A toast and a goodbye

This past month of February has been incredibly busy. I had the chance to photograph so many different moments, events and emotions!

This Photo Shooting I’m going to write about has been the hardest and most beautiful at the same time.

My friend’s Mum Elizabeth passed away.

Few months ago I had a little Photo Shooting Session with them when she came over to Melbourne to visit her daughter Liz. It was almost by accident, as the weather wasn’t really helping us for an outdoor photo shooting, but we didn’t give up and we still had a few laughs and some quick snaps indoor. I’m really happy we had the chance to capture and share those beautiful memories.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Dr Seuss

Elizabeth left very specific instructions about her funeral. She didn’t want to be cremated and she definitely didn’t want a sad and teary function. She wanted a tree growing on top of her. She wanted couple of happy songs and she really wanted everyone with a glass of Champagne in their hands raised up in her memory. She wanted a big board where people could write their best tales about her. And few photos, just to remember how much she loved a good glass of Wine, some fine food and desserts.

And that’s exactly what happened. Her daughter Liz did the most amazing job in that.

I was asked to photograph and record every moment of that day. One last memory to keep before the last goodbye.

It was amazing. Hard and extremely sad, but amazing. The strength and the life that everyone showed (especially Liz) were just incredible. Everything happened in such a beautiful way, starting with the little function just outside the Church, under a beautiful Gumtree with the sun hiding shyly behind big clouds.

At the local Pub, just afterwards, everyone had a nice glass of Champagne, people were writing and sharing their funniest memories of Elizabeth.

Even though I only met her briefly, I can’t but know that that’s exactly everything she really wanted.

At the end of the day, everyone was given a little native plant to take home. One last little present from Elizabeth, so that everyone could have a memory of her growing in their garden.

People came from all over the state and the Country. Even if that meant to fly in and out on the same day.

Can you imagine anything more meaningful than this? I’m still struggling in holding back my tears as I write. I’m not sure if it’s more sadness for a beautiful soul that left or happiness for the warmth and the love everyone put into that day. 🙂 It’s amazing how much love you can find even in the darkest moments.

Here are few photos.

For everyone present at the Ceremony, you can also download all the photos from here.

Every best Elizabeth! <3

Daughter's funny memories of her Mum at her Funeral. Copyright Erika's WayMarquee for the funeral. Copyright Erika's Way Listening to the sermon at the Funeral. Copyright Erika's Way Friends at the Funeral. Copyright Erika's Way Priest at the Funeral. Funeral Photography Copyright Erika's WayThe most beautiful coffin with Native flowers. Copyright Erika's Way Funeral Photography for your memories. Copyright Erika's Way Funeral Manager. Copyright Erika's Way A beautiful day for a funeral. Copyright Erika's Way Liz memory Pamphlet. Copyright Erika's Way Music and songs at the Funeral. Copyright Erika's WayJust after the funeral. Ready to go to raise a glass of wine. Copyright Erika's Way hugs to Liz. ©Erika's Way Photography Rose Petals as last goodbye Australian Native flowers for the coffin. Copyright Erika's Way Last goodbye. Copyright Erika's Way Last Goodbye to an old Friend. Funeral Photography in the Dandenong Ranges. Copyright Erika's Way Funeral Photography Copyright Erika's Way A bear hug to support the Family at the Funeral. Copyright Erika's WayMother in Law. ©Erika's Way Photography At the Funeral. ©Erika's Way Photography Woodside Uniting Church sign. ©Erika's Way Photography Just after the funeral. ©Erika's Way Photography Funeral people. ©Erika's Way Photography Everyone hugging Liz's Daughter just after the funeral. ©Erika's Way Photography Uniting Church and cemetery in Woodside. ©Erika's Way Photography Last goodbye to an old colleague. ©Erika's Way Photography

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  1. Catherine George

    Beautiful photos to celebrate the life of a beautiful person.

  2. Rosalie Shilton

    A nice celebration of her life. Liz would approve. I was pleased to hear the stories and share memories.

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