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



What is your iconic memory?

Memories – we need them #2

Why are memories so important, and why are they spoken about in funerals and memorials?

He had worked hard all his life, really hard! He had found worldy success, but happiness seemed elusive. In his personal life, there certainly had been some good times; everyone spoke of him with such fondness. But in his inner world, there had been been too many tragedies. When it came time to retire, he needed to find somewhere where the cost of living was low, and where he would be able to ‘escape.’

As he had travelled extensively for work, the final solution, to be part of a community on an island with a beautiful beach, was a simple one. And after a couple or ‘reconnaissance’ visits, the time was right to move, and so he did. In his typical amenable and friendly style, he became the ‘man about town’; truly entrenched in the community there. In his last few years, he had found not only happiness, but inner peace and belonging.

To the rest of the family, despite the success he was able to achieve, this picture of him sitting in a comfortable chair, on the beach, with a ‘beverage’ of some sort, knowing he had found acceptance in his community, and reading which he just loved to do, was important. This picture, despite the success, eclipsed everything else his life had been. Maybe it was not the location that was important, but the fact he was happy. All of his life was important, but this image surpassed all of those. For the family who had witnessed him in this environment, the picture had left a lasting impression.

As the celebrant for this life, it became apparent this was the iconic image the family was remembering or imagining. In fact on the day, the family requested I wear my powder blue jacket, as opposed to the traditional suit. It fitted in with the beach image! If you would like the see the jacket, check my website out where there is a picture of me wearing it. 

For the family, whenever they think of him, their go to image will be the one on the beach. With such an image in their hearts and minds, it will not take long for a smile and warm memories to come through. Memories, so important for our grief journeys. For me, the one I have of my mom, is here singing in a choir at Christmas time. For Dad, it was how he became involved in things I was doing, including Scouts and hockey.

What is your iconic image? You know, the one that stands out, amongst all the rest? Instead of becoming overwhelmed with the ‘thing’ grief is, contemplating the whole person, focus on the precious memory. Maybe at times, casting your mind back to ‘iconic’ moment will bring back a smile and warmth. This will help us as we interact with grief. What will bring this warm feeling? 

Love. What a special gift it is, and maybe something that will always be a part of you.

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 Anita Jankovic on Unsplash





Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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