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



Nobody’s Perfect

Funeral and Memorial Thoughts #5  

A scenario (or could be real for some of my readers) 

Your Dad has died, and you have taken it upon yourself, together with other siblings, to present the eulogy at the funeral. The thought of not only public speaking, and doing your Dad justice, has got you constantly thinking ‘what have I got myself into?’  

Where to start? After all you need to paint them as almost ‘saintlike’ as we need to give a really good send off. There was that memorable family holiday in Canberra, and you also loved the regular jaunt to Stansbury. Oh yes, and Christmas was always special with the ice cream after the Christmas Pageant. A pretty happy existence. It is going to be easy to write after all.   

But they would also get quite angry at times. You can remember the time he needed to teach those kids a lesson, jumping the fence, cutting his foot, and needing medical attention. He was also rather firm with you at times, that when you needed love, you were reprimanded.  

But he was good provider for the family, and he found success in his work life. He knew all about work / life balance and was involved behind the scenes with many of the activities you were a part of. How cool to have a Dad like that.  

In hindsight, it could be the firmness was done out of love, and wanting the best for you. The overall picture was one of a present parent. What more can a child ask for? Maybe it is OK to talk about the other stuff, because it goes to painting a complete picture.  

I have heard such words in funerals / memorials I have led. Stubborn, perfectionist, frustrating, those ‘Dad’ jokes and not liking change that much, and everything needed to be in its place. But through it all, you knew where his heart was, and if you had our time again, would not change a thing. 

Your Dad was human after all! Yes you want to paint a positive picture, and you should, but it will be those ‘other qualities’ that may create the most smiles and laughter in the room. Perfect eulogies seem somehow, a little unbelievable, particularly for those who knew your Dad the most. Maybe the best send off we can give, is to keep it real, and therefore, human. We may then find the freedom to truly celebrate your Dad’s life; all of it!

This 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 Katrina Berban on Unsplash 


Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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