Yesterday was an emotional day as we attended the funeral of Yorkshire Grandad: I collected my husband from work and Joshua from school and we drove the hour away to his hometown. It was a beautiful old church, which was full of family and friends. There is always anxiety taking Joshua to such events where he needs to sit still and quietly. but he did not let us down at all – he sat in the pew flicking through hymn books as we waited for the service to begin.
It was when the coffin and the family arrived that I began to cry for their loss and Yorkshire Grandma sought Joshua out and gave him a smile and a pat on the arm and he responded with enthusiasm. It was a great celebration of Yorkshire Grandad’s life with a down to earth minister and a fabulous eulogy from his best friend who clearly knew him well and he told amusing stories of their adventures together. But Joshua;s favourite part by far was when his grand-daughter sang and played the guitar. How she managed it I have no idea, I am full of admiration, but Joshua loved it and started to jiggle on his pew and to hum along in appreciation.
We met the funeral party at a hotel next to the crematorium for the wake and it was well attended by both family and friends. As Joshua has spent all of his life with his Yorkshire grandparents, lots of mourners knew him but I did not know them. He sat at the table nicely tucking into the buffet, and his hair had never been so ruffled by friendly well-wishers. Lots of guests came over to tell me how much he had grown since they had last seen him and he was shown genuine affection, which mostly he responded to. He became so accustomed to the attention that he grabbed the waitress’s hand at one stage and kissed it!
Yorkshire Grandma sought him out again and they hugged and kissed, as they had really missed each other. Of course that love brought more tears to my eye, but happy tears. Yorkshire Grandad would have loved this party in his honour, as we shared memories and stories of him. It was a friendly, warm wake – just like the man himself.
We made our excuses around 4pm as we had a special evening planned. Joshua and Yorkshire Grandad shared a love of the band Pink Floyd – his coffin entered and left the crematorium to two Pink Floyd tracks. So it seemed a fitting tribute to attend the Pink Floyd tribute concert that was, coincidentally, being held in our nearest city last night. We had an hour at home , changed clothes and headed out into Town again, arriving during the first song. It was a fabulous show, great music and my only sadness was that Yorkshire Grandad was not there with us to enjoy it, as he had done in the past.
It was a good day in which he had the send off that I am sure he would have enjoyed and we celebrated his life, which is the best thing that you can do in this sad times.