eulogies in the shower


My sanctuary is the shower…I can burn myself with the hottest water, lean against the tiles and do all of the thinking I need to do (usually with the light off which drives my husband bonkers). When I worked as a counsellor I used to say to the mums that were worried about puffy, sobbing eyes that they should focus on doing all their crying in the shower because a) no one could hear you b) if you splashed your face with cold water the bags under your eyes would vanish and c) it  might be the only time you legitimately get to yourself everyday. People loved this idea, I seriously thought I should do a community service announcement it was like I was a beauty consultant and grief counsellor all rolled into one big dash of red hair.

Edenland posted a piece the other week about your funeral song. The song you envisaged that would be played when people came to celebrate your life….now before I explain my idea Id just like to state that I have no wish to harm anyone. Just saying it. You never know whose reading your blog. Do you?

I confess that when Im in the shower some of the thinking I do is about funerals. Not about my funeral but about people that have left a scar on my soul. I think about what would happen if they werent around, how I’d react, if Id sob, or look blank or just silently give a little thanks to the man upstairs. I think about the chic black dress Id wear, with big sunglasses that covered most of my face, hell in some daydreams Im wearing gloves and carrying a little clutch (maybe I get this daydream confused with the one where I am Audrey Hepburn??). The key to my daydream is the eulogy…Im a big one for speeches. I loved talking at my wedding, I made sure I weaved my story around the central figures in my life slowly ending up at my daughter and then my lovely husband sitting in front of me. Anyways…back to the eulogy (which should never be confused with a wedding speech)

I usually craft the speech with some background music, a bit of coldplay ‘fix you’ or Adele ‘someone like you’ and then I begin. I pay particular attention on the purpose of the talk – a way to capture the true essence of the person, the highlights, the lowlights and all the spaces in between. I stay strong, I don’t cry, I keep eye contact with the (imaginery) people in the congregation and I tell the truth because when in your life can you truly tell the truth about someone? When they’re gone you can speak with integrity and honesty and without fear of retribution or anger…

The end of the song, the end of the speech or the end of the hot water usually finishes my daydream…I remembered thinking that this was an odd way to view trauma and upset in your life but in talking to close friends the gentle art of a good meander through your mind (in the safety of your own bathroom) is good for the soul and good for a bit of truth telling – well it is for me…

The Kings (and cherubs)

Some times I just dont get it. And by it I mean life. I dont understand why some people have to face so many heartaches and so many challenges. I was reading Naomi’s blog the other day and noticed a few people talking about Lisa King, so I jumped over to her blog and was struck by the beautiful picture of her with her husband and her four kids on the beach. I used to work with families who had littlies with disabilities – Id help out during arsenic hour with cleaning and dinner and baths and books. It was probably the most useful two hours of my day. Having kids of my own makes me remember those little families even more because my kids are healthy and well and yet I still struggle some days.

Lisa lost her husband Aaron last week, four months after she lost her 10 year old son Noah. In the blink of an eye he was gone and she has been writing and I guess wrestling with the reality of that moment in time ever since. She takes beautiful photos and has been recording the time since Aaron died for both herself and her three boys. One of the images was of her holding her husbands hand during her last visit to the funeral home the day before the service. I wept as I read her thoughts and I wondered how after years of parenting kids together how she would curl up in bed at night without the warmth of her husband beside her.

Naomi put out a call to other people who read her blog as so many wanted to help but didnt know how…in the week of collecting, the figure has skyrocketed showing that the urge we all have to help is so strong.

I often wonder when stuff happens how is the best way to help, the money, the thoughts, the food…they all help in some ways but I guess that stirring inside us to cry tears for people we will never meet is the most amazing part because it shows that you dont have to live next door to create a sense of community – caring can be done from afar.

Jump over here if you want to donate but also send your thoughts – it could happen to anyone, but how sad that it had to happen to her, again.