Funerals, souls and light.

I’d like to say thank you to those of you who keep reading and leaving comments, and who are supporting me and Sam from wherever you are.  Even though sometimes my posts may seem as though I cannot see light or hope, the love and support from you all does help, and even if I go quiet, I’m still here and I still need you.

Sometimes I think back to the funeral.  Whenever I see tiny daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers, I think of the beautiful spray on his casket.  Even the words ‘spring flowers’ make me think of them, because that’s what we asked for.  Occasionally, the face of one of my friends, drawn with intense sadness, sitting in a pew opposite me, drops into my mind, and I’m startled by the memory.  The service was as beautiful as it could have been.  We had close friends and family do readings: ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’, by Mary Elizabeth Frye, ‘The Noble Nature’ by Ben Jonson, and ‘Sometimes’ by Frank Brown.  I know that the Frye poem is read at almost every funeral, but it seemed to be apt.  We also listened to music (‘Why Won’t the World Stop’ by Anastacia, ‘Gone Too Soon’, by Michael Jackson and Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus’) and lit candles.  The chaplain was truly wonderful – she made it very personal and seemed earnestly to feel our desperation.  She was also the one who blessed Freddie not long after he’d been born.  Neither Sam or I are religious at all, but we felt that it seemed right to bless him, and also to have the service in a chapel.  My parents are deeply religious and I know that they appreciated this more than they could express.  The problem I have sometimes, is that I find it difficult to imagine Freddie as being anywhere – I believe in souls, but I find it so difficult to imagine the soul of a tiny baby who never lived outside of my body (when I imagine the soul of a person I have known a long time, I imagine a sort of ‘wisp’, entwined with elements of their character and personality).  I know that my mum and step-dad believe that Freddie is safe with God, but that is of little comfort to me; he should be here with me, or still safe inside me until 8th July when he was supposed to come to us.  Instead, my husband had to carry his baby boy in a casket into a chapel.  I walked alongside him, but I have never felt more at a loss or so stricken with desperation for Sam, apart from in the hospital.  The sight of the person you love more than anything in the world, holding his lifeless baby boy is something that I will never, ever forget.  And I have never felt so completely at a loss, or so profoundly sad.

When we got to the grave side, the sky opened up, and it rained like it could only rain on the day of such a tragic occasion.  The cold water belted at my body and face, as if it felt the anguish of the day as sincerely as the rest of us, and my skin smarted and trembled under the bitter drops.  My stepdad read a poem, which I had chosen to be aimed at Sam and I – a sort of tribute to help us conclude the ceremony in a pertinent way. As the blackness of the sky and its wet misery seemed to be swallowing us all, the rain seemed to ease just a little, and the sky seemed to lighten just a fragment, as John read the words below:

Sometimes, when the sun goes down,

It seems it will never rise again…

But it will.

Sometimes, when you feel alone,

It seems your heart will break in two…

But it won’t.

And sometimes, it seems it’s hardly worthwhile carrying on…

But it is.

For sometimes, when the sun goes down,

It seems it will never rise again,

But it does.



And so I hang on to the knowledge that there is light and hope, even if I can’t always see it, I know that eventually, it will come.


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