Bree's funeral was last Thursday, 18 May. I wanted to see heaps of our former EOAO work colleagues there, but I couldn't bring myself to ring around and tell anyone the news. There was a big crowd there, but only one workmate, Ian Pirkis. Note to self: someone has to do this and next time you have to step up.
Bree's brother Christoph played guitar and sang. Bree's sister Camille, her father, and her husband Geoff spoke beautifully, with humour and strength.
Mr Farrell told us that the day was all about gratitude. He quoted former Richmond footballer Dan Jackson, who wrote in Letters of Love - "be grateful, appreciate the little moments, as they're what you'll treasure most."
Camille (who's a bit of a hippy*) spoke about how Bree loved dressing up, and fancy dress sixties parties. "She'd borrow the clothes I wear every day which is ... weird".
Lastly Bree's close friend Jenny spoke about their years together, and the last months since her terminal diagnosis with breast cancer in February this year. Jenny accompanied Bree to Melbourne for chemotherapy and they laughed and shopped in between bouts of treatment.
Jenny told how she was worried they had too much carry on luggage. Bree said "Just pile it on my lap darl, I'm in a wheelchair, they're not going to stop me!"
At the end Straight Lines by silverchair came on. Bree's girls Hayley and Jessie, who are aged about 5 and 8, were dancing in the aisle along with some of the other kids. I couldn't see very well from the back but I have since watched the video of the service that's online. There's a bit of commotion then over the music Geoff announced "Jessie's lost her first tooth!!"
And that's where I lost it, at the thought of so many milestones in her girls' lives that are going to happen without Bree. But – I am comforted by what Jenny said about their shared spiritual beliefs. Bree had no doubt she would be a continuing presence in the girls' lives, and its not for me to impose my own dry rational views on that relationship. What do I know?
It was the most beautiful funeral of the (fortunately) few I have attended. Goodbye Bree and thank you for your friendship.
* Sorry Camille.