the funeral

angelic statue and sunset scenery
Photo by Ellie Burgin on

All in midnight black and shades of white

That hide the curves of aching flesh

That sobs with anger and with bitterness

For what was lost with that final breath.

It’s just a wooden box that lies in state,

For all the congregation to

Ponder on, the memories that they still have

Of that man that left this world like smoke

Curling in a catlike paw, that drifts into

The ether while we stand and cry

In this world of solidity, of science

And of needing to know how it works,

But these are days when we all know

The answers are unreachable, a thing we cannot grasp.

There is lots of talk about the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at the moment because it is going to be held tomorrow afternoon. I don’t know why but the death seems to have really struck a chord with me, possibly just because he has always been there and it feels a little like we’re all losing a grandfather.

However, it has also made me think a lot about grief in my own life and the funerals of both of my grandmothers. The first of which I was heavily pregnant with my son at the time.

We knew that she was going to die because she had terminal cancer and she knew that I was pregnant with her first great grandchild so it was sad for her that she was going to miss that event. The last words that she said to me as I leaned over and kissed her on my last visit was ‘look after that boy for me.’ I ended up naming him Noah Gene because her name was Jean.

The day of the funeral was horrible and it was the first one that I had ever been to. I think the hormones were playing havoc with my emotions and there was one moment when I just couldn’t hold onto the tears.

The car carrying the coffin had arrived at the house and the coffin was draped with the Union Jack because she did a lot of work for the British Legion. It was quite regal, in a way.

The back of the car was opened and my dad’s sister stepped forward and just threw herself onto the coffin, sobbing uncontrollably. I had never seen an adult in my life, totally lose control in that way. I come from a family that is very stiff upper lip and it was almost frightening to see.

It will stay with me forever, that day. And I think that it’s not entirely bad. Even those parts that felt shocking at the time, were just proof of how much someone was loved. I hope that the royals get to celebrate the life of their grandfather this weekend. I have a feeling they may be the reserved type.

Much Love

Rachel xx

11 thoughts on “the funeral

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Funerals are always such an emotional time. Whether it’s’ family or a friend or someone we feel a connection with, the loss resonates deeply. So it’s no wonder those feelings come up when you think about the Duke of Edinburgh’s funearl.

  2. Smelly Socks and Garden Peas

    I’ve got my Gran’s funeral in 10 days time. This post really touched me. It’s the first family funeral in over 20 years, since my grandad (her husband) died when I was at university. Its going to be very strange, very small, my husband and older son might have come in different circumstances. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Smelly Socks and Garden Peas

        She was almost 95, her body was tired and her mind wasn’t what it was anymore. She was ready and after the long tail to her life, we knew it was time. Its still going to be so hard to say goodbye. I think my boys are going to find it so hard next time we visit my parents and they don’t get to go see her.

  3. Greg Dennison

    Aww 🙁

    My grandmother passed away a couple weeks ago at age 100. I was emotionally prepared, because of her declining health over the last year or so. The funeral is next week, because the place they wanted to go was booked far in advance. It sounds horrible to be looking forward to a funeral, but my job right now is so exhausting, and mostly I’m just looking forward to getting away for a few days. Either that or, with the highest people above me at work are treating my level of workers with open contempt, my job has gotten to the point that a funeral sounds better…

  4. crispina kemp

    All major-marking events have the power to disturb us. I remember Princess Diana’s funeral. It was the final nail in the coffin of an ailing relationship; 24 yrs back, remembered so clearly

    1. patientandkindlove

      I think everyone remembers that news and the day of the funeral. It was so sad watching the brothers walk together today, knowing that there’s issues between them. I hope they’ve had a few drinks and a good talk this afternoon.

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