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Funerals and Focaccias

Page 2

Elizabeth Terry

When Doris’s health took a rapid decline, Nerida and young Zoe stayed with her for the day.  Zoe painted Doris’s fingernails a frosty pastel pink. Probably Revlon’s Blushing. It was a peaceful colour, her death a peaceful death.  As peaceful as a passing could be and despite the holding and patting of her fragile hands, the polish remained smudge-free.

A week later, after illegally scattering the ashes on the eighth tee at Greentrees Golf Club, Nerida had twelve friends arrive for the funeral service. Nerida’s partner Harry looked sombre as he managed the complexity of his laptop computer, a data projector and a screen. Mostly Nerida’s friends were invited. Doris’s had all died, except for Queenie. Three hard couches had us squashed together in a partially curtained-off area of the café set aside for the funeral service. It wasn’t a separate room in a restaurant, not a funeral parlour, a church, not someone’s home, not the botanic gardens, but a cafe, a cafe by a golf course.

The huge Lavazza coffee machine hissed and spat in time to the tinny sounds of Oh Canada. No one stood up of course but we all hummed the anthem loudly in our heads or was it just me? Doris was a proud Canadian. When I die please don’t play Advance Australia Fair. Maybe Wind Beneath my Wings but in the meantime I’ll think of something less cheesy. Time to Say Goodbye – but not the Andrea Bocelli version. I know I should like him because he’s blind, but I don’t like his voice. I prefer Placido Domingo, he’s sexy.

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