Here is the speech I gave for Mum.
|It is extremely difficult to not only focus on deep sorrow, the shattering feelings of losing Mum far too early. Perhaps one possible path is to try to live like Mum did. Because despite the current devastation we all feel, we can feel uplifted by Mum’s life and how she lived. We heard about her extraordinary life and adventures today, and I’d like to talk a bit about the ‘how’.|
|Recent text messages from Mum in 2023:|
– Bring on 2023, strong & invincible, thumbs up, much love, …
– All good here, lots of thunder & rain, …
– Hi darling, we’re going good, lovely day, …
– We’re having a good time, … watched the footy last night, great finish!
– Hi darling boy, we’re going good, having beautiful weather, warm and sunny, nice!,
…I think we can hear a pattern here. Mum loved life, always having fun, always positive, always concocting some future travel adventures. She managed to fit this in and around determinedly sampling garlic prawns and bubbles across Australia and the Adelaide Hills. Hanging out with friends and family, she is loved across Australia, reaching as far as Chicago. Her photos always show her smiling and laughing, welcoming everyone. Unless that is you were a dickhead at which point you were labeled a ‘DH’.! A phrase heard often from her, particularly recently: “How Lucky Are We?”, perhaps accompanied with a small, defiant thumbs up…
In summary, a bit like the old WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets, I’d like to think WWMD, What Would Mum Do. The answer, with rare exception, would be to be positive, plan and have as much fun as possible, and simply enjoy each day. Knowing now and then that Mum was one in a million, a true shining light in a sometimes, gloomy world.
|Mum left us with one joke and one piece of profound wisdom right at the end:|
”…, How are you today Mum?” –> “Better than a couple of days ago and you can stick that in your pipe and smoke it!”.
“…, Andrew will be here in a bit” –> “Well, I hope he doesn’t cook us any of that bloody Tofu!”
Lastly, to quote parts of a recent Nick Cave letter:
If we do not attend to the work of projecting delight upon the world, what are we actually doing? If we do not look for joy, search for it, reach deep for it, what are we saying about the world?
Are we saying that malevolence is the routine stuff of life, that oppression and corruption and degradation is the very matter of the world? That we greet each day with suspicion, bitterness and contempt? …
For me, to strive toward joy has become a calling and a practice. It is carried out with the full understanding of the terms of this hallowed and harrowed world. I pursue it with an awareness that joy exists both in the worst of the world and within the best, and that joy, flighty, jumpy, startling thing that it is, often finds its true voice within its opposite. Joy sings small, bright songs in the dark — these moments, so easily disregarded, so quickly dismissed, are the radiant points of light that pierce the gloom to give validation to the world. … joy exists as a bright, insistent spasm of defiance within the darkness of the world. Seek it. It is there.