Mar 6, 2014

coming home

I miss my Dad. I can't process much more right now.


I want to share something with you. Something I desperately wanted once my Dad went to his forever home. I wanted him back home with us too in our house. This is an anathema to my culture. We are pale skinned Africans who are of English descent. You just don't do this type of thing. It's never been done in my family. Your loved one passes away and then is whisked off to the funeral home. You can visit (or not) and then you have the funeral. 


My Dad came home (open casket) for 3 days before the funeral. Some of you have just recoiled away from the computer screen... that's ok. My sisters literally took a step back when I proposed this last  October. It was a big deal but with a husband of Maori descent this is normal. And beautiful. And so very helpful when grieving.

This is so much more about the person and to me about honour.  MJ and I received Dad back home the Wednesday before the funeral and it was so good. We sat in the same room and talked to him. We laid out flowers around him and tucked scripture under his arm. He looked so dapper too. My Mom especially wandered in and out of the room, saying goodnight and good morning. Despite being initially nervous she loved it.

My very conservative aunt said to me that it was the best thing we did. She would recommend it to anyone, she said. And if you knew my beloved aunt, that is praise of the highest order.



  1. We did the same with my brother - probably having him die while my parents were away was part of the reason but it really helped with the grieving process. All my love during this time. Xoxo

  2. Where i grew up, this is a custom, also, so no recoiling from the screen here and if anything, i am proud of you for having done it instinctively in a culture where this is not what is "normally" done. It sounds like a big step and i am very happy that you enjoyed doing it, because that means that this big step was well worth it in the end, even if some family were unsure of it at first.

  3. Wow, you are amazing. I've not yet had to think about anything like this, but I love that you were so strong to do something not very familiar to you. So sorry that things are hard.
    I probably should have known, or maybe Ive forgotten, but I didnt know you were born in Africa. Where abouts? I was too! xx Taz

  4. How beautiful and super special for you all, such a great way to say goodbye. Thinking of you all xx

  5. I glad you did the way you wanted to. sometimes the social norms need to be chucked out and the the best thing done instead.
    super doooper big hugs for you Sammy. xx

  6. So true. Our family have done the same thing with both our grandparents and cousin. My parents both take funerals and mum does a lot of grief work and she has seen it be so helpful for families time and again. So pleased you could do this, and that your family found it so helpful to be able to say goodbye xx

  7. We had my mum at my brothers house for four days before her funeral too. It felt much better than leaving her and gave everyone a chance to say goodbye properly. It is almost 10 years since she died, and we are so grateful that we got to have that special time with her.

    We also got her coffin made by some cabinetmakers, who sprayed it purple for us and put in a window (she loved the song Lace Covered Windows). All of her family and friends helped line it with her favourite blankets and attach the lace to the windows. The funeral home were then nice enough to move her into it, and lend us some fancy handles!!

    Julie Q

  8. I have been thinking of you lovely ... I think it is absolutely the right thing to do and wouldnt hesitate either.
    Love to youxx


thank you for taking the time to comment, I love hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...