Just over one year ago, on 6th May 2016, we gathered to celebrate the life of Nicholas Love.
When you plan a wedding, you generally have months or even years to think about the perfect inclusions for that special day, and you’re giddy with excitement over all the little details. But when you have to plan a funeral for the unexpected death of a beloved family member, you have only a matter of days, amidst the fog of grief, to put all the finer details together.
I remember my Mum and sister coming over to our house one night after Nicholas had died to talk through the parts of his memorial service. I welcomed their arrival and knew I had ideas about what I wanted for his ‘celebration of life’, but it wasn’t long into discussions that I realised that I was actually pretty angry that I had to even think about a funeral for my beautiful four year old son, let alone plan the logistics and finer details. I realised that I really wasn’t able to do it all and, with the knowledge that we were surrounded by the most amazing array of family members who were organisational ninjas, I needed to let go. I knew that, with or without my involvement, it would be a perfect celebration for a perfect boy.
It took me months to look through the photos that Georgia took at Nicholas’ funeral. It took me even longer to look at them without tears streaming down my face. She had captured nearly 400 photographs that day and, today, one year on, I want to share with you just a small selection. As I scrolled through the photos for the first time, I noticed the faces of people I didn’t even realise had attended the service. I have only included a few faces of family members in this particular collection of photographs, as I wasn’t sure how many people would appreciate their (teary) faces being shared publicly, but please know that we saw you and thank you for being with us.
We are so grateful to the team of organisational ninjas who put so much love and thought into each and every part of Nicholas’ celebration. I hesitate to mention anyone in particular for fear of leaving someone out, but do want to thank Fr Wrex and Fr Joe, and the musicians, readers and ministers involved in the service; to Jane for the design and printing of the magnificent booklet, and to the family members who lovingly cut and laminated all the photos of Nicholas for attendees to take home; to those who created artworks, blew up balloons and decorated the church so beautifully; to the school families who provided afternoon tea, and those who gave us a home to gather in and nourishment later that night. We are so grateful for each and every one of you who was able to be with us on that day, those who travelled from near and far to celebrate Nicholas’ life, and also for those who couldn’t be there, but thought about us from afar and lit candles in their homes. There were so many people who contributed so many things to create such a beautiful celebration for Nicholas and we are eternally grateful.
Considering we were gathering to officially farewell our beautiful boy on 6th May, it was definitely a sad occasion with many tears shed. But it was also incredibly colourful and light-filled, filled with joy and oh so much love for our Nicholas.
It really was the most perfect celebration for a perfect boy.
Thank you to the beautiful Georgia Brizuela at Gregarious Peach for capturing such a difficult day with such incredible love and reverence. On the day of the funeral, we were given the gift of song by our friend Colin Usher, who wrote the ‘Superman’ for Nicholas. It is magnificent and you can hear it played in the photo montage.