Carly's Speech at Charles' Funeral

Through out my life I have always wondered whether or not Heaven is real.

As I stand before you all here today I would like to tell you about the gift my grandfather gave to me after he let go of this life.

Last Tuesday morning at the exact minute that the sun rose my beautiful Griz passed away. My parents and I drove to the hospital to be with Nan, the rest of our family and of course Griz. As I stood over his weary body and held his hand, I realized that his soul had completely left his body. I was heartbroken that he was gone. I had known him for almost 29 years.

In the late afternoon of that day my family and I drove down to Mullaloo beach to watch Griz's last sunset together. Because of the work that I do for families bereft of their children I photograph sunsets at the beach around six nights a week. In all the hundreds of sunsets I have seen there was something very different about Griz's sunset. The clouds were a navy blue. They were heavy and magnificent. And even though they were beautiful, I feared that when the sun fell behind the clouds that there would not be much of a sunset.

My cousin Holly brought a basket of red rose petals for us to give to the sea in memory of Griz. We released the petals to the sea just as the sun set behind the storm clouds. What happened next took our breath away. The brightest gold lining started to appear on the edge of the storm clouds. Massive rays of light came through and pointed directly up to where the stars would soon appear.

I know that the gold lining on the edge of the storm cloud was my Grandfathers touch as he was receiving his first sunset painting lesson from his great grandson. This gold lining and bright rays of sunlight that appeared was the greatest gift my grandfather has ever given to me. He showed me that Heaven is real and that there is no death.

Our relationship with Griz is not over. It has just changed form. Although we will miss his physical presence, his spirit is all around us and we can still talk to him when ever we want or need to.

I will love my grandfather for the rest of my life and I will do my best to be the greatest person I can be so that on the day when it is my turn to leave this world I will be able to receive my first ever sunset painting lesson from my beautiful son and his wonderful great grandfather.

I love you Griz, forever.

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