Saying Goodbye

It was necessary, difficult, and well overdue.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

Back in January, I took A Mini Time-Out towards the end of Bloganuary while I returned to my childhood hometown to attend a memorial service for my father.

But it was not solely for my father – it was also for my mother who had passed away 27 years earlier.

On Australia Day, January 26, the anniversary of our mother’s death, when people of this beautiful country come together to celebrate our nation – or not – my siblings and I gathered at the water’s edge where the street we used to live on meets the river that dissects the city of Townsville (in Queensland).

We already had our mother’s ashes and my sister had obtained a small amount of our father’s ashes.

(I am still amazed she approached the crematorium and we were granted this.)

We combined their ashes so we could scatter them together, as one, in the water where our parents spent many happy days fishing and catching prawns. Dad would always be (overly) enthusiastic about ‘getting the boat in the water’, and mum would inevitably get a little flush of red on her skin from the Sun reflecting off the water, but we couldn’t think of a better place for them to be reunited.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

I read a poem I had written for my family more than 40 years ago.

Marie and Bill have an eldest child, Peter,
For some reason, he’s the biggest eater.
Then blessings were sent down from heaven,
Another boy, they called him Kevin.
The third child, Clare,
Was a little girl with golden hair.
Years later, Leon came to be,
He’s their boy number three.
Therese came along, a little bit late,
Between her and Leon, the years number eight.
Now there’s another girl, she’s here to stay,
The girl Kevin loves, her name is Fay.

To get your phone connected, Bill has to think,
Because at Telecom, he’s the man behind the link.
Marie is a telephonist, she does this well,
But if she’ll answer you, you never can tell.
Peter wouldn’t want a job any better,
He has fun bringing you your letter.
Kevin’s had a few jobs that weren’t any good,
But now he’s happy working with wood.
Clare’s bridge has a lot of water beneath,
And she’s the girl who looks after your teeth.
We all know Fay loves Kevin a lot,
She works at a place they call Dunlop.
We don’t know what Leon’s going to be,
And Therese is in school doing year number three.

We all live together, in a great big home,
Bill’s the one who built it – mind you, on his own.
We’ll stay together through laughter and tears,
We have done now for many, many years.
And all together we add up to eight,
But when dinner’s ready, don’t be late.
It’s just like feeding time at the zoo,
And there’s only six chairs – we need another two!

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

I was choked up before I started reading this poem. I became more choked up as I read it out loud, remembering happier times when we were all much younger, living in the house our father built. I was almost overcome by my emotions, and rightfully so, I am a big softy.

But we all laughed at the memories I’d captured in those words with their wonky metre.

And so, it was the responsibility of our eldest brother, Peter, to scatter our parent’s ashes.

As he did so he said:

“Well, mum and dad, back together again.

May you both find peace.”

I’d purchased a bouquet of lilies without paying much attention to it, and yet it was perfect as we each had one lily to toss into the water as we said our farewells and wished our parents that peaceful rest we believe they deserve.

Our parents were married on April 30, 1960.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was deliver the eulogy and say goodbye to our mother 27 years ago when she died suddenly. Life seemed so surreal at the time. And, as hard as that was, it was equally as hard coming to terms with the circumstances surrounding and following our father’s passing away.

All that pain was bubbling just beneath the surface and it was difficult, to say the least, to say goodbye to both of them.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

This was my response to the Daily Prompt . . .

Describe the last difficult “goodbye” you said.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

7 thoughts

  1. Saying goodbye after a sudden loss is hard. But I’ve also had to say a final goodbye before a loved one died and that was hard too. Basically, that final goodbye just plain sucks. Sending virtual hugs

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your thoughts . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s