The next few days were spent preparing the funeral service and generally moping and grieving and seeing to the livestock. Death is such horrible unfinished and inevitable business. The Anglican Canon let me help him prepare the service, choose the hymns, write the Eulogy and add a few music pieces. All through the wonders of the Email. Wednesday arrived and we drove to Durrus passing council workmen crossing themselves whilst the hearse passed by. Then we carried my dad into St James Church on the shores of Dunmanus bay. It's such a beautiful little stone church and one of the graves contains the remains of a Booker prize literature author.
The service was beautiful, moving and a fitting send off for my dad. We placed a floral cross from Jean and me with red, blue and white ribbons, a floral 'dad' tribute from my brother and a floral arrangement from my two lads with green white and orange ribbons. The ribbons represented Britain and Ireland and my father's love for both countries and the time he spent in them.
The Canon even allowed for a CD with a choir singing 'Jerusalem' to be played whilst the congregation reflected on my dad's love of England and Ireland. I thought to myself:
"Why can't the world be English and Anglican?"
The service was incredibly moving and my Eulogy (the vicar read it) told my dad how I loved him and how I was sorry when I let him down and how he never let me down. Isn't it sad how I never told my dad that when he was alive?
We buried my dad in the grave beside my mother, next to his parents and brothers and sisters grave. I looked down Dunmanus bay and thought about the words what my wife Jean first said when she visited my grandparents grave:
"They lived by the sea and they are buried by the sea."
Now the same can be said for my dad. .
The day after the service I walked passed the world famous singer Donovan in Bantry. I had seen him play Glastonbury festival in 1989 and always loved his song 'Universal Soldier'. The mental jukebox started playing in my head. It made think of my dad fighting like a lion in the ICU. God bless all those doctors and nurses who fight to save people's lives and for their honesty when they tell you they can't do miracles.
Here's 'Universal Soldier' for you to listen to. See you later.