I’ve been spending a lot of time at Plot 44, a place where I find a lot of solace, which has been much needed in the last few months. Because it’s five months now since Rach died, and her memory is still very much with me; I hear her voice and I think about conversations we’ve had, and ones we’ll never now have. I’ve spent time making films to remember her, planted the Wollemi Pine for her, written her name on stone. For Rach.
One of the things that I am most happy about is that I took the opportunity to perform Rachel’s ‘celebration of life’ service in New Jersey. In those awful first 48 hours after I found out Rach had died, I had several Skype conversations with Gayle Sulik and when the possibility of me doing the service came up I wasn’t really sure if I could. I mean, how could I do that in my own grief? But to be asked by Rachel’s husband to do this, for her, it felt too important not to do it. And I’ve been to funerals which were OK, but not really ‘great’. I didn’t feel they ‘celebrated’ the person, they were too plain, too impersonal, and it felt wrong at those times that there wasn’t a good ‘send off’.
At the beginning of this year I’d been thinking about training to become a celebrant to perform funerals – services for life celebrations after death – in fact, exactly the sort of service we had for Rach. I’d even talked to Rach about it, she thought it was a great idea. I didn’t imagine for a moment that the first funeral I’d do would be hers. Continue reading