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Trevor Hayley - Funeral Civil Celebrant
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Warm and personalised memorials for loved ones
Warm and personalised memorials for loved ones

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BECAUSE OF DEATH, WE APPRECIATE LIFE #24

As humans, then fact that life has an end is not something we like talking about, which is quite understandable.

It can all be quite solemn at the bedside of someone who is dying. These are poignant moments, and times which we would much rather not engage in. But we do, as this is what love requires. It is one of those complex things.

But there are things that we can do, rather than just sitting there. Read from a newspaper or a book, do a crossword together, check the footy or other sports scores, hold the person's hand, help them write a letter, light some incense or a candle, play some music the person will like, tell a joke of funny story, and in all things don't overstay your welcome. And bring in some comfortable clothes, as hospital ones are not that great.

I have seen very decorated rooms, picture brought on, artwork by grandchildren, hospital staff wearing tiaras. If the dying person requests something out of the ordinary, try and make it happen.
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FUNERAL CELEBRANT MUSIC QUIPS #120 - Captain and Tennille

This husband and wife duo took the world by storm with 'Love will keep us together' in the 70's and went on to record a few other albums. They had a marriage that survived for 30 years or so, but because of illness ended in separation, although they are still on speaking terms. Both good musicians in their own right, touring with the Beach Boys.

One of the lines I love in this song goes something like "when you are getting older, who will still be turning you on. I will!!" I love it when couples talk so fondly, when life cannot exist without the other.

Also in this world where love is reduced to 'sexual' terms, it is nice to hear of a song that takes love to a new level, where relationship is the most important thing. I think of a funeral I performed where the couple were married for 68 years, many around the 40 to 50 years. Through the highs and lows of relationships their love has endured, survived and deepened by doing life together.

We have much to learn from a marriage of 50 years. So much wisdom and learning to impart. Enjoy this clip, and if you were around in the 70's I trust the song brings back fond memories, as I am sure that it does for Captain and Tennille.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QNEf9oGw8o
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BECAUSE OF DEATH, WE APPRECIATE LIFE #23

As humans, then fact that life has an end is not something we like talking about, which is quite understandable.

Social media creates an interesting issue. How do you stop someone's account when they have died, when we don't have the passwords?Fortunately there are businesses that can help, just look them up.

But it could come a time, that there are more people dead on Social Media, than alive. As family members, what do we do with the posts? What about if that person is 'tagged' by someone who has not caught up with the death. It is a new world that is for sure.

There could be a reluctance to stop the account, as there could be videos and thoughts that we can look back on, and further rekindle memories. Is it healthy to keep looking back? That is probably an answer that each of us will need to come to in our own time. These are uncharted waters.

But there is an essence, that although our physical presence has gone, that there are a increasingly number of ways that we can live on in other ways. I am just not quite sure who grief fits into this all, and whether this can become disrupted. Would love your thoughts and comments.
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FUNERAL CELEBRANT MUSIC QUIPS #119 - Andre Rieu 'Adagio'

Not so much a focus on the artist today, although he is a wonderful entertainer, but the piece that he so beautifully plays in today's clip.

I don't know it you have seen the Pixar movie 'Inside Out' about emotions as characters, where it was not joy that connected, but sadness that resolved the girl's emotions.

It may have been 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, since the death occurred, but something just happens to trigger a sad day. "I don't want to be happy today, I just want to be sad." That is quite OK, and important with grieving. Be kind to yourself. There is no rhyme or reason to grief. It just is.

Enter this beautiful piece today, Adagio, from Baroque Composer (although there is some debate) Tomaso Albinoni, interpreted so well by Andre Rieu. It is a hauntingly beautiful piece, that may be just the music you need to hear today. It looks like it is being performed live here as well. Goes for around 6 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hGc263GR1I
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BECAUSE OF DEATH, WE APPRECIATE LIFE #22

As humans, then fact that life has an end is not something we like talking about, which is quite understandable.

If you are caring for a loved one who is a dying than can often be a number of conversations from folk about how things are. If this is becoming a bit too much, why not use the answering machine, or private social media, to provide updates. It may save a lot of repetition which can be tiring. Sometime to care, we need to be kind to ourselves.

Something practical and nice too. There are massage therapists who massage people who are dying. It can bring great relief to the person, and be a really practical way of showing care. It is a way of conversation opening up, and in these moments some real connections can be made. Massage does not just have to be for the healthy.
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FUNERAL CELEBRANT MUSIC QUIPS #118 - The Byrds

I trust you are all having a good Easter. I first came across this band from the 60s with 'Mr Tambourine Man' but it is their song 'Turn Turn Turn' that takes the attention of this post. Consider the opening lyrics:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

It goes on to look at life's journey in a philosophical matter, concluding that everything has its time. We, as humans strive for survival, thinking that life will always go on, but at the end, it doesn't, which is a sobering, and somewhat uncomfortable thought.

But it could be that when our bodies, or those of our elderly loved ones, give up, and there are more and more complications, sometimes the 'time' for life is over. It can be the kindest, and most peaceful release of all. The pain and frustration comes to an end.

As to what may or may not come after, I will leave that mystery up to you. Enjoy and reflect on the clip, which came from a Byrds reunion concert.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2opMdg07ioI
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FUNERAL CELEBRANT MUSIC QUIPS #117 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Classical Period genius that composed over 100 works, including, symphonies, concertos and operas. He was born in 1756 and died in 1791, at only 35 years of age.

Genius is a bit of an understatement. There is probably no other composer with his influence; his works paving the way for the more expressive Romantic Period, as well as entertaining millions through the ages.

How does it feel, when someone with so much promise dies? It seems such a waste of life, there would have been so much if the life was longer. The issue is, that no matter how much we ask it, there is no answer to the 'why' question. There just is no answer, but it is a question, that us as humans, need, to make sense of what happened. I can only feel for Mozart's family, as they tackled the same questions.

Enjoy the Prelude to one of his operas, The Marriage of Figaro. It is only four minutes or so, but check out the size of the orchestra, so wonderfully led by Leonard Bernstein. Classical music at its best, and my tribute to the genius that was, and is, Mozart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsk70zWGZyY
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BECAUSE OF DEATH, WE APPRECIATE LIFE #21

As humans, then fact that life has an end is not something we like talking about, which is quite understandable. Interesting funerals from the famous:

Jim Henson's (The Muppets) funeral was a joyous send off. Everyone was forbidden to wear black and Big Bird sang Kermit's (who also died) song 'Its not easy being green' (see video). The memorial service was closed with a medley of songs from the Muppet Choir.

Salvador Dali's resting place was his last work of art. He was buried beneath the floor of the Teatro-Museo Dali in Figueras, Spain, under an enormous nude of his wife, Gala. Pallbearers and museum guards wore uniforms especially designed by Dali for the occasion. Embalmers claim that his body would last 300 years.

350 million watch Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965.
2 billion watch Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.

Although Mao Zedong's wish was for cremation, he was embalmed like other great communist leaders, Lenin and Stalin, and placed in a glazed mausoleum. Every night an elevator lowers his body into a temperature controlled basement.

50,000 followed the mule drawn cart of Martin Luther King to the gravesite. His headstone reads 'Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty free at last.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrZyMptC2eQ
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