Elijah’s unfuneral yesterday was a celebration of life, and I was honoured by the people who came to share the day with me.
The gloomy burial was immediately followed by a vibrant party in the park — the perfect way to connect with friends and surround ourselves with love. The sun shone warmly as we chatted for hours while children played around us.
We gather in the park — attracted to each other by the colour red — and rainbows flit across the camera lens as the moments are captured.
I wear my red Ergo in memory of my son — Elijah's favourite place to be. This time, it's holding his rainbow rug.
The ugly sock Elijah wore on his last day hangs from the back of the sling with his rattle. They're my treasured momentos of the hollowness within my heart.
Helium balloons are handed out freely to those who will accept them.
It's a beautiful day to be out at the park, celebrating life.
Many people contribute party food for the unfuneral. Georgia created this beautiful, healthy rainbow of fruit.
Proper party food is also available — lollies and fairy bread.
Our children play freely at the playground while the grown-ups chat.
My sister Renee (in blue) arrives from Hong Kong and surprises Carla and me. A friend has picked her up from the airport and brought her to the park for the unfuneral.
This is the first time my father has been with all three of his daughters since 1995!
My sister Renee brings rainbow-hued face-paint — a beautiful addition to the party atmosphere.
Thoughtful friends bring little presents for the girls. These are gratefully received and eagerly unwrapped.
Our girls hold onto rainbow balloons which makes them easy to spot in the crowd.
Delaney stays close to me for most of the time, but occasionally wanders off under the watchful eye of a friend or relative.
Aisha is shy among so many new faces and sticks close to the friends she already knows.
Brioni makes a new friend quickly, and they are soon running off to explore the park together.
It's an honour to greet those who have come from far away to share this day with me, including Abby and Karen who flew up from Sydney.
It is wonderful to spend time with Barry and Trish Tiffen. They're very special friends who have known us from before David and I got married.
It's wonderful to finally meet some of my online buddies, including Helena and Currawong who drove up from NSW.
It's so wonderful to have Ree here with me at this time. She has been a special friend for fifteen years.
When Becca and her sister Debbie turn up at the park, we can record the largest reunion of ICAers that Australia has ever seen — five in one location! There weren't many Australians at the American boarding school we attended together in West Africa.
As anticipated, Elijah’s unfuneral yesterday was less about death and more about life. Our girls had been calling it “Elijah’s party” as they anticipated the day, and it was like a party — the perfect way to celebrate his life!
(Thank you so much to the generous Georgia of Gregarious Peach who took all these beautiful photos for me. I am grateful for your time and presence.)