Darryl Blakey’s Last Ride

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Darryl died, at home, on January 19th 2007 after a long battle with cancer.
His funeral/wake was held at home with a gathering and ceremony at the park opposite.
Here mourners begin to queue to come inside to pay their final respects.

An altar was created by the window in the front room where Darryl died and was bought home to be received by hundreds who came through to pay their respects. It is a very beautiful room that Darryl painstakingly restored. Everyone looked around in awe at what he had done and I have now claimed this space as my personal living room.

As people first came in to the room Monika had Danny Boy playing on repeat.
As I was receiving the last of the people she had Loreena McKennitt’s The Visit playing.
Those who went further in to the house heard Frank Sinatra’s I Did It My Way playing on my computer.

Take the time to sign the book by commenting here and make sure to view the archive collection of love that has been showered upon Darryl and I. I feel very loved and that is a priceless gift.

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Darryl’s coffin was draped with Ulysses flags. His helmet, glove and coat, together with a memorial Greg had made were arranged on it. As people lit candles some were placed on the coffin. That is a Chinese fisherman’s coat and hat on the wall behind.

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Lois Daley and I had been with Darryl until the end. Lois was the truest of friends. Here we are having a quiet moment before everyone arrived.

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I spoke and then read the Prayer of St Francis.

A moving part of the service was the presentation of ‘Walk in Beauty’, an exquisite Native American earth verse that has given me great comfort over the past fifteen years as we went on our ‘roller coaster’ ride.

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The Commital – Readings from James and
The Lord is My Shepherd

To the left you can see people on the side of the road watching as the procession began, with Bad to the Bone blasting from a biker who rode right up to the hearse before we took off.

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Here I am ‘frocked up’ wearing Darryl’s helmet and leather jacket. Ray Herd and I led the procession with our son Greg and our Tom, Greg’s friend since kinder.

The cavalcade went around the round about, stopping at our front gate so that Darryl could get one last glimpse of his home. I am told that there was not a ‘dry eye in the building’ at this point.

Monika supporting me moments after I came back and got off the bike. We look as though we were touched by angels and I know I was.

34 thoughts on “Darryl Blakey’s Last Ride”

  1. I can feel the love and support pouring out of these pictures. Thee is something about riding a motorcycle that is calming and soothing. May the magic of a motorcycle ride remain with you for as long as you need it. Thinking of you, and sending lots of love.
    Hugs and kisses,
    GwenGuin

  2. Dear Heather,
    I enjoyed seeing the pictures of this day of remembrance for Darryl and what a beautiful tribute to him. Since my husband is also an avid motorcycle rider, I can especially appreciate this celebration and a similar one would be appropriate for Harry. My love to you always and to the memories of a life well lived.
    Sylvia

  3. what a way to go! thank you for sharing these. We have biking friends and it’s true, they have a real community spirit. It must have been a fantastic sight and a great way for Darryl to make his final journey

  4. This event, and all of the recent posts and comments on the Temple and Group give testiment to a simple truth —

    two people conjoined by love can shake the world
    by just offering open heart and hand …

    papa

  5. Heather, thank you for sharing this with us. I felt like I was there with you that day and now it is more real in my mind with these images. What a beautiful day you had under the trees and blue sky. I’d love to see a picture of Carnforth and your garden someday.

    Lori

  6. What a wonderful send-off for a great fellow. There was so much love in this union-two hearts so entwined.

    Thank you, dear Heather, for sharing this amazing celebration of a life.

  7. It was a wonderful send off and my home, the street and the small park have transformed in to sacred space. A lot of photos were taken. These, from Monika are simply the first and will have pride of place. But more will come online as I get them and can show them to you, along with more tributes and details from the day. I plan to put all the verses that were read online as well so that it is all here for all to read and share.

    I felt that you were all here and the great mother honoured us in many ways. After blistering heat it was a mild day and a greening had taken place thanks to rain that began just as Darryl was crossing over. ‘The Greening’ was palable and obvious. My son noticed and so did many others.

    As the peace bell rang, a bell I bought home from Hiroshima, there were gentle shifts in the wind that were also noticed.

    I will include photographs of my house and garden and will also share when Darryl comes back and is finally scattered after his long bike ride to Coffs Harbour.

  8. Oh Heather thank you for showing us all these wonderful photos and for including each and every one of us in this most personal and memorable day of your life. You are an amazing person to still be able to give even while living through immeasurable depths of grief and sadness. With much love and always more,
    Edith.

  9. Thank you for bringing us into your heart, into your home and into your life. Darryl was a very lucky man, indeed, to be so loved by so many people. And we are so privileged to have been with both of you over the last several days.

  10. Heather,
    Enchanteur would be impressed at your creativity in making this a meaningful passage. Thanks for sharing the photos for us who are so far away in miles but close in spirit.

  11. Heather, I have just arrived home after attending my daughter’s wedding in Wyong – we drove through Coff’s Harbour there and back. We have both attended a celebration of life and love.
    The photos are beautiful and bring us so close to you and Darryl at this time. Thank you, Monika, you have captured the essence of a very special celebration.

  12. Dear Writers at Soul Food Cafe …… I can attest to the day we said goodbye to someone who most knew through le Enchanteur ……
    I was one of the fortunate ones and I was priveleged to say ” He was a darling friend” A man who always asked after my health,my daily,weekly jaunts, my up front protests and what was making me angry this week.
    We shared many a laugh perhaps having the same sense of way out humour …I am reminded of a saying
    ” What a pleasure !What healing !
    is found in sharing a long and hearty laugh
    with a good friend….Ann.D.Parrish.
    The day of the wake and reminiscence of his and Heathers life together came with sun shining ,a cool summer breeze.The night and early morning of Darryl’s death we had drenching rain on our gardens and our park ,and as we looked out from the front parlour as the downpour drenched all …it felt like it had washed away all the pain Darryl had suffered and for Heather it was perhaps a blessing of cleansing as were the candles the following week.
    I was privileged and honoured to be a small part of his care, sharing with Heather ,Greg and Helen the last days of Darryl’s life..
    How wonderful to be so loved …….

    Lois (Muse of the Sea) 29.1.2007..

  13. Oh, Monica and Lois, it’s so good to finally see you! Thank you, just for being such good friends to Heather, and being our SFC ambassadors…personally, I just felt better knowing that you two were there for Heather…you know?

    Heather, thank you for continuing to share Darryl’s celebration with us…it truly makes me feel like I’m right there with you, watching it all. And to hear of all of the lovely signs from Darryl that he gave to you (the ringing of the peace bell), and the Great Mama gave you (the greening), it lights me up to know that you’re being enveloped in such warmth and love, physically from Lois and Monica and your family, and spiritually, from the Mother and Darryl.

    Love you,

    Kris

  14. Thank you, Heather, for sharing this celebration of Darryl and your love. I really feel as though I was a part of it and honored to be a witness, even from way over on the other side of the world.

  15. There is such love here! What a blessing to be surrounded and supported by friends and family. Thank you for posting these touching pictures of Darryl’s last ride. Reading your yahoo post of the event brought me tears and seeing the pictures bought them out again. You are such a sweet lady and friend. I feel very lucky to know you.

    Big hugs from Luna in Portland, OR

  16. Heather, I am privileged to be included in some small part of the life you and Darryl shared…..for knowing you,……for knowing Darryl and your family. It was also a privilege to be included in some small way in the ceremony/celebration of Darryl’s life. You are amazing. I have told you that many times over the years, and I have never meant it more than I do now. You set extra-ordinary standards my dear, and we follow. Sometimes, willingly, sometimes gleefully, sometimes cautiously, yet always trusting.

    Darryl and you were forces to be reckoned with……that cannot be dimmed….and both of you have given me (and so many others) a very valuable gift. (One of many I dare say). A gift of kindness, a gift of understanding and acceptance. A gift of love. A gift of how to manage the loss of a loved one. As always, you are awesome Heather B.
    Carolyn x

  17. My sincere thanks to each of you for your response to Darryl’s farewell. It was the most wonderful day and I have been sharing with some of the people who were there, seeing it from their perspective and basking in warm memories of a stunning day. Obviously it was heart wrenching and we broke the drought with our tears, but the memory of the day is helping me immeasurably.

  18. Today, 3 July 2007, 32 minutes ago | moonshinemrs – I think I sent this message to the wrong person -this is for Heather. Sorry, first comment on a website – duuhh!
    Thank you for this website. I travel with you in your loss and ‘go girl!’ for your tribute to your man. I’m needing something special for a friend at the moment; that’s how I found your site. Darryl is keeping on, keeping on… he’s helping others through you… and thanks to your continuing strength and efforts at such a hard time in your life. Admire your energy ‘cos it’s pretty well expended in the leadups eh. Well done for having the focus to do this. Wish you all the best.
    And I found what I needed for my friend too on Darryl’s/your site. Thanks again.

  19. Thank you so much Moonshinemrs. If you have found comfort and direction here then that is reward in itself. It is no secret that I am still struggling. I find I get overwhelmed and tire easily. There are no short cuts but believe me when I say that the people who come here have helped enormously. All the best with your plans for your friend.

  20. I have come late to this site, but the depth of love and the ability to celebrate a life when others see only the ending is truly awesome. Thanks you, Heather, for the love you show in sharing this with us all.
    Trisha

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