the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “death”

Funny Funny

Thanks to Christine for this little gem. As her email intro advised when she sent it to me, it was too funny not to pass on…

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?” Read more…


The Futility of Life…


I started this blog with a sentence…and then deleted it.
I wrote another sentence…and then deleted it.
The third time, I realised there was only one way to start this post…and so it reads;
Katie Lee Simpkins, I love you, adore you, and could not stand to lose you.
But this sentence in itself seems so selfish in the context of our day today. At 12:30 this afternoon we arrived at Harewood Crematorium to be part of the show of strength, love and support for Rachael Fairweather-Steyant and her four children, Gabe, Zach, Bella and Alex as they laid their husband and father to rest – RIP Michael Steyant who was tragically taken from them in the PGC Building, 22 February, 2011.
If you were to die it would surely be a measure of who you were by the people, and the number of people who turned up. And the crowd that gathered this afternoon showed what a special man Michael was. I myself had only met him and Rachael last year at the Pre-school Xmas BBQ, Katie knew them little better, but after my ‘chance’ meeting a fortnight ago (read ‘Persepctive’) we both knew we had to be there.
But as much as the show of people was testament to Michael himself, it would be equally so that they and we were there for Rachael and the four kids. Amongst those there were Army Officers, teachers from our school and pre-school, rugby players, office workers and blue-collar workers…and all, and none could deny it, shed a tear or more. From the lone piper with “Amazing Grace” (what is it with that tune on pipes that gets you?) through to the modern choices played alongside a photo diary of his life;no sooner did you compose yourself from one moment, you found yourself choking back on the very next one.
It is not for me to go into too much detail for respect of those who lost an obviously great man, but it makes one think, and being the thinker and dweller that I am, I made many decisions this afternoon. But three that I would recommend all to do;
Live life. You only get one shot at it and you’re a long time dead.
Friends and family are everything – I have few fears in life (OK, spiders!), but I don’t ever want to die alone.
And I also had to get back and pick up my own two girls from school – I had an uncontrollable urge to hug them both, but not before hugging Rachael – I am so glad I got to, and despite the unnecessary thanks for being her ‘rescuer’, therein lies a special woman and Rachael, we will have that coffee again when you are ready.
Life is made up of years that mean nothing and moments that mean it all.


>Michael Styant, from the post “Reflection” was named today…

My family’s thoughts go out to Rachael and her four children for their tragic loss.

Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.



Now, before you read this, I want you to understand this is not made up, not a script, nothing but the events as it happened (again, my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I guarantee the situation is real)…in a million years I would never have believed that such a string of events could be tied together to give me the greatest perspective on the effects of last week on different people, and how lucky I, and so many are, but in the same respect, how many have lost so much. I will not reveal specific details of those in this and will use nom-de-plumes, but I want you to know, this has buoyed me more than anything I will experience in the future, and just made me humble. To RWS, I know you are reading this blog and I mean no disrespect to your situation, after the outpouring you gave me, I hope I do this justice and in dignity; and to SS, I know you will be reading this too, and that hour, or whatever it was shared with her, will certainly stick in my memory for ages to come… Read more…

Waiting…and the uncertainty

>It is so hard to explain the emotions we are running through, probably easier to document what we are and aren’t doing.

The days immediately following the quake, it was chaos and dread. Was there another one coming? Who was dead? Who haven’t we contacted? The phone calls and TXT kept coming in, and most we ignored, not because we didn’t want to answer, more a case of we couldn’t…I mean, what would we say? We kept repeating the same old story over and over again, deep down knowing how lucky we were, like many, but always in the back of our minds was that others weren’t. And also knowing, almost expecting, that the next one, and there will be a next one, could be the end of us, or worse, one or two of us.
And taking that element of uncertainty away, what is in store for us? Katie has just started at a new job, and actually, if you excuse the pun, seems to be as safe as a bank, but for me? I have had no communication from my employers, be it Scoot, Digi, or VFNZ. We are completely in the dark as to their future plans – I mean, I am in acquisition…who the hell is going to do business in the immediate and mid-term future? For some I understand the need for a cash injection, a quick fix, to get the necessities, but we have been left relatively unscathed so long term security is more our concern.
Katie’s work has been brilliant! From Aussie HO organising to get her home ASAP, to organising a hotel for meetings, updates, and even simple things like a shower and laundry…and on top, the following day money was put into her account for emergency use. She has had at least two phone calls a day from management, and today she goes back to work to a meeting from the “big boss” who will no doubt lend all the support required to the team down here. I have asked her to take the EAP on offer; now and again, and more frequently as time goes on, she just breaks down. It is not necessarily brought on by the news (although invariably is), but small things like dropping a cup, breaking a nail, or one of the kids being naughty. She is symptomatic of the stress and pressure we are feeling down here. I can only be so strong myself, trying to hold us together, but I am not an expert in this area. My usual response it to crack jokes, it’s my self defence mechanism, but I just can’t find anything funny to say (although some would say I was never that funny anyway!). So I just mull on best I can…beers, smokes, and coffee a big part of my routine…eating sometimes, and not wanting anything other times. Not good for the system but what else is there right now?
As I write this, I am trying to keep myself busy with ironing, laundry, and other chores otherwise the sitting around will get to me, and avoid the TV as much as I can – the ongoing coverage is repetitive, but you have to endure it to get more updates on deaths, names, and routines. But at 148, it is becoming fantastical. Just like the day it happened when it didn’t really seem like it had (or could), the rising death toll became a morbid curiosity…but until it reached 100, it didn’t seem to register. But 100, shit that suddenly makes it big, real, and ever more tragic. Sometimes hearing the stories makes me tear up, sometimes they harden my resolve, but either way, it makes me numb and indifferent…

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