Yesterday was a grey day… still and quiet, no wind to disturb the leaves… an ordinary October day in many respects.- yet for some, yesterday was far from ordinary. Yesterday was the day that we buried baby George.
I knew that I was going to write about this funeral, even at the beginning of the week, and yet yesterday, when it was time to put fingers to keypad, nothing came. No words. Just a white screen and a blinking cursor, and although I felt I had to write something and I had something to say, I felt dumb, speechless.
Today is a different day. The emotions, for me at least, are less raw and I can reflect on the funeral and what it meant deeply to all of us in some way.
In the morning, we had placed George’s tiny body into the little willow coffin that his Mummy and Daddy had chosen just as gently as we could. We uncovered his face… just a little… he looked perfect as if gently sleeping. Having spoken to Toria and Nick about it, we all agreed that a huge hearse just made no sense for a tiny baby, and so we used our own car – freshly valeted for the occasion and bedecked with black ribbon. We made the back as cosy as a nest with beautiful cloths, flowers, and surrounded George with a cloud of baby blue organza – just right for our precious cargo.
We processed away from the house to the church with full dignity and honour for George and his family. His Father gently carried baby George from the car into the Lady Chapel at Christchurch, for a service which was wonderfully conducted by Father Neil… himself a family friend and deeply moved by the occasion… close to tears.. as were we all. There were beautiful poems chosen by Toria and Nick, a touching rendition of ‘Pie Jesu’ from ‘Requiem’ by G. Faure sung by Angela, and a heart wrenching final tribute, words that Nick had written for his son.
His parents chose a burial for baby George, and although lowering such a tiny coffin into what seemed a large and hollow grave was a hard thing for me personally, how much harder was it for the family? We can only imagine. We left George nestled on a bed of Autumn leaves and showered with red rose petals…
The whole day, this whole terrible experience is something that the family were never prepared for, could never be prepared for. They had looked forward to the sleepless nights, punctuated by a baby’s cry. But no, the sleepless nights that they now endure are empty, wreathed in silence, hours waiting only for the dawn, and facing another day without their much longed for baby.
In spite of such a heart felt sadness there were moments of touching strength…the very best of people….holding our human frailty in the face of utter helplessness. The beauty of the sacred dignity of everyone present….the gentle compassion…a silent hand of comfort at a moment of profound vulnerability..when our hearts are so fragile…and all we understand is to love and comfort each other….in the sharing of tears with those who mourn….holding up, when the world seems to have let us down. These are the things that we will remember and hold dear…even in the darkest nights.
Rest peacefully George – your Daddy said it best of all when he said ‘Angels never die’……