I think we managed it.
I think mum would have been delighted by yesterday. Even copies of her book sold out! ‘Really mum you want to sell your book at your funeral, will people actually want to buy it?’ Yes she did and yes they did.
Every single person she asked came and did what she wanted. Which pretty much matched the way things happened when she was alive!
The ceremony in the wood was quick, heartfelt and private. Even the technology playing up (the Bluetooth speaker connecting to the wrong phone) was well within her expectations.
The celebration at the Cut Arts centre really did feel happily like the cultural event she envisioned with music, poetry and singing. But it also allowed for many heartfelt tributes. Even the ‘warts and all’ one she had asked for whoch acknowledged that her buldozing tactics didnt always endear her to people.
But in general the picture that emerged was consistent. Mum’s unique capacity to use charm, cunning and strategy to bend the world to her will and make wonderful things happen. She was as subtle as a sledgehammer, with a kind of Jedi Mind control that meant when you opened your mouth to say no you found yourself saying yes. But her real gift was that you found yourself being flattered and grateful that she wanted your help. That she allowed you to share in her sense of achievement aand pride, that she lead by example, was fun and mischievous to work with, always ready to help others when she could and always genuinely grateful for what people did. Even to the end.
The auditorium was full, The tributes heartfelt. It was wonderful to feel the affection that people not only felt for her but extended to our family. I felt intense pride in being part of my family: my amazing kids creativity in writing and music, my nieces in art and poetry. I don’know how on earth my Dad got through his beautifully written tribute that successfully navigated between laughter and tears. Especially how he managed to dekiver the gut wrenching statement that, with Mum’s death, the best of his life was behind him. My sisters speech was clearly and engagingly delivered: not surprisingly as she is an accomplished public speaker: often on the TV, or delivering addresses to large conferences. It was well crafted, humourous, concrete and detailed: the handmade presents and the painstaking Christmas rituals.
Then afterwards ukuleles, sparkling wine, trays of cake and so many, too many really people I wanted to talk to. People who were important to mum and spanned the breadth and length of her life. People I know she would have wanted there and wanted to thank for all they did for her. Her awesome endlessly helpful and patient gardener, the guy who made so many things around our house and Halesworth, the man who helped her bury our dog and made the garden in our Reydon house so magical.