Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Farewell Surrey

Thank you to all those who helped make Surrey's funeral such a moving event. At the end of the day which did not really end till about 5 pm I breathed a sigh and said to my cousin staying with me 'What a great day!' How can you say that about the day of your husband's funeral? However, it really was! He would have enjoyed it all. There were plenty of tears but also lots of laughter and people had plenty of time to catch up with those they may not have seen for many years.

The flowers on the coffin were magnificent - grasses and water lilies! Gathered the day before and even that morning by a few gallant botanical people and displayed in a beautiful wreath. Thank you Karen for managing that and thank you to all those who were part of that process, I don't even know some of you.

Andrew (our minister at St Cuthbert's) led a beautiful service. Thank you Andrew for weaving such a beautiful story, so meaningful to all present.

Ellen (on behalf of the family) and Karen (on behalf of the botanical community) both gave very moving eulogies. Geoff and Rod and Ellen compiled music and slides to remind us all of Surrey's lovely smile and 'crinkly blue eyes'.

Ellen and I produced the order of service leaflet (even misspelling Surrey's middle name Laurence after at least six edits) and Andrew organised the readings and printing of the leaflet. We have some over and will be sending them to those we know would have been there if they could. If you would particularly like one please email me.

Thank you Robyn and Ken for your readings.

White Lady Funerals ensured that the whole program flowed seamlessly.

Friends from St Cuthberts managed the morning tea wonderfully (especially when we had about 250 people to serve to). Thank you to Betty S, Ken, Robyn, Suzanne, Joy, and thank you also to Betty H and Joy C for the flowers in the church. They were beautiful.

Thank you Pauline, Rod and Ellen for sourcing all the drinks and food. Thank you also to those quiet little elves who supplied sandwiches. I don't even know who you were!

Then there was the gathering at our home of all those in the hall when clearing up began. There was more laughter, tears and chatter for some hours. We had various transport runs that left at intervals throughout the afternoon - airport, Hurstville station, Merrylands, Bondi Junction. Thanks to those who took care of all the drinks, lunch, transport, watering of flowers and garden, air conditioning ... Thank you to Leonie for being my shadow and ensuring that things happened smoothly at home both before and after the funeral.

Thank you also to all those who have supported Surrey and I throughout the year with emails, blog comments, cards, letters, flowers, donations to various charities, visits, prayers, special personal ceremonies in distant places, food parcels and company. I love you all for your kindness. Surrey, to the end, was gob-smacked by the thoughtfulness of you all as was I.

Thank you all for the large and small parts you played in celebrating Surrey's life!


Anonymous said...

As you say Betty, it was a great day in so many ways, just as Surrey was a great person and personality in so may ways. He would have been extremely happy with the order of service and the great party afterwards. Andrew's message was very appropriate and reflected exactly Surrey's kindness and mentoring of so many people in a gentle, yet firm, manner. He espoused a common sense attitude on most issues, much lacking in these days of political correctness. We are all missing him already.

Love Bryan,Pam and family

Laura Mabberley said...

Hi Betty

We only recently learnt of Surrey's passing, and were very saddened.
Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Laura Mabberley

Tim said...

I have only just come across this news, and I'm very sad to hear it.

I have fond memories of guitar lesson and cub scout days in which he was certainly a influential figure, and from reading through your family's blogs it appears that he never ceased to be an inspiration.

My thoughts to you all, Tim Gould