Monday, July 25, 2011

Where the Kookaburras laugh

As recently as this past February, when my beloved Grandmother passed away, Chris and I had talked about what we wanted if something happened to either one of us. Chris had said that he wanted Australia to be his final resting place. Of course, we never imagined that this decision would need to be made only a few short months later. Fortunately, his family members agreed. It would be hard for them to not have him in Canada, but they knew that he had made Australia his home and they never had any doubts as to this being the right decision.

Chris loved Australia. From the moment he arrived he fell in love with the year round sunny weather, the animals, the music, the ocean and the laid back culture. It took him 3 summers but he eventually even fell in love with the game of cricket. The day I knew he was a true Aussie was the day he walked into the kitchen and said something about "Warnie" instead of "Shane Warne".

This is one of my favourite pictures of Chris. It's not a posed picture in front of an Australian iconic building but rather Chris as I loved him the most, just a typical Sunday mowing the lawn. Because of all the rain we'd had the lawn had gotten really long, and to our amusement as the lawn starting getting shorter, row by row a kookaburra started following along as he could finally get to the lovely food (grubs, worms, lizards) that the long grass had been covering.

I love this picture so much because to me it just says "home".

And here with me, was definitely where Chris had made his home. While the decision of Chris's final resting place was made by myself and his family, the final decision of location was left up to me. A decision I never, ever thought I would have to make so soon. And as hard as it was to do, I knew I had to find a place and a way to honour his legacy with the respect and love that he deserves. As a partner, everything you do is to make sure he is cared for, and that doesn't stop when their life ends.

There are beautiful crematorium gardens only 5 minutes from where I live, where sadly, amongst others, rests my brother who I lost 18 years ago. I know without a doubt that Chris would want to be laid to rest next to my brother. But would it be too hard for me to visit two graves of people I loved dearly at the same time?

No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn't get an answer. Too much grief was swirling around my head. I knew that I would need to go there and let the place, Chris, Michael and God speak to me because I couldn't hear what I needed to hear from my kitchen table.

At my brother's memorial site, I sat on the park bench, with quiet tears streaming down my face, devastated at the decision I needed to make, whether this was the right spot for Chris. It was then that I heard from a nearby gum tree the uniquely Australian sound of a kookaburra laughing. And I knew, without a doubt, this is where he would want to be.


  1. This gave me goosebumps. I can see why you love that picture so much. It really says so much.