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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Funeral hilarity- When sad times go bad.

I have to go to a funeral tomorrow.

The last one I went to was my Grandfather's. I don't remember much of it as I've done the healthy thing of totally blocking it out emotionally.

Funerals are like stepping into a grief matrix, an emotional vortex that swings from the tragic to the hilarious, hanging on the edge of a cliff with nothing but fairy floss to hold on to.

What I mean by that is everything and everyone is bloody fragile. You don't want things fucking up at a funeral and by rights they should. Usually they don't. But, they should. Think about it: very sad people planning things while probably numbing the pain with medication and or alcohol handing over large sums of money just wanting it to be over and classy at the same time. RECIPE. FOR. DISASTER.

On the odd occasion that I hear about "funeral mishaps - when sad times go bad", I laugh. Hard.

It's probably the wrong response but sometimes, when I have the choice of laughing or crying I go down the laughing route to survive the situation.

Bodies falling out of coffins, people sitting through the wrong service and only realising half way through, hungover grandchildren spewing during the service, wife throwing herself in the grave after her husband was lowered into the ground (I witnessed this, at the time it was atrociously sad. Now-HILARIOUS.)

Because funerals are such sombre occasions and everyone wants to do the right things by the dead guy/girl's family a collective breathe holding takes place. Everyone just prays that it all goes off without anymore pain coming to those suffering.

Well, my husband and I had our own little funeral mistep that I thought I would share with you all.

It's a quick one.

A week ago, I got myself up, found my designated "funeral dress" and ironed my husband's shirt like the good and dutiful wife I am. We got the children off to school and drove down to Sandrigham for we were to say goodbye to Scott's baseball mentor Jack. Jack had inspired and supported my husband through out his entire baseball career and Scott was very sad at his passing. The funeral was going to be huge as he helped out many athletes and families in Victorian baseball.

We steeled ourselves emotionally for what was to come, we both knew it would be sad and so we sat in silence on the ride down preparing for the mood that the funeral would bring with it.

As we arrived at the Church I noticed there were only a few cars there. "Strange" I remarked.. Jack had many friends and had touched the lives of countless people so I had been expecting a bigger turn out.
Instantly and pointlessly I felt bad for Jack (shut up I know he is dead and his feelings aren't there to be hurt by the small amount of people at his funeral- but I still felt bad.)

Scott and I got out of the car, I helped him put on his suit jacket and picked some lint off his shoulder. We looked into each others eyes, I gave him my best supportive wife smile.. Just a hint of warmth, loads of sincerity and a smattering of "here if you need mate."

We held hands as we walked towards the church..

Scott opened the door for me and as I turned around and took in the scene before me I noticed something rather odd about Jack's funeral.

It wasn't there.

A confused looking priest approach us and asked is he could help.

I said: "We are here for Jack's funeral."

To which he replied: "You're early, a week early. Jack's funeral is next Friday."

YES. YEP. YES. EVERYTHING YOU ARE THINKING NOW, JUST YES.

Scott had got the dates wrong.

I thanked the priest, took my exhausted, embarrassed, confused husband's hand said "not to worry we'll just do it all again next week" and headed back to the car.

So, tomorrow we do it all again.

I know, hilarious.

Go ahead.

You can laugh now.

Hard.






Monday, February 6, 2012

The kindness of humans.. In particular Tim Minchin.

 It's no secret that I am often bitterly disappointed by the way humans behave, not today my friends.

 Not. Today.

I am an ambassador for a magnificent charity called Strike a Chord For Children. Basically they provide musical instruments, lessons and experiences for children who are disadvantaged, seriously ill or recovering from serious illness. Often times music is the only thing these small humans can manage as it gives so much back to them and expects nothing in return.

If you'd like more info please visit the website here: Strike a chord for children.

Today I had the absolute privilege of escorting a little friend of mine Hamish, to meet his musical idol: Tim Minchin.

Hamish has had a particularly tough year fighting cancer and at the age of 5 has been through more pain and distress than most of us will see in a life time but my GOD this kid had spunk. He is also loving, giving, trusting, smart and generous with his sprit. Five minutes after meeting him I was in love.

While Hamish was receiving treatment at The Royal Children's he discovered the musical genius that is Mr Tim Minchin.

Everyday on his iPad he would play Tim's concerts over and over again singing loudly and laughing at Tim's unusual and hilarious lyrics. Tim has a song called "Dark Side" which particularly resonated with 5 year old Hamish! He explained he too has a dark side sometimes.. ( I think it's safe to say he broke cute with that statement.)  Here it is if you aren't familiar with it: Dark Side by Tim Minchin

I met Hamish out the front of the Palace theatre in St Kilda where Tim is playing his sold out shows tonight and tomorrow night. Hamish had on his best white dress shirt, snappy jeans and rad white Nike kicks.. I was in the process of being hugged and high fived when up behind Hamish appeared the strapping red head himself ; Tim Minchin.

Hamish was beside himself, Tim lifted him in the air and embraced him in a good 3 minute hug (cue Em and Hamish's Mother crying.)

Tim took Hamish inside the theatre where the Melbourne Symphony orchestra where setting up for his sound check. He carried Hamish around the entire venue introducing him to the crew and other musicians. I felt so much gratitude and admiration for Minchin I thought my heart may burst. He was so wonderful and generous with Hamish we were all moved to tears.

The thing is, today I was reminded how people can be good and kind. I forget that sometimes when I'm wrapped up in the negative vortex that is my brain.

Tim Minchin you're a bloody good egg.

To the people at Strike a Chord for Children, what you provide these kids is such a magical gift, bless all of your cotton socks for making it happen. I feel so lucky to be allowed to play a small part in it.

I didn't write this piece to promote the work I do, I'm not a particularly good and charitable person! I freely admit I am an ambassador for pretty selfish reasons.

I feel good seeing the happiness on the kids faces, I am reminded to get out of my own head and small problems and focus on someone else who is doing far tougher than I.

Helping them helps me.

Here is Hamish and Tim.. I know right, BEST EVER..



Here is Hamish, Tim and I.




That's all I really wanted to say today, I hope you're all well.

Speak soon,

Em x