Nearly 200 people turned up to say goodbye to Colin on Friday. Our church seats 164 and folding chairs were put up in the area where coffee is served. 16 of us followed Colin to the church and we were asked to go in before him. I saw the crowd through the large window and the tears started to flow and I couldn't move when our 6 year old foster grandson said, "It's alright Nanna B, you are allowed to cry". He and his "brother" took both hands and we went in. Colin followed to the the Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller. Pictures of Colin and our family were projected on several screens around the church. Two of our sons spoke affectionately of their dad, our daughter in law read a poem and then my ukulele group played "Things" while our grandchildren gave out wrapped chocolates to everyone, Colin always offered sweets or biscuits to all visitors. After hymns, a bible reading, prayers and a talk by the pastor, Colin left the church, once again to Moonlight Serenade and me and the family left to wave him off and say goodbye, more tears. We didn't go to the crematoriam with him and went back into the church for the last hymn. The service ended with the theme from the Archers as we left for the local pub/restaurant. I had booked afternoon tea for 100 but 122 people had cups of tea (according to the invoice!) and others went straight for the bar. We were there talking to friends and relatives for three hours and then many of us walked to the local park near our house for the firework display to music. As the first group of fireworks zoomed into the sky we all shouted goodbye Colin, dad, grandad, more tears but also laughter.
The next chapter of my life has begun. After the funeral, 5 of my friends booked a four day break in Budapest for me as well, for the end of this month. On Saturday I had a phone call asking if I wanted to go to the Albert Hall Classical Spectacular as someone can't join the coach and wants me to go instead. Today I went back to church, more tears, and stayed to lunch as a farewell to our pastor as he starts a new job.
As I sit here in a room surrounded by cards and flowers I feel so blessed to have so many friends and so pleased I forced myself to remain in contact with as many folk as possible, meeting them when Colin had a sitter and inviting folk in for coffee, takeaways etc. I met 4 of the 5 I'm going to Budapest with, well after Colin was diagnosed. The other had a daughter in the same primary class as our 38 year old son and I hadn't seen her for years. So folks, don't cut yourself off. If you can't get out, get people in. I found very few declined a coffee or a meal or just a chat.
I still go into the dining room to tell Colin something and my heart lurches when I see the table instead of the bed but I'm sure things will get better.
My prayers are now for all affected by PSP, those living with it like our dear friends Jill and Peter Jones (Thank God you are back with us Peter) and those caring for them. My darling knew where he was going and it was his decision to leave and I know he is OK now so I'm going to try to live the retirement we should have had together. I'll be with friends but he will always be with me.
I'll still read posts as I can't just forget you but won't contribute as much.
Sending you all lots of love a great big hug.
Nanna B AKA Bev