The upcoming unfuneral
2 July 12
Elijah Rainbow’s favourite pastime was watching the life happening around him — especially his sisters at play. His unfuneral will give him another opportunity to do that — just not from an Earthly place.
One of the deficits of our fabulous, fast-paced modern society is that we rarely gather for large-scale, mutual encouragement outside of institutions. In my experience, I have received the most edification away from formal meetings — during casual visits with friends, while sitting side-by-side and watching our children play, or chatting over cups of tea before or after a ceremony or meeting.
So an unfuneral is the opposite of a funeral or a memorial service. It is a simple coming-together of people who would like to spend time together and want to encourage each other in love.
Elijah’s upcoming unfuneral in the park will have no formal elements to it — no speeches or prayers. I desire it to be no more than a glorious day out with the kids — filled with laughter, reconciliation, joy and LIFE! It is an opportunity to sit in the sun, dig in the sand, ride bikes, explore the pathways, climb on play equipment, share a picnic, watch the ducks, meet with friends and make new ones.
I’m looking forward to Elijah’s unfuneral because it will give me the opportunity to catch up with friends who I haven’t seen recently. Our girls are eagerly anticipating the unfuneral as a party in the park with lots of friends.
I hope to receive hugs from friends with whom I’ve shared emotional intimacy over months and years — both in the flesh and online — and yet don’t feel obligated to come if it’s not your thing or there’s a calendar conflict. When the time is right, we can meet at a later date.
If you do come, I hope you’ll chat with the parent next to you as you push your child on the swing; I hope you’ll share your snacks with the children who gather around. I desire for everyone to remember that relationships are made and reinforced through spending time together, and that the sooner we learn to be friendly and make friends outside the the institutions of church, school and employment, the sooner our world will be a better place for our children’s sake.
We’ll be at Doug Larsen Park — locally known as Duck Park — in Beenleigh on Saturday at 11ish. (Those who know me understand that I don’t wear a watch and try to never guarantee an arrival time — or day!) The park is huge, with several different play sections, and I’ll just be following our girls about as they chase the joy of the moment. You should be able to find me — I’m in red.