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



It happened without warning!

Grief is, because love is #18

I was having a drink with him only a month ago. We were talking about the overseas trip he had just had, about the thoughts towards retirement. He was the kind of guy that was always at networking events, and through his career had helped so many. One Friday morning he attended his usual fortnightly business breakfast; it all just seemed ‘business as usual.’

Then, a little later, the post came on Facebook from a hospital “have had a heart attack, it looks like I am not bullet proof.”

And then two days later, at the age of 63, he died.

The world stopped when I found out. Because he was so widely known, the world stopped for many. There was shock, disbelief, a nightmare that was hopefully going to come to an end. It could not be true!

It feels just like the song we heard as we were leaving the chapel. The Sounds of Silence

So in our collective disbelief we went to his funeral. What else could we do? As I was driving it still did not make sense. We all gathered; faces I knew from all over Adelaide had come to pay their respects and to say goodbye. But the world was numb, it was out of control, and none of us knew how to be; we just had to come. At the funeral, the coffin was there. Even as his children and family spoke of a man they adored, I could not reconcile that the physical presence had gone. The coffin was empty, he could not possibly be in there. But as I placed some rosemary on the coffin, the realisation hit; this was it.

You see, there was meant to be a few decades of retirement years. There was meant to be a winding down; perhaps as he gradually reduced his commitments, some well deserved “well-dones.” But no, those moments have been lost forever.

What do we do when death, is unexpected? Yes I know that none of us really knows the day, but sometimes a death leads to unbelievable and irreconcilable shock. I was just a ‘sort of’ business associate, I am not part of the family, so far removed, but for some reason I still felt it. There are no words to say; it all seems so empty. My deepest condolences go to his family. All I can say, is the days, weeks and years ahead are unchartered territory; there is no way you need to be. Be what you just need to be.

I, and so many, appreciated the man. But, you were the loves of his life. It is out shared hope that he rest in peace.

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 courtesy Andy Falconer on unsplash


Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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