Monday, 10 December 2012


My Uncle John's funeral was a beautiful affair.

The morning clouds that threatened rain parted to glorious sunshine.

The little church in Bucklebury was absolutely packed.

My cousin Vicky read a children's story that had Her dad in the title role of the friendly, generous giant. (For as she said, though he wasn't physically big, he was a giant of a man.....)

My cousin Sarah spoke movingly of John, and all he meant to them and to us all.

My Uncle David, John's older brother, stood tall and read without quaver, courage and sadness combined in an indomitable strength.......

We carried him in, Geoff, Nick, Jim and I.

And we carried him out too, for as Geoff said, Johnny would never have left us anywhere, so we certainly weren't going to leave him.

I haven't mentioned this before, but John loved machines, steam trains especially.

At the end of the service, before we pall-bearers bore him away, the sound of a steam train entered the church.

It sounded to me like an LNER compound..... (Johnny would have known....) but it had a Western whistle, long, low, mournful.......... fading into the distance.

I'd been doing sort of okay up to then, but that did it.

I wept.

The train was departing, bearing our departed away.

Next stop, Heaven.

I've missed out so much that was good on that day: so many people, such kindness in sad eyes and weary faces.

Sorry if I've missed you out.

I can't write any more now.



  1. Those who are remembered, live on, in us. Your uncle Johnny sounded like a wonderful person. If he was related to you he must also have been part rascal, and part mystic. Long may his memory live. BLessings to and your kin as your hearts mourn your loss.