The Rare Moments

There are rare moments in life that truly take our breath away. Fortunately for me, as a celebrant I am truly blessed to witness many of these moments. I want to share with you, one of those occasions, at a funeral I recently conducted…

A fellow spoke for a few minutes, of his lifelong mate. In front of a very distraught family as you can well imagine.

He pulled out a crumpled scrap of paper from his crumpled black slacks and in a few short sentences honoured his mate.

He took a deep breath and wiped his wrinkly face. Tears started to roll down from his strained eyes. He ran his weather beaten hand with the tips of his finger nails full of dirt, through his untidy grey thinning hear.

He could not talk any more as the memory and love of his lifelong friend was front and centre on his mind. As he looked at his mates coffin.

A life time of adventure and fun was rolling through his mind, beginning with being privates together in the Vietnam war. The looked after each other and got home safely. Then best man at each other’s wedding. Then caring for each other’s children and then years farming no more than 5 miles apart.

They were true kindred spirits.

Never a crossed word or a raised finger in anger to each other or their families. Mates for over 60 years.

While this man stood in front of family and friends and he could see his mates treasures on his coffin. His coffee cup , all chipped and stained, his old dry as a bone, it had bit missing from years of wear, also his favourite pair of RM Williams. His every day ones, they would be 25 years old. They looked like his mate would step right into them, right then. He had been wearing them only a couple of days ago.

He could not say any more words to honour and farewell his lifelong mate, he realised at that moment, the true value of friendship that was born out of listening to each other’s dreams and living each other’s dreams.

He had found his provenance at that very moment.
The true value of a lifelong friend and the love and respect of a mate.
That moment transformed the speaker into something beyond himself.

Confronting loss the meaning of life changes. Searching for meaning and purpose leave us wandering and bewildered. What was ordinary yesterday becomes precious today. What was precious yesterday seems dull and lustreless. What we liked becomes uninteresting, what we loved becomes everything.

As a celebrant, It is a privilege to witness such heartfelt moments, and a honour to provide a rite of passage among friends and family who witness to these open, heartfelt, precious moments. Each life story unique, and my privilege to share…