Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Uncle Wal's Death & Funeral

Uncle Wal and I a while ago
Uncle Wal in his younger years
On Friday morning the 7th of February 2014 my Mum woke me up with a knock on my room door at their home about 7:40A.M. She then informed me that my uncle Wal had passed away early that morning losing his fight for life. As soon as the words came out of her mouth my heart just sank because I wanted to go up and visit him that very day yet it was now too late. I could no longer hold his hand and say goodbye to him in person. Anyway that whole day my parents and I were affected in our own different ways with our mourning also grieving. My Mum went to the markets at Warriewood as planned yet our minds were not with it. We were all forgetting little bits and pieces with things. We came back home and Dad was busy trying to compose a Requiem for the funeral service whenever that was going to be. With my Asperger's i didn't know if it was okay to cry or when. My uncle Wal is actually my great uncle and my fathers uncle.... Yet I have always referred to him as 'Uncle' because he was like an uncle to me and my brother. That day I was really aware that my parents needed time to themselves because they had to go up to Cooranbong the next evening for a family meeting. So I left in the afternoon and as I was driving down Wakehurst Parkway with a lot of nice bush I found myself tearing up while listening to music. Everything was starting to hit me a bit and I found myself crying all the way home which was strange. When I got home it was like I was on automatic pilot and I texted a couple of friends to let them know what hat happened. Then I just lay down on my bed and listened to my Ipod for ages not knowing what to do. That night I did meet up with a friend and had a couple of drinks also letting heaps of stuff out. It felt like I was on another planet and it was very surreal.

Stained glass window at the chapel
Two weeks ago today was my uncle Wal's funeral which was a big and sad occasion. It took us about 2 hours to drive up. When we got there early we parked near a lot of trees. As soon as we got out of the car we could hear Bellbirds all around us with their song. It was like they were singing for my uncle and saying 'Goodbye'. At times they were nearly drowning out the service. There were a lot of people there and the chapel was overflowing in the cemetery grounds. We all heard stories of his life and how when he sang with my Grandfather they had heaps of fun for them both. Also the many years he was a youth pastor and being involved in music was like ministry to him. During the service there was a very special item which was actually a digital recording of uncle Wal singing and playing the piano from a few years before. The whole service was really poignant and moving where there were tears yet also laughter at remembering this special man of God who was now home up in Heaven. After about another 2 hour trip we didn't get home till about 7:50P.M. that night or something to my parents. My dear uncle Wal I am so proud to have known you and been related to you.... You shall always be remembered fondly with love... You had a very full 98 years indeed.....
Lovely flower on his coffin
  You were like a walking history book with all the stories that you had in you.... Your life has touched many, many people over the years including mine. Sure I may not have caught it all during this blog post yet when I remember more I will write about it... Wallace Hammond you were a true man of God and may you now rest in eternal peace with our dear God...
The Chapel

Uncle Wal, my Mum, Dad and I a while ago

Uncle Wal and his sister at  his birthday

Uncle Wal and his sister also 3 daughters at  his birthday

1 comment:

  1. What lovely photos you have of you and your Uncle Wal, and family. Thank you for posting these online - I hope you don't mind me taking copies of your Uncle Wal, and the one where his sister Joan is sitting with him and the family. I am doing Joan's (Landgren) family tree, and it's nice to include a few photos where I can. with thanks. Judy