Heatherpedia

Fashion for Funerals Show, Nati Frinj 2015

I ve got to be honest. In the eighties and nineties, I did not like Heather. At all. Her acerbic remarks to wide-eyed-bushy-tailed-enthusiastic-let’s-save-the-world-and write-one-more-letter-to-the-local-paper-me did not go down well. 

Then we grew older, she mellowed, I left my naivety somewhat behind, and we became friends. Not bosom buddies, but people who enjoyed talking with each other. I listened a lot. Heather was a wealth of knowledge. I went to her when I had questions about anything, from governance to garden. She was my very own Heatherpedia. 

We were both visual artists and as she painted more and more, discussing her latest offerings became a favourite too. 

From Heather's pottery studio

As was just visiting her house, a gorgeous hobbit Mount Gambier stone cottage built by H, Malcolm Mattheson, twenty odd years ago. Heather's Smokeless Hacienda it was called. She gave advice and plants away, freely. Did not care about what people thought, as long as she did what she felt was right. 


Today, we buried Heather. I knew before going to Nepal that she had only a few weeks to live. Grieving happened then. 

She died the night my yoga trek began. 

Laura texted me she had passed away as I was at Swayambuth with my group. I took a photo then, which happened to be a bird flying in front of spires, and did a few koras around the stupa with Heather in my heart. 


Heather wanted a big feast for her funeral, all her friends under one roof, that of the Natimuk Memorial Hall, and she asked our common friends Bran and Laura to concoct a curry feast for the occasion. 

Everyone was invited to go home with some of Heather's pottery.

We all put our heart into it, and what a beautiful evening that was. From a simple compost and native plants lovingly scattered on top of her coffin ceremony to a hall full of friends celebration back in town, with food and drinks and her favourite music and slides from her life and stories shared and dishing out food and cleaning plates and hugging, what a whirlwind of love. 

Celebrating Horsham's new Mayor. 12 November 2015.

It was only as I rode my bike back at the end of the night that sadness hit. I will never be able to ask Heather anything now, I can’t drop in anymore with what bothers me to get patient clarification. It is what it is, she apparently said. Well, I guess it is. It is a a beautiful life, and one that I will keep living, and being grateful for, because, well, it is what it is. 

Thank you Heather. 🙏🏻

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