Celebrating the Life of Greg Warburton

The Celebration of the Life of Greg Warburton

Saturday 4th March 2023, Gleniffer Hall

Excerpts from the Ceremony including Music Selection and Lyrics

Opening Music: Land of Anaka by Geoffrey Oryema (Chorus lyrics)

Obiga lead me in this darkness
Show me the way
Obiga take me to a place
Where I can see light

Words of Welcome

Introduction

Today there will be tears of grief and also joy and laughter as we share music and stories throughout this ceremony and on into the afternoon as you come together as a family and community to grieve, mourn and celebrate Greg’s tragic and unexpected death last week which has been a huge shock for everyone.

For many of you, Greg’s death may still feel quite surreal and hard to grasp as you come terms with not only the loss, a world without Greg being here, but also dealing with the trauma of the accident which touched us all. As you grieve, it calls upon the need for not only courage, but vulnerability as well, to bear witness to the grief. There is great pain, borne of love, when losing a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a dear friend….

This gathering is just one way we support and care for each other in this time of loss and significant change for Greg’s family and friends.

Acknowledgement of Gumbaynggirr Country

Meditation

Let us take a moment to acknowledge the beauty and stillness of this Promised Land that we get to walk upon today; a place that Greg and his family greatly loved and called home. The family have asked we take a moment to come together in a short meditation. As the poet and mystic, John O’Donohue says, ‘May we awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of our own presence.’  (A guided reflection on the stillness, awareness of the body, breath, sounds, silence, beauty)

Eulogy and Tributes by Family and Friends

Songs for Photo Reflection

Dean Lewis—So how do I say goodbye

So how do I say goodbye. To someone who’s been with me for my whole damn life?
You gave me my name and the colour of your eyes
I see your face when I look at mine
So how do I, how do I, how do I say goodbye?

The Two Of Us — Louis Tomlinson

So I will keep you, day and night, here until the day I die
I’ll be living one life for the two of us
I will be the best of me, always keep you next to me
I’ll be living one life for the two of us
Even when I’m on my own, I know I won’t be alone
Tattooed on my heart are the words of your favourite song
I know you’ll be looking down, swear I’m gonna make you proud
I’ll be living one life for the two of us

Words of Remembrance

Greg loved his family…. A beautiful paragraph about his love for his family.

Greg was greatly appreciated and loved his Gleniffer community and friends far and wide.

Greg will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, enthusiasm for a challenge, his active adventures and striving to be healthy. He will be remembered for his orderly, own sense of timing and way of being in the world and his lateness. He will be remembered for his love of being in nature and being at home on the land. Mr Havachat will be missed for his friendly and engaging ways, his willingness to help and his enthusiasm to ensure people felt cared for and welcome. As his sister, Michelle, wrote in her tribute, Greg would want you to have …perseverance, faith in the universe and humanity, belief in oneself and your ability to achieve anything you put your mind to. He’s with you, in spirit, every step of the way.

It is time for us to say goodbye.

Music for Offering of Prayers and Blessings

Xavier Rudd—Storm Boy

And everybody smiles in the setting sun
And sighs with contentment when the day is done
Hand in hand with the one you love
Feeling blessed by the magic of the moon above
And we sing
Sha la la la la la la la
We’re just living in this beautiful world

Closing Words

Grief, sorrow and celebration … all a part of the mystery of life. Grief is not something to be fixed, gotten rid of… it is a natural part of our expression of pain, of sadness, of loss and at times, loneliness.

May there be space for the grief that arises and courage to ask for support when you need it—it may be next week or in a year, there is no time frame to adhere to.

There will be many firsts that you will mourn. In just 12 weeks it will be Greg’s birthday. He would have been 60, a milestone that he was looking forward to. There are also the smaller ordinary moments you may grieve: the text messages, the quick telephone chats, seeing him walking around Gleniffer, working on the property, attending yoga….

May we as friends and family, offer our presence to each other, to just listen. Or, offer a simple walk or a bike ride or a yarn over a cup of coffee fostering a sense of belonging, care and connection. Talking about Greg to his sons, and to his family may be hard to find the right words, and may feel awkward, but it’s harder to grieve in silence. The invitation is to talk about Greg, to remember his beautiful… and stubborn ways in this world.

Words of Gratitude to the Community, and Support to the Family

Closing Music

Ziggy Alberts—Hands I Can Hold

And so we, we’ll share some tea on the porch
And then we’ll spend time
In the sea before and after dark
And all this stone and wood
All this stone and wood will stay here, stay clear
And you know that we’ll get old
Hands I can hold I can hold

 

Testimonial for the Mourning and Celebration Circle which was held the day before the public ceremony.

Looking back the Mourning and Celebration Circle, which we experienced with Wendy, in a private familiar environment was really valuable for me, as my brothers death was tragic and so unexpected. I was looking for answers as to why and trying to accept I was not going to see Greg here in this life again. I had never encountered this type of celebration at any of the funerals I had attended previously so didn’t know what to expect. Wendy immediately put me at ease and her presence just gave me a sense of calm and reassurance. The space created for all our family members in this circle, allowed each and every person to talk openly and honestly without judgement or interjection from anyone. Memories, emotions, stories and tears were shared by all, as painful as it was for many of us. I feel this ceremony helped bring us closer together in our grief and helped prepare us for the next day when a public service was to be held. I would recommend Wendy and her services to anyone contemplating a deeply meaningful and personal memorial service. You will be touched by Wendy’s authentic, peaceful and caring personality and her service will leave you with lasting memories.— Michele (loving sister of Greg)

Click here to read more about Mourning and Celebration Circles (Scroll down once you click on the link!)

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