The Soul Food Cafe
Colin James Goodwin
The following reading, was written
and read by Heather Lorraine Blakey to provide comfort at the service
of thanksgiving for the life of
Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you...
Since my father died so suddenly on the Werribee Golf Course last Thursday my family have had to face a throng of emotions that come when you are not able to say your final farewells. Yet sudden death brings comforts of its own. As we gathered around Mum, Dad's partner of 56 years we each drew comfort from their marriage and the fact that Dad was
Yet as nature's anesthetic wore off and the harsh reality that Dad was never coming home confronted us we each had to face the inevitable grief and floods of emotion that the grief process demands. There are no easy shortcuts.
As a writer and a teacher of language I know the power of narrative to heal. I know that my mental health depends on the way I tell my story. So as I prepared for today; my final opportunity to publicly farewell my father and celebrate the marriage of which I was born, I searched for words from great writer's to help me tell my story and gain comfort and strength.
My father believed that as long as he lived in our memories he would
And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, you may be also.
Of course! My father has taught me so many things that I remember. Why only last Monday I went with him and my mother to the Tulip farm and I smile now at the memory of him telling self serve customers that they should buy the flowers that had not opened yet or that they would get little long term pleasure from them.
There is a vast mansion in my psyche, a treasure house that my father has helped to stock with symbols and memories. I can go to that mansion, with many rooms, at any time if I want to find him. When I am there I am reminded that I only live because my father lived before me - that my father has given me commandments that I must honor; that it is he who has helped prepare a place for me.
I will find him for the has told me the way. I have a comforter. If I need to be consoled I know that I only have to call my father's name and he will come to me. If I feel lost and lonely I know that I can stand in the garden and talk to my father. If I am not sure how to act my father will help me decide what to do. If I ask anything of my father he will do it, just as he has always done so. My father will live for eternity in my memory and in the memory of my children.
Verily verily I say unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world giveth I unto you: Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Dad! My heart is not troubled now. I am no longer afraid of death. I am in you, you are in me and we are in my children.
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
Texts. St John 14 and William Shakespeare