Monday, 29 April 2013

My Dad's funeral was THE BEST!!!

My Dad's funeral was THE BEST!!!
29 April 2013

I know it might sound slightly off, but my Dad simply had the very best funeral ever!

It was a celebration of his life and a huge big fat jol.  A party of note, carrying on until the wee hours.  In fact the only thing that could have made the day more perfect, would have been his presence.  But then again, we wouldn’t have had the excuse of having a party in the first place, if he hadn’t just passed away.  Bit of a catch twenty-two actually.

Now you see, my Dad was a rather larger-than-life kinda person.  He had a huge presence.  He was charismatic.  Flamboyant.  Grandiose.  Unique.  Talented.  Prolific.  Imaginative.  Loud.  Different.  Artistic.  Musical.  Knowledgeable.  Brave.  Courageous.  Child-like in his enthusiasm.  Energetic.  Influential.  Inspiring.  Creative.  Visionary.  In fact, the list of adjectives would simply never run dry.  He was quite simply, “WOW!!!”.

And those who knew him, will most definitely agree.  I firmly believe, that once you met him, you never forgot him.  He commanded instant attention, simply by entering a room.

His long illness and subsequent death at the age of 46 was a huge blow to all who knew him.  Personally, I felt cut off at the knees.  Simply numbed.  He was Frank Frost after all, and my dad.  He could do anything and was invincible to me.  And I felt convinced right up until a few days before his death, that he would miraculously recover, and bounce back to his former bubbly self.  The alternative was just too awful to contemplate.

But in a way, despite hoping for a miracle, we had started planning his funeral way in advance.  We were always going to have it at Cloetenberg and we were always going to combine it with an exhibition of some of his works of art.  There was always going to be music.  And it was always going to be a celebration and a joyous occasion.  Honouring his memory and his spirit with a really great send-off.  And so within hours of his death, in the middle of the night, the family all gathered at my parents’ home and the planning was stepped into high gear.  It actually gave us a marvellous constructive and distracting focus.  Something to do.  Something to demand our attention and our time.  We wanted to be able to give people a time and a date for his funeral, once daylight broke and we started notifying all of his death.  There were chairs to hire.  Snacks to organise.  Works of art to collect and hang up.  A PA system would be needed for the speeches and the music.  Musicians gathered.  Musical instruments too.  Plates, cutlery, serviettes, glasses, cups, coffee, tea, booze as well.  In fact, lots of the liquor was sponsored.  I told you it was a party!  And amidst it all, there was a constant and never ending stream of phone calls and visitors.

I never quite got a final tally of the amount of people there.  And there seemed to be quite a lot of flow.  People arrived from early in the afternoon, and continued arriving until late into the night.  I would guestimate anything between about three hundred to four hundred.  Possibly even more.  The funny thing being afterwards, that some people told us that they had thought it was a family and private affair, and that they had respectfully not come as they did not wish to intrude.  I can only imagine the greater number of peeps if everyone had pitched!

The family all gathered upstairs, close to the allotted time, while the guests arrived downstairs.  And somehow the atmosphere was incredibly festive and fun.  There was lots of laughing and bantering and giggling too.  Possibly it is a coping mechanism.  A way to help one get through it all.  We all told lots of stories of shared memories of good times we had had with him in the past.  And shortly before the funeral started, I quickly nipped downstairs to get something.  And on my way up again, I bumped into an old friend from Ye Olde Bell.  A regular and a punter - blind man Reg.  He immediately came over to me, and gave me a big hug, and somehow that very simple and kind act, managed to break through my defences and led to the first of my tears on that day.  Before that moment, I had been fine.  Swept up in all of the hype and the hoopla.  Nearly being able to forget the very reason for us all being there.  The very harsh reality that my Dad had indeed died.  Because if Reg from the Bell was somehow at my grandparents’ house, a place he would most definitely normally not be, it must be true.  Frank Frost was no more.

The weather was glorious.  The speeches were beautiful.  The paintings, sketches, etchings, drawings – magnificent.  The music – phenomenal.  The assembled crowd of friends and family – incredible.

It was a truly memorable occasion.  Many musicians entertained us late into the night.  There was even some dancing.  Hey, never mind that, I made an awesome home video of it all.  Cloetenberg shone, as only she can.  The remembered stories and reminisces were great.  And though there was deep sadness felt, there was also deep happiness too.  What a remarkable person he had been.  How much he had left us with to remember him by.

And though we only had the pleasure of his company and presence for 46 years, he left an indelible footprint in the hearts of those he left behind.  He had a full and busy life and managed to accomplish a lot.  My Ouma Helene always says that he managed to pack a lot into his time on this earth.  His legacy lives.  And continues to live on, in all of those that loved him.

At the time, we referred to his funeral, as “The Gathering”.  And it is called that to this day.

Because a gathering it was.  Of those that knew him and loved him.  Celebrating the life of an incredible man. 

A man who was loved.  And who left his mark on this earth.

I include three youtube links to video’s that were taken at the gathering.  I humbly apologise for the poor quality.  The original video quality wasn’t great to start off with and then, my hard drive recorder was being particularly uncooperative this morning, and so I had to resort to taking a video of the video with my cell phone.  It’s sad – I know!

The first is a clip of a Blues Broers tribute to Frank, called “I hate to see you go”.

The second is a clip of the general vibe at the gathering.  Giving you a rough idea of how many people there were.

The third is a clip of my dad’s very first band, Black Frost, playing a tribute to him.  A song called, “Johnny be good”.  And what makes this one so special, is that for this song, the former drummer’s son, happens to play the drums.  Yes indeed, it is a very rare clip of a 22 year old Albert Frost on drums.  Eat your heart out.  He’s bloody good too!

My poor sad Ouma Cathy - my Dad's mom.  Sitting in the garden at Cloetenberg, with baby Luke.  What a wonderful distraction he was to all of us.

Some bits of the art exhibition - photo's, paintings, and a few sculptures too.

Waiting in Oupa and Ouma's bedroom upstairs, with the whole family - shortly before the gathering started.

My beautiful Aunt - Bettie, my Mom's sister.  Also playing with Luke in the garden.  In the foreground, the "pulpit" on a Persian carpet and a huge big pot, filled to overflowing with my Dad's favourite - Sunflowers.

Oupa Willem and baby Luke

Grant, Katrine and a very good friend, Jeannine
Katrine, My Mom, Luke, Moi and my aunt, Bettie 
Lukie and I
Some of our friends at the jol

The morning after - reminiscing on the stoep.  Lise Swart, Katrine, Luke, Grant, Gordon and my uncle, Bert.

The stoep chatters - Gordon, Katrine, Luke, Lise and Maria
The following are pics, as supplied by my Mom
My lovely brother, the great Albert Frost - playing the drums alongside Black Frost - magical!

The Black Frost gig - awesome!

Band family, regular family and friends

The Blues Broers, with Daya a.k.a. Rob Nagel on drums

Chairs all set out before the time - though we sadly misjudged the number of guests - most people simply stood around, crowded at the back

Some of his beautiful art works - seascapes to the left and some landscapes to the right

Some of my Dad's beloved "Swartland" landscapes

More glorious orange landscapes

Beautiful seascapes - most of them Kleinbaai related

A fabulous collection of self portraits

Theo Crous from the Springbok Nude Girls on drums - my Dad's kit being used

View from the balcony looking down at the crowd


  1. It was indeed a great celebration of his life. A wonderful uplifting family togetherness day at Cloetenberg, with amazing love and support which was endless! like Frankie, never to be forgotten. And we were all so deeply greatful that his suffering was finally over and still totally stunned that he was gone. We miss you Fafan!

  2. Just flippen sad now, thx! hy was cool.