Image for Just what are funerals for ... ?

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Vanessa Goodwin ...

First published March 12

Funerals serve two purposes, to honour the dead and support the grieving.

There can be no doubt that at Vanessa Goodwin’s funeral on Friday, the former role was admirably performed.

The service was sensitive, kind and caring, much like Vanessa herself.

As to the second role, it is my view, shared by some close to her including some Goodwin family members, that the funeral had one glaring omission.

Whilst many of the grieving were supported, the one who was perhaps grieving the most was not only left unsupported, but actively ostracised.

When asked to speak at the funeral, his request was denied.

When asked to be a pall bearer, his request was denied.

When asked if he were to receive a special invite, like many of our “high and mighty”, he was told to join the public queue like everyone else and register interest through DPAC.

Despondently, he decided not to attend at all.

At the funeral itself not a single speaker; priest, politician, family member or friend acknowledged his contribution; that he cared for Vanessa more than anyone during her last sad year of illness, that he did more than anyone to take her out and create that sense of normality she craved for, or that he was her closest friend and confidant for nearly 20 years.

So I thank you, Tony Mulder and strongly suspect that if Vanessa could have attended her own funeral, you would have been the first one she would have thanked.

*Hans Willink is a retired Army Officer and Public Service IT Director. Tasmania’s first Uber driver. Recent candidate for Federal and Legislative Council elections.