Deep at heart, I’m a lover of rock music. But, back at a family funeral in July (the first and only one I’ve so far attended), there was another song played during the service that really hit me. Maybe it was the occasion. Maybe it was my own emotions. Each time I hear that song (below), I’m reminded of that day and how I felt.
To go through it all briefly up until this point, I felt I coped quite well at the cremation. She was my mum‘s auntie (my great aunt) from a section of the family we didn’t see too often. Mum was leaning on me as we arrived, wrapped around my arm upon first glance of the coffin (actually, that came while driving along the motorway). My dad was the one who drove us (they’re divorced, in case I’ve not mentioned it before) and he kept making the most inappropriate of jokes throughout the day (“When does the barbecue start?“, for one sick example).
After that initial seating, we moved on to another church where the service was held. I made my choice to only read along with the hymns an not sing (thankfully, mum was the same) and, at some point, the vicar addressed us with the song above. I’d noticed the title in the programme but could only think of another song with the same name… 😛
He told us how much he personally looked forward to hearing this one based on what he had witnessed at others services. There’s something about the song that brings people together and, he encouraged people to cuddle up close to their loved ones. Not long after he pressed play, it started. Everyone around me, cuddled up with a mate. Tears would only bring them closer. I was sat in between my parents, half expecting mum to reach over, when I realised she was already sharing the moment with her cousin. To my left was my dad. I’m glad he didn’t try anything as the feeling was already awkward.
All I could think of was how I wished someone else was there. She didn’t know the family, she’d not even met my mother and I’d only known her two months. I was missing ‘May’, wishing she was right there next to me. It was earlier in this same week that she’d suggested us having a sleepover the coming weekend. I sent her a text during the long journey home, only to realise that she’d kind of changed her mind after a difficult couple of days. We were still three hours away from home as I sat in the back of the car, wanting to cry. I just couldn’t.
The rest of the day was okay. People seemed to come together around food and drink and, although I don’t feel I can quite describe it, it was almost as though saying goodbye was helping them to begin to accept the loss and to carry on with their lives. When I was younger, I used to think of funerals and cremations as being where you turn up, say goodbye and then go home again. It was a good opportunity to speak to (and meet) long lost family; some of whom I’d never actually met before (or, it had been over twenty years).
Really, I just wanted to share the song, after hearing it on the radio earlier this week. Actually, I’ve heard it several times in the last four-months. With each play and listen, I’m reminded of that day. What a voice! Having written this now, I feel like I could write a longer account of the day, going in to greater detail on some areas. 🙂