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'Donald, Where's Yer Troosers?' By Andy Stewart finished the service just the way he would have liked, the only point Bro and I could recognise as something connected with our father. It was surreal, as if we had somehow wandered into the funeral of a stranger. Perhaps the family thought so too; throughout the service our existence in Dad's life as a historical fact was politely marginalised, mentioned once and never referred to again. Everything else was about how devoted he was to his second wife and second daughter.

We had, however, been given some time alone with the coffin at the house. The casket was closed. Personally, if it is practical, I think open casket is better, because it really is the most undeniable finality; sight of the body makes one's animal self accept what the mind and emotions may resist. Still, it would have been a nightmare for our half-sister assuming she could make it out at all. She is 21 now and severely disabled with cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, walking difficulties, near blindness...she cried at the bouquet covered coffin as it was.

Bro had chosen our flowers, deep blue blooms, white roses and lilies, purple cabbages. 'Give 'em hell! XXX' was the message devised by Bro, a wee jokule that Dad might have appreciated, though it was his day for the last laugh. Before any of this was known or dreamed of, Bro and Dad's final exchange was on my facebook wall, arguing over the name of a pub that Dad liked, the one-time Gay Cavalier (Devizes was a parliamentary stronghold in the Civil War, and Roundway Hill is not only the site of a royalist victory but one of the places in Blighty where phantom battles are still heard.) Anyhoo, The Gay Cavalier was changed to The Cavalier after, in Dad's words,'The Gays stole the word,' cue Bro's instant riposte about the word 'Gay,' always being associated with homosexual behaviour, etc, etc... Naturally the wake was held at The Cavalier which, by the way, is a terrible pub.

I did get to see the kind old oak in Hillworth Park, and the little house we finally settled after returning to Blighty from Singapore. It was a little sad. Then we drove back to the lighter, less oppressive atmosphere of Her Satanic Majesty, the City of London. There is definitely a story in the past and in Devizes, and at some point I may go back to find it. But right now is about appreciating my life, and life in general. Time to laugh again. And thanks for a final giggle, Dad.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
Oct. 25th, 2015 06:45 am (UTC)
Thank you
*Hugs *
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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