Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



Companions on the Journey

Being Present #4

As I have shared in this series, I believe being present with grieving families is at the very core of what I do. No two families are the same, and what is important and valuable to one, may not be to another. I suppose this is what makes us unique, and keeps life interesting.

A quote from Garrison Kellior, an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality, provides an opportunity to look at presence within the context of our every day interactions:

“They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by a few days.”

As a humourist this quite a novel way to say, “I wish I could attend my funeral, and hear what they say,” but depending on your view of the hereafter………………

But I think this raises an even more important question.

Why are nice things, it seems, only said at funerals?

We hear all of the good bits and achievments, and the more human traits are put in a positive light as querky characteristics. The aim of every funeral, is not only remember, but also the celebrate the life; all of it.

How sad would it be, if the only time a person is encouraged is at their funeral.

No it needs to happen more often than that.

We all live in ‘small parts of the world;’ you know in those streets so familiar, the shops, the cafes, the roads, maybe the beach or the hills.

And in those places there are people crying out to be heard, to have someone sit down with them, and let them know they are doing ok. To feel the pain of frustration and disappointment with someone, or to be able to celebrate the good stuff.

Quite often this becomes an internal cheer squad, as the only form of encouragement to come, but this does not really cut it, when compared to someone whos says, ‘that was awesome,’ or, ‘gosh let me sit with you for a while.’

Presence means to have an increased awareness of the people around you. It is probably is the case, in most social settings there will be someone struggling, or someone just itching to share some exciting news. If we take the time, or even better, have the reputation of being someone who listens, our presence may be the difference between someone being encouraged for another day or not.

Often people do not need much to keep going. Your encouragement may just be the thing that resonates with their inner reserves; to keep them going. Just before they may have been om the verge of giving up, but now, because of your words, they will give it another try.

This make presence a matter of critical importance, and often just at the right time.

The last thing anyone would want is to never hear the words said at their funeral. It is so much better, to provide encouraging words whenever we can. Even to complete strangers.

Let us always be available with our presence. You may never know who will need it.

The commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.  

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash



Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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