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.