I’ve just been writing in my journal all the things that have happened in the last 24 hours that I want to run past Mary, and can’t. And only two of them are about her funeral yesterday.
You know how you go to some funerals and a vicar at the crematorium who doesn’t know the deceased (who never went to church anyway and was probably an atheist) talks obliquely about the person who’s died, and then you sing hymns that he/she probably didn’t believe, and you go home feeling cheated and bereft?
Mary’s funeral was the opposite of that. It was rich, full, honest and deeply meaningful. It was - above everything else - full of love. It was a fitting tribute to someone whom her nephew so perfectly described as graduating from life summa cum laude.
It was officiated by a humanist who was merely there to introduce the people taking part, and the pieces of music. Mary’s wonderful children led a chain of family and friends in talking about Mary. I read out my blog post about her. The room was packed with people who had been touched by her quiet kindness and care. There were so many people present who thought of Mary as their best friend because they could talk to her in a way they could talk to no-one else. I realise now, as I have not before, what a privilege it was to be her friend.
I can share this with you…
as I did with Zoë yesterday, on leaving the crematorium, “There are some occasions when you are never too old to have your mother lick her hankie and wipe the mascara off your cheeks.”