Diary of a Bereavement
auntyutaDiary August 9, 2012 5 Minutes
Following Gaby’s passing on Sunday, 15th July 2012, there was a viewing on Monday, 23rd July, for family and friends. We were able to take photos at the viewing.
The funeral service took place on Tuesday, 24th July, 12,30 pm, at
ROOKWOOD GARDENS CREMATORIUM, SOUTH CHAPEL.
The officiating celebrant was Michael Bourke. Michael lives in our area and came to visit us on Saturday, 21st July, to discuss with us the order of service.
Bernie, our funeral director in Sydney, organized the viewing at the funeral parlor. Daughter Caroline and Matthew had made first contacts with Bernie. Caroline took time off work that week, Matthew went back to work and also filled in for Caroline a bit. Son Martin took time off work too. He arrived from Melbourne in a hired car late on Wednesday, 18th July.
Martin drove daughters Caroline and Monika as well as Peter and myself to the funeral directors in Sydney on Thursday, 19th July, to make arrangements for the funeral. (Monika had taken time off work too.) Peter had that same day an appointment with an officer at Merrylands police station. After the consultation with Bernie for all the funeral arrangements we were on our way to Merrylands. The traffic turned out to be extremely slow moving because of an incident. So we were late getting to Merrylands. The police were very understanding. The interview with the police took about two hours. They wanted to know a lot about Gaby’s life.
By the way, on the day of Gaby’s departure Caroline and Matthew had driven us first to Merrylands West to Gaby’s house where we had a chance to talk to all the distressed carers including David. Later in the day Matthew drove us to Glebe. He had arranged that we could view Gaby’s body there at the morgue. The visit was very good for us. It gave us a chance to say properly good-bye to Gaby. A very understanding woman greeted us very respectfully. She made arrangements with Caroline to talk to her on the phone on our behalf whenever we had any questions. Caroline stayed with us at our place and was constantly doing all the necessary phone-calls for us. It was such a relief for us that she could do this. She was great in handling all the calls.
On Sunday, the 15th, when we were at Gaby’s house for an hour or so, we took some of Gaby’s photo albums along and also her computer, her digital camera and her mobile phone. The following day the police asked Peter to bring all these electronic items of Gaby’s to the next police station. At present these items are still in the hands of the police for further checking and investigation.
Early on Wednesday morning, 18th July, Ryan and Ebony had a baby boy. They called him Lucas. Ryan is one of Monika’s twins. So Monika is now a grandma. And Peter and I are great grandparents again! Our son Martin has already two grandchildren. So the family is growing. Caroline drove Peter and me to Wollongong hospital to see the new born baby boy. He was surrounded by his Mum and Dad and a number of aunties. We were all allowed to hold him. The baby was most of the time asleep and didn’t mind at all being passed from one to the other. It was a very joyous experience for all of us.
From 11,30 on people arrived at Rookwood Memorial Gardens on the day of the funeral service. The Pall Bearers were our son Martin, Monika’s partner Mark, Monika’s twins, Troy and Ryan, Carolines’s partner Matthew and Gaby’s friend Steve. Welcome by Michael Bourke, Celebrant: Tributes by Peter, Soloist Elice Craig, and a choir of carers and friends singing Amazing Grace. Next a Photographic tribute with images of Gaby: Her life, her family, her friends.
Prayers: One Hail Mary. Verse: Michael Bourke and Committal.
After the service the celebrations of Gaby’s life were to continue at Parramatta Leagues Club. We stayed there for a while for drinks and to talk to people. Some nice pizza was available too.
Caroline, with some input from Matthew, did a tremendous amount of work in assembling the photos for the photographic tribute. She also organized the printing of the cards for the funeral service. Caroline stayed with Peter and me from the 15th of July until the day of the funeral. Martin stayed with us for one whole week too, and for part of the time Matthew stayed also with us. Recently Caroline stayed with us once more for a few days to sort out things and to give us some support. We’ve been driving with Caroline to some beautiful places here in our area. A lot of these places remind us of Gaby, of course. In our home we constantly find things that remind us of Gaby. Gaby had been a very demanding person, but also very loving and caring. She made sure that we’ll never forget her.