Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Cremation and Celebration

Can we believe that Ladies and Gents?

18 days without Rich.

The Cremation is over, and went fairly well, all things considered. There were pictures taken for the BG, as she couldn't be there.

He came down in the hearse, and the Marham people lined the route. I was so proud of them, so very proud. The coffin was borne in, led by the adorable Cpl A.

On his coffin was his cap, his medal, his belt and bayonet, and flowers from his mother. The flowers from AC, BG and I were just a small spray, that didn't go on the coffin when it was all beflagged, but didn't come back to church with us, because they went with him afterwards, as they should have done.

The AC and I followed the coffin in, followed by I-t-B and his girlfriend M, who seems very nice. The Crematorium was full. Full to bursting almost. There was standing at the back.

I-t-B did the Eulogy, then one of the Sqn Ldr's from Rich's old base spoke very highly of him. Then there was the committal, and the curtains closed around him as the Last Post played. And all I could hear was the AC crying softly. He wanted them to open the curtains again, just one more time. But then it would have been one more, and one more, and one more.

And there is no more.

And after the Silence, Reveille was played.

And then we mingled outside for a while, before heading down to church for tea and cake. Lots of cake. Big on the cake. The RAF lads were very appreciative of the cake. And tea. More tea. More cake.

Then the service, which went really, really well. The Church was filled to capacity downstairs, and more upstairs. Not bad for "a monkey in a uniform with no decency" And there were different people there to those at the Crematorium, mostly the same, but about 1/4 different. How amazing is that?

The AC, Charlie, and I brought in the things we had agreed, the personal symbols of him. His RAF dress cap, his sword, and his dice bag. All things so personal to him. Things which were about him and the person that he was.

We sang for him, we celebrated him. I managed the Bible reading, without much of a falter, I did my part.

Charlie and Curt shared about him. Caroline had sent a piece up, and Annilee, and obviously the children had sent a little piece in. AC's made people cry again.

Sam says “I like playing wrestling games with Richard. I liked watching him play Horbatha. I liked going to Pensthorpe with everyone to see the sword fighting. I was a bit scared but Richard said he was there and nothing could hurt me. I helped him fix my bike and he’s the only one who really knows how it goes together. He stopped my bad dreams and read books with good voices. I love Richard and want to cuddle him.”

I almost wanted to take his tears, and his words, and show them to the horrible person who had said that his feelings for Rich didn't matter, and Rich's for him didn't matter, and tell her to explain it to him now. Explain to our six year old son, that his feelings were of no account. And she saw him yesterday, in my arms, crying, and she looked away. But that is for another post, another time.

The minister spoke, and yes, some people won't have liked it, but that's ok. Yesterday was about Rich, not about anyone else.

We watched the pictures from his life, and Lonestar played our song.

We prayed, we sang "I vow to thee my country"

We had the blessings.

And then we played more pictures whilst people chatted a little, and the songs were ones that mattered.

T-Rex's Ride a White Swan.
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer "I'm a Believer!"
Bonnie Tyler "Holding out for a Hero"

People had more tea and cake and I hugged people goodbye as they left.

Then a few of us went for a beer. Just a couple of them, because it wasn't about drinking, but about celebrating. I had given the Chief some bar money for the boys, and they were drinking in the Legion, and would have come out with us but couldn't as they were uniformed. I had some great texts from them though, and they are such a lovely bunch of boys.

And then we came home, and cups of tea were drunk, and that was really the end.

I went to bed, and finally, finally, cried.

1 comment:

Chef Penny said...

Sarah I wish you were closer so I could just hug you! For the past few days you are all I've thought of and my heart breaks for you. May God wrap you and the AC in His arms right now. Virtual hugs all the way from Florida USA!