Quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to write, but here goes:
On an unseasonably warm february morning, 80 or so of us gathered to celebrate the extraordinary life of Lisa Almond. The order of service was chosen by her children, Karys & Phoenix:
She was carried to her final resting place by Katie, Hayley, Maurice, Debsi, Phoenix and Phil - in a wicker casket decorated with evergreens, thistles, lavender and white roses, to the sound of Kite by U2.
Her younger sister, Beckie, read out the following passage by Khalil Gibran:
Let me sleep, for my soul is intoxicated with love,
And let me rest, for my spirit has had its bounty of days and nights,
Talk not of my departure with sighs in your hearts;
Close your eyes and you will see me with you forever more.
Carry me upon your friendly shoulders and walk slowly to the deserted forest.
Cover me with soft earth and let each handful be mixed with seeds of jasmine and lilies,
And when they grow above, they will breathe the fragrance of my heart into space,
And reveal even to the sun the secret of my peace.
This was followed by tributes from her dear friends: Maurice Lane & Deborah Puxty Ward,
and the song "Wherever you will go" sung by Charlene Soraia
Further tributes from Hayley Gilks and Katie Withers were followed by the commital by the funeral celebrant Nicola Dela-Croix, ending with "Love Cats" by The Cure
Lisa wrote some final words to be read out:
I may not have had the easiest life, but nothing worth having is easy. And I got the best, my two beautiful children. They are what I've left for the world, and i know it is a better place for having them in it. I could not be more proud of them for how they have dealt with my illness at critical times in their education and childhood.
Just because I'm no longer physically present in the conventional sense, doesnt mean I've gone. Everything I am, all the elements my body is made from, will be absorbed back into the earth, into the universe. So I'll be around always.
Don't sit in traffic getting stressed, look at the sky, the trees, the birds, let people in from side roads and make someone else's day better - it's the butterfly effect.
Know yourself, know your body, and take care of both......
That's the nuts and bolts of what happened but it's not the full story - how can I possibly describe the grief we all felt, the tears, the regrets, the deep chasm that she has left? Some strong bonds have been formed these last few weeks, between the people she has left behind - but we are all too aware of the one person missing from our group. This proud, independent, courageous and clever woman will never be forgotten.
I'll leave you, as she would have wished, with a smile on your faces:
Wonder Woman is a warrior Princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created by Marston, an American, as a "distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men."  Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight (even though the original Wonder Woman did not have this ability), super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses animal-like cunning skills and a natural rapport with animals, which has been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.
Weekend Reading, 12.17.17
12 hours ago