Six years ago, right now, (9pm ish) I was sitting by the river in a pub garden, with a fair few mates, who were carefully and cautiously watching me get accidentally drunk. Accidentally, because I had 3 pints on a stomach that hadn't seen a proper meal in weeks. Drunk, because it was worth a try. Nothing else was taking the pain away. Drinking because that's what you do at a wake.
Earlier today, six years ago, we held Rich's Celebrations. They were a proper celebration of the man and the life and the love. There were terminally weird bits, but they were bits I had nothing to do with, like his picture. The music, the order of service, everything else, was brilliant.
The RAF were fabulous. The bearer party were superbly turned out and I felt for them because it's not a nice job. They were all men he worked with, and afterwards, when Sam had given up and just wanted to be carried, I took him to say thank-you to them. He asked why, and I told him that it was the right thing to do.
We all chatted, and had a bit of a joke about how Rich hadn't eaten much of what turned out to be his last dinner with us because they'd all gone for McD's on the way back from somewhere. I predicted what he'd had, and we laughed that I had it right. Later on I was accused of being insensitive and uncaring, for laughing at his Celebrations, but I was CELEBRATING! I wanted Sam to know that death was grim and painful, but life was beautiful and amazing and should be laughed about and death should be laughed at.
I spent the day with my family, with friends, with his mates, with people who knew and cared and loved one or both of us. I spent the evening in the same way.
That night, my friend and her husband brought me home. We chatted and had a brew. Then they left.
Sam was at his father's place. My parents had gone home with each other. My friends had gone home with their partners. Suddenly I was the only person in the world.
Even the cat was out.
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