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

just loss

close up of gate of buckingham palace
Photo by Roméo on

The bricks are always crumbling down,

The fabric fraying at the edge,

Destroying life we know, we love.

Life is not a constant thing,

But ever changing, building and

A knocking down of all that is

Familiar, pleasant to the eye, the ear.

We need our lives to straighten out,

To weather storms and stay intact

But that is not the way it works.

Eventually those things we love and need

Will crumble into dust.

There has been some very sad news today. The Duke of Edinburgh passed away this morning and I feel like his death will leave a hole in lots of people’s hearts, whether they have met him or not.

He has been by our Queen’s side for over seventy years and so most people will not remember a time when he has been a part of our fabric that has woven us all together. He kind of feels a bit like the grandfather that we never had, making inappropriate jokes but always being there when really needed.

He has always been one of my favourite royals and I really hope that The Crown is accurate in its portrayal of him, because I totally fell in love with the character that we were presented with. He knew exactly who he was and what was important to him and that is something that is important in really uncertain times.

My heart goes out to the Queen and the rest of the family. I can’t even begin to imagine what you must feel to have somebody by your side for 73 years and then have them gone. It must feel like a body part has been cut away, you must feel totally off balance.

I remember when Colin left me and I took off my wedding ring after two years of marriage. I felt like I was falling over and gravity was having a weird effect on me. What must it feel like after 73 years?

I hope that the family get through this time of sadness and that they all put differences aside and really lean on each other. It’s easy to forget that a stuffy institution like the royal family is, at the end of the day, a family and they deserve the same kindness and respect as any other family in such a horrible time.

Much Love

Rachel xx