We were told by the vicar that we would be unlikely to remember much of the day.
I remember fragments but mainly the practicalities. Really odd things like walking through the cemetary to the crematorium taking photos as I went so that I could send people a photo map of how to walk to the crematorium.
Walking around the cemetary whilst waiting for another funeral to finish so I could hand in a CD of the music we wanted to play at the service. Being overwhlemed by the sheer number of tiny graves and their minature shrines of flowers and soft toys. Being really overwhelmed by the tiny graves seemingly abandoned and forgotten with only bedraggled teddies watching over them.
I’m not even sure why I walked round the cemetery. The boys would not be buried there and there would be no headstone. There was a tacit agreement that we wouldn’t bury them in a place we had no belief that we would stay. [A smaller part of it was that I haven’t had good experiences of burying ashes and found it more depressing and distressing than the funeral or cremation itself.]
Picking the music for the service was difficult. It had to have the right tone and length. I trawled through my collection of appropriate Classical music but nothing felt right. It was either too clichéd or too long or had weird tone shifts or spikes in volume.
The only thing that seemed to hit the right notes (boom tish) were some beautiful tracks from Final Fantasy. Just the right balance between stately and melancholy without being cheesy.
This was the music playing as we all filed in.
This marked the sound of people leaving and us going to spend a private moment with the tiny wicker baskets (we were adamant there would be no tiny coffins) before they were cremated.
The funeral itself was a blur. Mainly of tears and fevered hand holding. One of the things that I respected about the vicar conducting the service was that he knew that we had him there for our families not for us and he made no attempt to offer God based words of comfort or even commit the dread sin (hah!) of trying to persuade us that the death of our sons was part of some cosmic plan.
He still delivered a sermon along those lines because that’s the standard. I provided a eulogy for him to read that was based on the note we put out to family and friends informing them of the news and what would go on our justgiving donation page.
Pretty much that and weeping at the sight of tiny baskets with little teddy bear shaped nameplates and lots of hand holding and ever so discreet wiping of noses. After gathering ourselves together we had a slow ride back to the pub in the funeral car for a reception where friends were waiting. It was a good time. The pub looked after us, we both drank silly amounts of booze (yet felt no drunkeness or hangover) and spoke of comforting things and stories of what could have been, should have been and such.
And then we went home.