Although I had been dreading the day of my husband’s funeral, by the end of the day I felt we had really made it as good as it possibly could be, a real celebration of Roger’s life, sharing with his family, friends and colleagues just what a brilliant and inspirational man he was. It feels strange writing this, but I actually feel I took a lot of positivity from the day, as I felt the love of everyone all around me and reflected on what we had together and how wonderful that was.
I’ve received several messages from people who said they felt they were part of something special that day, and I have to say I agree with them. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel exhausted, emotional and deeply sad, but I also saw how funerals can be a true celebration of life, and give strength to those who attend.
I wanted to think of something nice that the children could do to remember their dad and to make some nice memories of the day for when they were older. I loved the idea of setting off balloons; I remember the joy I got from seeing a helium balloon float up into the sky when I was little, watching it until it was just a tiny speck and wondering where it would get to.
There was one each for our children Sam and Florence, and another for their cousin Ava, who at six is the same age as Sam and kind of like his twin. (Ava actually has a twin brother and sister, so when they all get together it’s like two sets of twins!)
They held them up above their heads, before letting them go and watching as they drifted off. Sam’s went straight up and away, but the girls’ got stuck in a tree for a few seconds. My friend Ling mentioned yesterday how funny it was that a small gust of wind came and dislodged them, letting them fly off too, almost like a little nudge of help from Rog.
I really want to start a tradition with the balloons, setting them free each year to mark Roger’s birthday, or special occasions when we will especially miss him like Christmas or the childrens’ birthdays.
Let’s try to make something just a tiny bit happy from our sadness and loss.