Today was Auntie B’s funeral. It’s been a long wait as it took a while to find a date that everyone could make and my cousin Phil wanted as many people to be able to attend as possible.

I’ve been getting more anxious as the day has got nearer, as Phil had asked me to do a reading, which was an honour but also very nerve wracking. The poem that he asked me to read is called “Farewell my friends” and it has quite a few choker lines! I’ve been reading it fairly regularly since he gave it to me and I had just managed to get it to a point where I only felt like I was going to choke on the final line, which I guess isn’t a bad place to do it if you’re going to!

As expected there were a lot of tears when we met up with the rest of the family. My auntie had 4 grandchildren and one great grand daughter and they were understandably very upset. It is only just over a year since my uncle died and it seemed inconceivable that we were all gathered again so soon.

Two of the grandchildren read some lovely memories that they and the others had compiled about Auntie B and it was a lovely tribute to her. My cousin Phil did the eulogy and he made us smile and laugh as well as bring a tear to our eyes. We sang some hymns, the second of which I couldn’t sing as my heart was thumping so hard, as I knew I was up next. And I managed it. Just. I felt like I steam trained my way through it and yes, I choked the last line. But I was proud to be part of the service and very glad that I agreed to do it.

The reception afterwards was lovely. Unfortunately, my dads cousin and family were unable to get there as they couldn’t get onto the motorway due to terrible traffic. A real shame and I know they were very upset, but it was nice to see other people, some I had not met before. It was nice for my dad to catch up with people – notably a couple who, as children, lived in my dads road when growing up, and subsequently married. The lady was my aunts bridesmaid when she and Uncle Howell married, and they had lots of stories to tell.

Now I am home and the tension of the day is over I feel totally drained and quite emotional. It is always hard waiting for the day and knowing that it is the end. We almost welcome it, but then imagine that we should feel better and less sad. It doesn’t seem to be that way, yet. I will remember how much fun we always had together, and how I always feel so lucky to be part of a family that has such a great sense of humour (we can turn any event into a reason to smile). Auntie B was a big part of that and we never failed to laugh whenever we saw her. She had a great big smile and I will remember her with real fondness forever.

As the final part of my reading said “all I need is your smile…..if you feel sad think of me……when you live in the hearts of those you love….remember then……you never die”.



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