Today we had Dad’s funeral. It is also my son Lloyd’s birthday. I’m really cranking out the big events this year on a tight schedule.
Lloyd was pretty philosophical about it. He said he’d never had all the family together for his birthday.
I won’t say it was a nice funeral or a good funeral but it was definitely about Dads life and not about his death. Lloyd spoke first and read from dad’s memoirs that he wrote a few years ago. It was about his early life in Guernsey and living in England through the war as a child and then his trip later to Australia. Then Emjays son spoke and he read a letter that was published in the Guernsey newspaper that Dad wrote a year after he’d been living in Australia about his first impressions of the place and how it was almost like a new frontier for him. Our brother spoke next about Dad and the man he was, the father he was, about his fierce independence and his love of new adventures and his constant desire to learn new things and experience all that he could. Then one of the girls who nursed him spoke and she said a poem and talked about the influence Dad had had on them, she was nearly my undoing I must admit. Then my nephew ended the service with a prayer that he wrote himself and then we played Fly me to the Moon as the grandsons carried him out. My mother was very happy the boys were able to carry him out on their shoulders as pall bearing seems to be a dying tradition. At first we were told they might not be able to as these days people are usually just wheeled out on a trolley due to OH & S rules but the boys could walk beside it. But in the end it wasn’t a problem, just a matter of getting the tallest ones in the right spot and Dad would have liked it very much.
So onto sandwiches, cake and coffee with the people who came. I think the hardest part of the whole thing was deciding how many sandwiches to get. Funerals really need to become an RSVP event because it’s so difficult to know how many people will turn up. Mum didn’t care about having too much food but she definitely didn’t want to have not enough. But it was a good crowd with all the family and most of Mum and dads closest friends. We weren’t sure how many of his friends would come as they are all around 80 years old and most had to travel a very long way but they came.
And now I’m having a glass of wine, writing this and then getting ready to go out for dinner to celebrate Lloyd’s birthday. Because birthdays are important and need to be celebrated.
My father had a huge influence on all the family, be they children or grandchildren or daughters in law and I think that a very large part of his desire to travel and experience new things and to just damn well take life by the horns and give it a good shake up has passed on to Lloyd who is quite the adventurer himself.
So happy birthday to Lloyd, I hope your life is as full of adventure and love as your grandfathers was.
Fly to the moon every chance you get.