Sunday, 17 June 2012

You're In My Heart ......

Friday15th June was Andy's (The Duke) Celebration of Life, it was a very sad day, but seeing how many people came to pay their last respects was also very touching, the chapel at the crematorium was packed, with some people having to stand at the back. 
We chose a picture coffin of a pebble beach for Andy because just days before, we had returned from a lovely weekend in Weymouth and had visited Chesil Beach, which has always been one of our most favourite places, so it seemed perfect, and indeed it was beautiful. 
We asked that there were no flowers, but close family made up bunches of flowers picked from our gardens. In mine I placed three of his fishing floats and then tied a brass radiator key and some small cork floats in the string with which I bound them together, and finally, I sprinkled it liberally with some translucent micro glitter .... because the poor chap always seemed have some on him, despite never using it himself!!
We chose a humanist service and Donna (who wore black and gold in honour of Andy's beloved team Wolves) conducted it so beautifully. Last Saturday she sat with us for two hours while we talked and talked about Andy .... and she everything she then said at the service was perfect.  People who had never been to such a service were very taken with the dignified and moving way it was all put together.  Andy loved his music and as he particularly loved Rod Stewart I choose "I Don't Want To Talk About It" as people entered the chapel, followed by "You're In My Heart" at his committal and finally Queen "Love Of My Life" as we left. 


Afterwards we had a small buffet made up of all Andy's favourite foods (all prepared by his sister and her family), salmon sandwiches, crusty bread and cheese, Fondant Fancies, Manor House Cake, mini apple pies, mini Cheddars, jelly babies and marshmallows and we toasted him with Blue WKD, his drink of choice (for which I always teasing him, saying he was very in touch with his gay side!!)
It was a strange, exhausting and very long day, I didn't really feel that I was there in a way, but it was perfect.

STILL WITH ME .........


In the week, to keep myself occupied, I decided to clean out the deep freeze .... all was well until I came to the bottom drawer where Andy kept his marine fish food, however as I delved I thought I had found what looked like some long lost mince ...... however, on closer inspection what I had actually found was a big bag of frozen maggots (which I have since discovered are very on trend in the angling world!) .... aghhhh, did I cuss him .... so rather than being all lovey dovey on my flower tag I decided to give him what for!!!

THANK YOU ...........
Can I take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who sent e-mails, cards and flowers, I was so unbelievably touched ..... it meant so much to me you will never know.  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU xxxx Your kindness and thoughts kept me going, and is something I shall never forget.

24 comments:

Di said...

Oh Helen, lots of tears. I was just off to bed when i realised it was after midnight and there was likely to be a fiddle fart post. Glad to see there's still a sense of humour among the sadness.Bless you and your family. Di.xx

Dianne said...

What a wonderful service for Andy; perfect in every way. So personal and touching. All the love around you and the love and respect for Andy put a glow on all. ..Take good care of yourself...Love Dianne ...Up on that cloud, you know Andy is so proud of you..

Cheryl W. said...

That service just sounds so perfect, so filled with love and lovely memories of Andy. I was very touched by your post and only wish I could give you a real hug to let you know I care, way over here in Minnesota, USA. So consider ourself virtually hugged.

marc said...

It Was every thing you wanted for Andy a celebration of his life and the perfect goodbye to the shell that held every thing he is as they say girl you did the boy proud you did it your way his way the only way it could be done you know we are here we ant going any were if you need any thing just ask and if i can i will for know get a bit of rest big love marc

Di said...

Oh Helen, what a perfect send off for Andy. A really touching post and a lovely tribute as well. Wry smile here about the maggots in the freezer, I think I heard the yell right down here in Hampshire when you found them.

Hugs, Di xx

Suze Bain said...

I'm sure we all have tears in our eyes after reading this lovely tribute. Lots of sadness but moments of sunshine too. Take care. xx

RosieB said...

A lovely personal send off and absolutely perfect. Make me cry and smile at the same time. Take care of yourself x

PaperFunky said...

My Dearest Helen
What a brave and wonderful women you are, Im so very sorry that your Duke has gone but I am sure he will be watching down feeling very proud of you and chuckling at the maggots!
All my love and gentle hugs, Meli xxxxx

misteejay said...

The tears flowed here too Helen but what a beautiful post. It sounds like it was the perfect send off for Andy.

Had to chuckle about the maggots although I think I would still be shreeeeeeeking about finding them in the freezer (hehe).

Take care of yourself - sending BIG hugs.

Toni xx

tilly said...

What a wonderful service it sounds, all the personal touches with flowers and food. 'The Duke' would be so proud of you. You will have so many wonderful memories to look back on, thank you for the post to update us, look after yourself and watch out for bags of maggots! lol
Tilly

Sue said...

Sounds like a sad day made bearable by the love shown for Andy. Sending you loads of hugs.

Jem said...

This post brought both tears and smiles, I really admire your strength and courage to post this at this difficult time. I'm sure he heard you from his cloud! Take care Janex

Ali said...

Another in tears reading this post - brilliant, funny and touching xxx stray strong lovely xxx

Clarky J said...

How amazingly personal his service sounds to have been and all your family touches of favourite foods and drink and flowers.
Sending you huge hugs and thinking of you in the days ahead xxx

briceybabe said...

its all been said by the other comments above, it sounded a lovely tribute to your lovely man. big hugs from France
Sue x

Shirl Davis said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely day with us
You made it the one you wanted for Andy
and for yourselves

Some thoughts as I read:

Love gives you compassion
A sense of humour gives you strength

You will always need to remember
But you will, one day, smile again, for no reason

And you will forever have craft to fiddle and f**t about with

From one crafty fan to another x

lonidan said...

Helen what a lovely send off for andy. I did have tears in my eyes as i read it but then had to smile over the maggots. Thinking of you all the time and as marc has said if you need anything just ask. Louise xx

Angie said...

I some how missed the sad news of your great loss ...I am so sorry ...you are showing such strength but take care of yourself ...some times you can feel, weeks later, like a sledge hammer has hit you.
It sounds as though you gave Andy a beautiful send off....my thought are with you. xx

Bubbles said...

So glad the day went so well. The flowers, favourite foods, your tag (loved it!) all such personal beautiful touches!
sending (((hugs))) to you xx

Silvia said...

What a wonderful tribute. You have touched so many of us, initially with your love of crafting and now by sharing this moment of your life. You are in my heart and the tears run down my cheeks while at the same time I smile and realize that all of this is a life well lived and shared. God bless you,
Silvia (from Kansas)

Queen Bee said...

I, too had missed the news......so incredibly sad when it is so sudden.
Behind every great Duke there is an equally amazing Duchess doing her everyday stuff...... Keep hanging on in there....and smile at the good times ....although I think the air would be bluer than blue if I'd have found maggots!!!

Toni said...

Belated message here Helen. Such a difficult day for you I'm sure but it all sounded as perfect as it could be for you and your family. My thoughts are with you.
Toni xx

lynda said...

Helen - This post is so freaky for me. You know I also lost my John VERY suddenly and without warning - John was also a fisherman - I had exactly the same thing happen to me after John's death! I found maggots in my freezer and nearly lost my voice shreaking! Within minutes I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Reading your post brought it all back form me.
You gave your beloved Andy a beautiful ending. Very personal and very precious to you all. I thought about you all day Friday. Mum sends her love to you. Keep yourself busy - my love to you all

Lynda xxx

bonjen3 said...

bless you and your family