Somewhere over the Rainbow  

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A mixture of emotions for me today. I went to a funeral this afternoon. The mum of one of my close friends passed away just before Christmas. Her name was Sylvia Leigh and I’ve known her for about eleven years.

She was a lovely lady, who adored her family and grandchildren. And somehow Aaron got adopted into that circle too. When we first met her, it was at a children’s birthday party, and as her grandchildren were calling her Nan, Aaron just thought he would to, he used to call her Grandma Leigh, and no-one ever thought it was in the least bit strange.

The first time he met her he went to give her one of his hugs, and as anyone who has ever had one of these hugs knows…its no lovey dovey, light hearted hug we’re talking about, we’re talking full on squeeze you to death, pop out your eyeballs, strangle hold here. “Be careful Aaron,” I warned him….”oh I’m not as fragile as I look,” she said defiantly… “I know, but you’ll see” I said smiling…and he hugged her. Only after she turned a deep shade of purple did she laugh and say “fair enough.”

When we were first fundraising for Aaron, despite being in her eighties, she got stuck in, raised quite a bit of money, even went on the radio to promote our bungee jump. I think perhaps someone forgot to tell her she was getting on a bit. Luckily we talked her out of the jump itself….

So her funeral today was mixed emotions for lots of reasons. Obviously there is some sadness at saying goodbye to old friends, then of course, there’s the knowledge that Aaron has another one of his grandmas’ up there with him…I’m sure they’ll be causing havoc together. The songs were two that make me think of Aaron every single time…’somewhere over the rainbow’ and ‘in the arms of the angels’. Needless to say, I blubbed for England.

And the crematorium service was all a little too close to home. The coffin looked so small; it made me wonder how small Aarons looked! Then one of my godchildren got up to speak about her nan and couldn’t get through it, so her dad had to step in and help her, listening to her sob was heartbreaking. But I kept trying to remind myself that, as I was saying the other day, it is a true measure of how much they love their nan and how loved by her they all are.

I was a little shell shocked afterwards, because I don’t remember that much about that part of Aaron’s funeral, I remember staring at his casket dreading the moment when it would go out of sight. People must have been sobbing all around us then too, I just don’t remember it all that much.

It is the first funeral I have attended since Aaron’s and it was going to be hard. But I wanted to be there, it was important to pay my respects and to be there for my friends and my god children.

So this is me saying rest in peace Grandma Leigh, you will be thought of fondly and often.

p.s. don’t let Aaron talk you into doing anything too mad.


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