Friday, May 26, 2017

Bree's funeral

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 8 and 5, 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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

Not sure if you remember me but I remember you when i worked at EOAO. I stumbled across your blog about Bree when I googled her name as I only found out today from a mutual school friend that she had died. I'm very sad to hear this as I met Bree when I was 16 at high school and spent many wonderful times with her - even in my early years in Sydney.
Thank you for your blog as I got to find out that she had a wonderful husband and two beautiful children that will continue to keep her spirit alive in this world.

Thanks and wishes to you and your family.

chris rees said...

Hello Jude Chelliah! Yes I remember you well! I am very glad that you found the blog. Did you see the link to watch the funeral?

It was a beautiful service and you might find it helps to hear people describe what a wonderful friend and family member Bree was for them. I hope that putting this up here means if anyone googles Bree Farrell they will know how she was well loved by so many of us.

I hope things are going well for you these days, if you'd like to you can email me at

Thanks for leaving the note, best to you and your family too Jude.

Karujaru said...

Oh Chris, so lovely to see your name pop up, but so sad to hear about Bree. I had no idea.
Your words of her funeral are so beautiful. Sad but joyous.
I didn't know Bree very well but she was a light in a room.
Her beautiful smile and contagious laugh.
It's so lovely to know that she had a loving partner and children.

Thank you for sharing.
Although you were a wizz with design, I remember that you were always very
eloquent with words as well.

I so hope that life is wonderful for you.
I'll look forward to catching up with your world and blog.

love to you and yours,

Kate Stephens

Sarajayne said...

It’s so sad to hear of Bree’s passing. So vibrant and always a glowing ball of energy at EOAO. Another beautiful soul taken too early.

You won’t be forgotten, you won’t be lost, as we have you captive within our hearts dear gorgeous beautiful Bree.

Thank you Ian for attending and Chris for letting me know. Miss our great team.

Strangely my doctor has now moved into our old Gattonside building. very weird sitting in the board room being diagnosed, or waiting in mark greys old office with coffee in hand for an appointment.

Huggles from Sarajayne