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12

 

A Personal Account of the Funeral of Baba's Poet,
Francis Brabazon
born January 24, 1907; died June 24, 1984
by Raine Mormon

 

Sunday the 24th of June:

 

We were at my parents house at Bli Bli, 10 kilometers from "Avatar's Abode". The telephone rang around 8:45 a.m., it was Roy Hayes. Yes, Francis had dropped the body and close ones could come and visit at his cottage between 10:00 a.m. and noon. We arrived at the cottage and were greeted by Patricia and Felix. They embraced us and I went into Francis' room. The peace and warm naturalness in the room was indescribable. He was laying there with his green woolen scarf across the pillow. Purple and pink flowers were at the side of his head. He looked so young. He had looked so strained and in pain when I had visited him the Saturday before. His skin was translucent, and suddenly I felt a million feelings. The feelings descended on me and I cried like a child. I was swept with gratitude and found myself thanking him for my spiritual dignity. It was Francis, who drew me into his creative world as closely as I was able to go. It was Francis who demonstrated through his example how a lover of God could behave in every day life, with every action mindful of Him. I do not know how long I stood there feeling this gratitude. I did not want to move. I suddenly realized that others wanted to come into the room and that I should go. I kissed his temple and a tear fell near his cheek. I went into the kitchen and Patricia suggested tea. I gladly proceeded to make it. We sat there as various ones came and went. It felt so beautiful just being there. At 12 o'clock, the undertaker came to take Francis to the funeral parlor. He would remain there until his funeral on Wednesday the 27th at 2:30 p.m. on Avatar's Abode. This was hard for me — to see him being taken away. I walked around to Baba’s House feeling completely empty. In Baba's room, for the first time in years, I felt like a singer. I sang one song of Francis' after another. It felt so natural and the words of plays and songs he had written flooded over me.

 

We headed straight back to Brisbane. We had to activate the Brisbane phone tree. I wanted to call Sue Jamison as soon as I could. We spent the evening with Lorraine Brown and talked of days with Francis and The Abode until finally, this day was over.

 

 

Wednesday the 27th of June:

 

I headed up the coast highway with Steven and Liz Hein to Avatar's Abode. We arrived there at 1:30 and I walked around to Francis' cottage. Patricia and I had received a very beautiful and personal cable from Sue Jamison and I wanted us both to have a copy each to take to the grave site. At Francis' cottage, the coffin was in the middle of the room — a beautiful warm brown polished wood with silver handles. A plaque on the top was engraved: FRANCIS - BABA'S POET. His green woolen scarf and his brown cap on top of the coffin, "ready to go on his last walk", Patricia said. The flowers were beautiful. The room's perfume made me feel sentimental. That empty feeling that had been with me on and off for these last few days returned. I embraced Patricia and Felix and felt that I would like to wait outside the Brufords' house with all of the others, who one from near and far, to say goodbye to their old friend.

 

The pall bearers soon came through the clearing and onto the pathway leading to the site. Bill LePage, Liz Hein, Di Waidelich, John Grant and others were carrying the casket. Many came with their arms overflowing with flowers. My heart filled with love for all of my Baba family and I was overcome. I remember Roy pulling me into the procession behind Lorna and Robert Rouse. I proceeded to the grave site. High up the hill we went, pine needles crushing under foot, their clean smell filling the air. We came over the hill and down to the ridge above the old road. The coffin was placed there in readiness. The scarf and cap still at its head. I stood above it and realized that I was so elated. I felt, as I am sure that everyone else did; sweet sadness, joy, love and a peace and knowledge that everything in time was in its correct place and order 100%. I looked

 

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