Sunday, December 19, 2010

Funeral / Facebook

We had a very strange week at work - our last for the year. My first job on Monday was making an 8-minute video montage of photos of Dean for his funeral on Wednesday. Steve asked me to not make it chronological, which meant I had to somehow blend "Little Dean in a bassinette" with "30ish Dean on the turps with hairy mates", tastefully. Of course I wanted it to be good for Dean and for his family, but I tried not to spend ages on it - I had so much other stuff to get done by the end of the week.

I heard Dean in my head saying "Just grab a dozen pics, chuck some zooms and pans and fades on it, and get on with something important!" I wondered what font I should use. Again I heard Dean in my head saying "Geez, what does it f#$%& matter - just letterspace it so people can read it." I hope it did whatever these montages are supposed to do - touch people I guess. I had a lump in my throat all the way through making it. Steve previewed it and could only take 40 seconds before he started choking up and had to stop it.

The funeral was OK - which is the best you can hope for with funerals isn't it? I did think that I don't want someone speaking at my funeral who didn't know me from a bar of soap - it does feel a bit wrong. If none of the friends and family can speak without cracking up I suppose there is no alternative. Steve gave a beautiful, and brief eulogy, which is how Dean would have liked it. He had a drawing pin to stick into his hand to keep himself focussed every time he started to blub.

Dean's mum went out of her way to meet and talk to the people there she didn't recognise, which was amazing of her. The celebrant told us that Dean would ring his mum every night at around seven, just for a talk. Then he would ring his brother, just for a talk. Every night. And they only lived half an hour's drive apart.

Since he died I have realised that I would have got to know him so much better if only I was on Facebook. I'm not being facetious or trite - he really was so much more open and at ease online than he ever seemed to be in person. One workmate says she would have long chats with him on Facebook through the day, while he sat with his back to her three metres away.

I have been smugly superior about not using Facebook. My attitude has been "I say what I want to say on the blog, and if people don't want to tune into that and talk back through the comments or email, well - pftui (as llamas say)".

But I think I need to come crawling back to FB, answer a bunch of friend requests and make some of my own. The blog posts will come up as Facebook "notes" so if you are an FB person you may prefer to consume the blog over there.


Matt Charles said...

I know hat you mean about FB - I set it up as a way to promote my gigs in Hamburg - ended up making a lot of 'real' friends and reconnecting with some others I've missed - just need to skip the bullshit and the little online games - if anyone has time for that, well done.... // I ended up having a great time with Dean online via FB during the Grand Final replay this year, - him a Saint, me a Woodsman - but not even hidden was the pleasure of just having a virtual drink together and sharing the moment - I was looking for to many more further on up the road - I guess I was lucky to even have that. / thanks again Chris for filling in some blank and your always insightful observations / now if only I could sleep //matt

Matt Charles said...

been up all night again - sorry for all the typo's //

chris.dadness said...

Yes, you are lucky to have those good recent memories of "spending time" with him even though you're in Hamburg. (I know it's not cool to say "wow isn't technology amazing?", but what better feeling is there than being amazed?)

I am now friending and liking and exchanging mobile numbers with the people you always bump into and say hi and bye - I don't ever want to go to another funeral with the feeling I should have tried harder to connect.

Matt Charles said...

Chris > It beats me up on a daily basis – like most I’m sure, …I hope - that we can never structure our personal world of time the way that would give us total peace and satisfy the emotional need to feel connected and worthwhile – to feel ‘we’d tried’ enough, as you said, to respect the lives of others // this public posting I guess represents the need blatantly enough – if not the planet wide billion social networkers // then at the same time, realizing it’s impossible to achieve perfection - and maybe like an attempt at understanding the whole ‘meaning of life thing’, that the struggle and the journey is the lesson. ##### In reality – I feel very sad for all of you who worked so closely with a man every day for so many years, who now leaves a behind such a space in your daily world – and for you Chris – to be given the responsibility to pick up the current-projects-flag and carry it forward. That cannot be an easy task ### I wish you all the best and clear seas / right now, I wish I had a copy of Luke’s painting of the old beaten up sailor in the yellow rain coat > eating the chocolate frog > that’s still my Sistine Chapel // cheers mate

chris.dadness said...

I'll try to track down your Sistine Chapel - if I can I'll send you a copy.