want to miss a thing.