(This post was priginally started 29/01/10 – ooops)
My Uncle Bob died a few weeks ago (aged 81). But the funeral wasn’t until this week, for various reasons. So me and the girls headed of the wild marshlands of North Kent for the funeral. Didn’t quite manage to leave as early as I wanted , but still there in plenty of time as managed not to get stuck on the M25 or the Dartford bridge.
The most noticeable thing was the lack of a coffin, as Uncle Bob had left his body to medical science, so there was obviously no body to be buried/cremated. This was slightly odd. Though my Dad (Bob’s brother) found it a bit upsetting, because it seems to have been a bit of a tradition in that branch of the family to have the body back to the house before the funeral – for people to pay their respects I guess. It’s seems an important thing for my Dad to have been able to see the body but of course this wasn’t possible.
The funeral service was fine in a funeral service kind of way. Girls were good – but I suppose they have had plenty of practice with 3 funerals in the last 7 months SB made a good fist of singing the hymns. Though the organist did seem to be playing them somewhat on the slow side. And we had an alternative version of the words written by the vicar for the church to the tune of John Browns Body. Though reading the Wikipedia article on it, that seems a fair tradition for the song. Though the girls did wonder why I might be crying a bit at one point
After the service it was back to the house to catch with various bit of thr family. Mostly cousins of one sort or another. A few of my Dad/Bobs cousins were there, my Cousin Marilyn with whom Uncle Bob had lived for the last few years. her 4 kids and various of their kids. Here is most of the kids, bar the youngest baby who was asleep some where (as to why SB had her hand up un front of her face…..):
The generations are a bit out of sync. Aunty Ethel, Marilyn’s Mum was about 15 years older than my Dad, and Marilyn had kids a lot younger than me, and then her eldest son had his first baby at about 18 - so her eldest grandchild is already about 15.
Favourite entertainment seemed to be playing on his stair lift
Headed off home, though I was rather tired and had to stop at the services for a caffeine shot. Girls decided they were hungry and SB had the most enourmous teacake in the world
Goodbye Uncle Robert, though not so well in the last few years, after stroke and things he still had a sparkle in his eye.