Posted by: Joan Spiller | May 26, 2010

Resting in Peace – And how!

I’m sort of jumping forward without finishing writing about what happened around the time Mum died late last year. But I found a bunch of pics today while sorting some things out on my laptop and it sent me on one of ‘those’ journeys so I thought I’d mix it up a little!

Last month we journeyed to the far North en famille to put Mum’s ashes in the family gravesite, alongside her Mother. Tis fair to say we agonised over where she should be ‘put to rest’, because although she was maori, she hadn’t lived up North for many years. 

However in the end, we decided that this was where she should be – if nothing else because whenever she spoke of her time living at Waimahana with her Mum, her eyes would light up and she’d talk with an animation and joy not always evident when she talked of other aspects of her upbringing.

My Mum was bought up in one of the most beautiful parts of NZ, waaaay up North a few hours past Auckland. Can’t you just imagine how much fun it would be to grow up in the setting shown below!?

Waimahana Beach, Northland, NZ

The pic above is taken from the gravesite, not too shabby a final resting place huh..Hence the resting in peace comment.

As an interesting aside, my brother and I “own” a significant chunk of maori land now Mum has died.. It secedes to the kids under maori law, we were told.. If only it wasn’t so far away, it would be a wonderful place to build a bach and hang out at!

Walking thru’ the water you DO see the fish leaping around in the water just the way Mum said they did. I always imagined there was a bit of childhood rose-coloured spectacle stuff going on when she said that but no ..!

Anyway, back to the reason for our trek up North ..

A real labour of love, the cross at Mum’s grave

We made our somewhat sombre trek up North by plane initially, to Auckland.. Then we grabbed a rental car and drove up North where we spent a few days at Keri Keri, staying with a friend of Dads.

It was there that Dad made the cross (pictured above) to go atop Mum’s grave. What a sad ‘task’ that was to witness.. Dad sat outside in the midday sun one day and burned the impression into the cross using a magnifying glass..

And just what does one say to the grieving ‘mate’, the other half of a relationship that’s been going for over 45yrs? I was lost for words and felt quite useless.
Not a fun feeling.

It may seem a little simple, but this cross is made from the (treated!) timber of one of Mum’s garden boxes. Dad made the original garden box, and as anyone who knows Mum will remember: her garden was her favourite place. So it was very apt..

Once she was laid to rest we decided to head on up to Cape Reinga, the very tip of the North Island.

CJ saying bye to a very special “Nan” at Cape Reinga
I felt awful about 1 second after taking this pic..

Maori legend tells that the spirit of the deceased leaves from the point down below in the pic where CJ is looking.. without really thinking about it, I said “Say bye bye to Nan” .. took the pic and then both CJ and I looked at each other and promptly burst into tears. No doubt confusing hell out of all the asian tourists who were milling around while we were there!

More later, I am reminded that blog entries are not supposed to be too long.

And I have to go to bridge soon 😉



  1. I love this blog! My grandfather was from there too and his brother still lives there! I haven’t been back since i was very young. Maybe we are related 🙂 Diann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hi Diann, I am SURE we are, who is your grandfather’s brother? (Gonna email you) 🙂


  2. […] it is time to have a drink with my Mother. . . On this, the anniversary of her death, 6 years […]


  3. The first photo is my home Waimahana Bay that is where i used to live when i was a baby that was about 12 years ago now i go back and it brings back memories over the years that ive been going to visit family it is a lovely place to be when it is sunny but when it is raining it is like torture because you are stuck in a house and you cant do anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes rain and bad weather sucks but you’d feel quite trapped there I guess. Are we related? If so, how? (Always curious) 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: