Celebrating Our Mothers

By: Matt Weedon - Tobin Brothers Funerals
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mother’s Day this year was a special day for me, especially now my kids are growing up and can appreciate her too, as “Yay Nana” I think that’s her name because they never just say Nana. When they learn they’re going to visit her, their response is always Yay! Nana! In their eyes she is the bearer of sweet things, exciting games and handmade gifts and having recently moved into a “retirement resort”, access to a heated swimming pool and private cinema has boosted her status into the stratosphere.

Visiting Mum on Mother’s Day is great…it’s just getting there that’s the problem.

Each year I quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) grumble about preparing the kids, loading them into the car, packing their bags with enough stuff to cover every conceivable scenario (and even some inconceivable ones), scrambling to buy a half way decent bunch of flowers, before heading across the city in bumper to bumper traffic.

However, this year was different. This year, I was able to reflect on how lucky I and my family were to still have Mum to visit and enjoy this day and many others with her. It wasn’t until I attended one of the Tobin Brothers Funerals Mother’s Day services, that the enormity of not having your Mum in your life anymore really hit home.

Although the services were designed to bring comfort to people and allow a space for them to honour their Mother or loved one during a time that can often amplify feelings of grief and sadness, I think it also provided them something unexpected – a sense of ritual and connection.

One lady actually stood up at the end to thank Tobin Brothers and offer her heart felt appreciation for the opportunity to reflect on her Mother in a space with other people sharing similar experiences and feelings.

It was moving to witness many families placing photographs of their Mums and loved ones in the beautifully decorated space at the front of the Chapel. Candles, lights, a pond and layered greenery came together as a shrine and emphasised the significance of the service and its purpose.

Michael Lynch guided the guests, allowing them to reflect and at times talk about the loved ones they were honouring that night. Lighting candles and placing them in the pond was well received by all the guests, and I noticed there was a great deal of respect given to each other’s space and time to complete the ritual.

The music performed by Soul Chic filled the room with warmth, moving some people to tears. Others, especially during a unique but brilliant performance of “Over the Rainbow”, engaged more with their family, perhaps as it’s such a familiar song and inspires hope. 

I think everybody left the service feeling better than when they arrived. They all seemed to walk more freely and talk with larger smiles to each other. Most stayed back and enjoyed the refreshments and company before leaving with some seeds of “forget me not” flowers to plant in memory of their loved ones.

I hope to be part of the Mother’s Day services again next year. It’s good to take a moment and slow down to reflect on those you love, appreciate them and how much they enrich your life.

Written by: Matt Weedon, Tobin Brothers Funerals

Photography by: Matt Weedon, Tobin Brothers Funerals

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Say It Now Week "Appreciation"

One of the very great sadness’s associated with the sudden death of a family member or close friend can, for the bereaved, be the lingering anguish and heartache associated with their not having to...

Six Songs That “Say It Now”

We Australians have always been a stoic lot - most of us are well-practiced in keeping emotions to ourselves. I often get the impression that Aussies of a certain age would rather have a tooth pull...

Prostate Cancer Breakthrough

  "Together in Discovery and Care" is the theme for the 19th Asia-Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference taking place in Brisbane from the 22-25 August 2018. Prostate cancer is the most c...

Valda Twaddle Trust Awards 2017

In 2006 I received a telephone call from Perry Westons Lawyers regarding funds that were bequeathed to me.  I made an appointment to attend their offices and in doing so I learnt that Valda Tw...

Cultural Diversity Week : Premier's Gala 2018

Tobin Brothers Funerals is honored to have over 200 wonderful staff from a diverse range of cultures and religions who together can speak 28 different languages. This year we’re once again proud to...

Funerals Are Too Important To Leave To Just Anyone

As Managing Director of Australia’s largest owned family funeral company, Tobin Brothers Funerals, I would like to make the following comments on the widely reported alleged coffin swapping by Hart...

Art For The Heart 2017

“Wonderful, Emotive, Beautiful, Inspirational!  I come every year and wouldn’t miss it.” Effusive acclamation from some of the many visitors to Tobin Brothers Funerals annual Art for the H...

The Life Celebration of Daniel Harkins

On 18th June 2017, Daniel John Edward Harkins was returning from Bairnsdale after a race meeting when he stopped to assist a car that had run off the road between Sale and Rosedale, he was tra...

Celebrating our People : 2017 Twenty Year Club Inductions

If anyone had suggested to me back in the 1980s that I would eventually swap my career as a radio announcer/journalist for work in the funeral industry, I would probably have said “You must be joki...

It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry in Australia Comment

  As Managing Director of Tobin Brothers I’d like to make the following comments on a recently released paper “It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry...