Today, as we come to honour Bruce’s way of being in the world, there will be stories, songs, prayer and, as Bruce was a keen jokester, a few Bruce jokes that will be shared.
In this gathering you will grieve as a family, as close friends and as a community; and, there will also be space to celebrate and honour all that he was loved for. It can almost go without saying, that Bruce was a larger than life character and was loved by his community as a charismatic larrakin, a young at heart, gregarious lover of the surf. Bruce was also an enigma and a man of many layers.
Bruce was passionate about his music. Stairway to Heaven was a classic song in Bruce’s book, however he was not religious although, at times, spiritual. It is his wife, Marg who held true to her faith of love and devotion, sharing her beliefs with Bruce throughout their fifty years of being together, especially in his last days.
Would you please be standing for The Lord’s Prayer. If you wish to join in, you will find the words in the Order of Service.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
And the glory are yours,
Now and forever. Amen.
The last song the family have chosen will not surprise you.
Monty Python’s song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, seems to capture Bruce’s capacity to live life like the eternal youngster, with a beer or bourbon and/or spliff in hand, He didn’t want to be an adult. He wanted to live one long surfing holiday.
The last verse reads, ‘For life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word. You must always face the curtain with a bow. Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin. Enjoy it, it’s your last chance anyhow…’ Always look on the bright side of life.
That said, grief is an aspect of life not so easily laughed away. May grief and sadness go gently through you and may you feel the love and care of those who hold you close, and the support of your wider community. May you find strength in laughter and also in grief.
Bruce would likely want us to wrap this up now. But… have you heard the one about… no, I’ll leave it there. In Bruce’s words…as you were, as you were.
Thank you for being here. May peace be with you.
Closing Song: Always Look on The Bright Side of Life—Monty Python
Click here to watch the ceremony.