I took these photographs at the Kingston cemetery in Tasmania, while we buried my dearly loved Yia-Yia, Margarita Panaretos. The funeral was attended by many people who had come to say goodbye to an amazingly celebrated woman, referred to by the priest, Father Timothy, as the last woman standing from a very prominent era for the Greek community in Hobart. Her husband beforehand, my Pappou, had been the president for the Greek Club, and had also played an important role in connecting the dots within the burgeoning community. My grandmother provided the support and love for her husband and three daughters, and gave reason for the people around her to band together. The Greek expression goes that “The man is the head and the wife is the neck”. We believe that in her life, she was also the head.
The burial ceremony provided a refreshing crossover between life and death. As my grandmother was lowered into the same grave that her husband had been buried in 17 years prior, the three great-grandchildren peered over the rail with inquisition and excitement, while we all dropped a handful of petals and sand onto the oak casket below. As this hole is filled with new soil, Yia-Yia will be remembered for the great influence she had within our family.