No words to describe how I feel but I'll try and string some words together about the day. The funeral service was held in St Faiths Church an historic wooden church that is decorated with Maori carvings, tukutuku (woven panels ) painted kowhaiwhai and stained - glass windows. We were welcomed with beautiful singing in Maori. Another example of her standing in both worlds. The school was given the opportunity to speak and I could stand with my former group of teachers. The church was full with a similar number of people standing outside. The last to speak were her children. I could see they carry their mother within them. I'm sure they have her strength and will live their lives with the values she has given them. I was still filling out of the church when the students haka started. I'm sure New Zealand blippers will know the sound of the language and how very special it is to us. We filed behind the casket back to the hearse parked by the wharenui.
Louise was laid to rest at Kauae Cemetery beside her parents. We then returned to the Marae for a sit down lunch.
Of the many hugs I had today perhaps the most special was from a young man I taught 10 years ago. School was not always a happy place for him. When it got too tough his teacher agreed he could come back to my class of junior students and help me until he felt ready for his own year group again. Now he is in his last year of high school. A smartly dressed young man supporting his friends.
Last to mention is as the earth was being shoveled to cover the grave a monarch butterfly flew nearby. We returned to my friends house where we are staying and she had a butterfly ready to be released from the caterpillar castle. It is my blip. Fly free Louise. You will stay in my heart.