Yesterday, Friday 12 th was the day of the funeral and our last goodbye to Julia. Many people may not understand-or agree- with our decision to honour her request for a religion free service. It was beautiful. Julia had a wonderful sense of humour and so my arrangements with the undertaker may have raised a few eyebrows but with the agreement of all the major players, Yvonne, Karen and Joanne we went ahead. I prepared the order of service which would be given out yesterday.
The hearse and the family car collected us at about 11.20 . The flowers reading ‘MUM’ from Yvonne and a large horseshoe from me were place aboard the coffin along with other family flowers. We were all wearing some token black but under my frockcoat I wore a silver waistcoat (vest) and a silver, flower patterned tie. Yvonne, my nieces and I got in the family car and the undertaker started walking in front of the hearse to guide it into traffic on the main road. We set off at a sedate pace and maintained it the whole journey. For anyone who’s journey was delayed because of us I apologise
We arrived at the crematorium at 11.40 and had a few minutes to wait while the previous mourners departed. At a beckoning motion from the funeral director someone opened the car doors and we were ready to go in. Julia had expected perhaps a dozen mourners or celebrants but I could see at least sixty people there. We entered to the strains of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah by Alan Sherman and I’m sure Ju was laughing. The Reverend spoke for a few minutes to say we were there to celebrate the life of Julia before inviting Yvonne and my niece Karen up to speak. Yvonne spoke movingly about her beloved mother and described her as both mother and friends. Some things were so difficult she had to pause to regain control and the congregation had tears in their eyes. I know I cried as did Julia’s sister Muriel behind me who was so close to Julia in many ways. Karen read Julia’s poem which it turns out she helped to write. She also choked and her audience followed suit.
The Reverend introduced the song Hey Ho by the Lumineers which had become a firm favourite by Julia recently after hearing it on an advert. The words ‘I belong to you, you belong to me, Be mine Sweetheart’ brought on the eyeball sweats again. The tissue manufacturers saw their share prices rise accordingly. As the song ended I was called along with Ugo to speak. Many of you won’t know that I stutter badly when faced with strangers and so I kept my head down as I laid a single lily in remembrance on the coffin and for the whole time I spoke about Julia and her kindness, her being my rock and making me wheeze by introducing rats, degus and anything else to the house .( I confess, I love them all). I had to stop three or four times to regain my composure and kick myself for not buying shares in tissues before I left. I finished with a poem by E.E.Cummings called I hold you in my heart. Ugo followed me and made sure everyone knew what a privilege it was to know Julia and be welcomed into the family by so caring a person who never judged. Even my stoic son in law needed my comfort up there when he choked and the audience choked with him. There was such sadness and yet such Joy at having known her.
The Reverend started the committal with some nice words and to the music of Fun with We are Young, Julia’s casket was borne away and the curtains closed. The Reverend gave a nice speech about Julia, including how wrong the comedian Les Dawson had been about Mothers -in-law and how Julia had been many different things to many different people, Julia Prosser the mother, Julia Prosser the wife the aunt, the friend. Julia Prosser, Lady of Bouldnor, the fundraiser for good causes, Julia Prosser the mother in law and the lover of animals. Yet while being all these people she was ONE PERSON in one body all the time. Thinking about it that must be true of all of us that different people see us in different ways in different roles. I hope we’re nice in all of them.
We then stood for the closing as we were told to stay strong for Ju and she was wished a safe journey to follow her belief of meeting up with her parents again until it’s time for us to be together again. I have no doubt she’s with them and enjoying a lot of pain free rides on all the horses in the sunlight. We walked out of the crematorium to the strains of Talk Talk and their record Life’s What You Make It.
Back out in the daylight we met all those who had come to pay their respects. Ugo’s family who’d travelled from London and Birmingham ( not Alabama), My sister-in-law’s daughter ( yes, a long winded way of saying my niece) Hayley, who had also driven from London that morning, friends from the cafes I wrote of in the books that she so loved visiting, friends of Yvonne’s who had met her and loved her and her friends from the two stables she used. Llanfynydd RDA with their wonderful staff, especially Di who helped her so much and Carl and Storm from Pennant Park which now has it’s indoor arena ( we still need a hoist though- subtle hint). I took the canvas of Julia that had been on the coffin and we repaired to the pub where glasses and cups were raised to her picture on the mantlepiece as she watched us enjoy her day. She will never be forgotten.
44 responses to “Our Goodbye”
What a beautiful send-off you gave your beloved Julia. I thought of you all day, and continue to send prayers to you during this difficult time.
Thank you Jolyse. It was a difficult goodbye but one I’m sure mad her glow with pride.we have great memories to carry us forward now. Your positive thoughts are valuable and welcome. Sending you Huge Hugs. xxxx
My heartfelt condolences are with you and your family. I feel as if I knew Ju on a very personal level through your stories and writing. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with her with everyone.
Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders
Thanks so much Aaron. I wrote for selfish reasons of course because it was a way to vent my frustration sometimes but people were so kind and interested in Ju I had to carry on. I’m just sorry the last episode came so soon. I wanted there to be a very long run of this particular soap.
I send Hugs for you all.
David, I’m heartbroken for you and your family. Sorry is never a good enough word for such loss, but I’m sending healing vibes from across the pond. I cried when I read this, but I am glad to know Ju is no longer suffering.
Thanks so much Amberr. I’m sorry I had you cry for this was meant to be a celebration. It’s a shame my writing can’t take the credit. The healing vibes are a great help and comfort and I know Ju would have thanked you.
Huge Hugs xxxx
A beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. You portray love most ably.XXOO
Sent from my iPhone
What a kind and beautiful thing to say Virginia.I thank you, send you love and great big Hugs. xxxx
Thank you for sharing that wonderful send-off, I had tears in my eyes as read this.
I love your musical choices, a funeral should be about the person and what they liked, it sounds like you really achieved that. Well done for saying your piece as well, speaking at a funeral is difficult at the best of times, I am sure Julia would have been thrilled that you did.
Thanks so much Metan. I agree with you. The funeral was about Ju and that was obvious throughout I hope. I think she would be pleased I tried to speak there and amazed I succeeded but better still, I think she’d have enjoyed what I had to say. She had great humour.
I send you and all your family warm Hugs.xxxx
You have great humour too, and I am glad that you have maintained it even when times were hard. Happy memories are the best ones.
I always look forward to your amusing posts, soon enough we will be hearing about your adventures as a grandparent, I can’t wait to read that! 😀
Thank you. That’s quite a compliment from someone with your following( no, I don’t mean your bum looks big in this) and your humorous posts. Hugs Metan. xxxx
Hugs to you too. 😀
Thank you for sharing that with us. Hugs from the other side of the world.
Thanks so much Judith. Wonderful Hugs returned with interest. xxxx
It sounds like it was a beautiful service full of fitting, and loving tribute. May your joyful memories sustain each one of you.
Thank you so much Dear Shawn. It was a beautiful service even in it’s difference and I hope people left feeling the same. There were many unexpected compliments. The memories of Ju will live on for us not least through the loving tributes many of you have made on the ether. I send you massive Hugs xxxx
Beautiful… may everyone’s pain be eased as time moves on. xxx
Thanks so much Catherine. Things are easing as the sweet memories take over. xx Huge Hugs xx
I have been terribly wrapped up in family (school holidays) and writing and as a result have barely read and posts or tweets and it is with a very heavy heart I read this, I am so sorry for you loss and that of the rest of your family I know from following you how much Julia was loved and will be missed.my thoughts are with you all
Thank you so much for taking time to write Paula. That’s very kind. I send you Hugs .xxxx
What a beautiful and fitting send off for a wonderful Lady in every sense of the word. -hugs-
Thank you. She would have liked the day and knowing she eased our sadness. Like you she’s always concerned about others. Huge Hugs xxxx
Sounds like a beautiful service. Best wishes & hugs to all.
So very kind. Yes, i was unlike a funeral and more a celebration though there was time for tears too. I send Hugs. xxxx
So sorry to hear your news and glad that you were able to share with us all and that you were able to provide a fitting moving send off.
Thanks so much Johnny. It was certainly a moving send off and I think it was fitting. We kept as close to her wishes as we could. Thanks for taking the time to read it and the interest you’ve shown in Julia’s story before now. Best Wishes to you.
Beautiful post — a tribute to a wonderful person I wish I’d met.
She’d have enjoyed meeting you and that sense of humour Candy. I wish I’d got her to read one of your books. If I ‘d said it had horses she’d have been there like a shot. She was a lovely person. Huge Hugs xxxx
Dear David, I can see your Ju left you with such strength, love and
comfort. She was a Grand Lady and I believe you will be together again.
She was indeed grand Michael and taught me a lot about patience and being nice. I have great comfort inn your belief. Thanks so much.
ps. Please forget formalities and just use my first name,
I’m sure Julia was very pleased with the send-off you and your family gave to her. I can picture all of you afterward with your cups raised to her picture. I know she smiled, David. Please be sure to take of yourself. Thinking of you. Hugs.
I’m sure Julia must have had occasion to chuckle a few times when we spoke of her past antics Mary J. There was almost a party atmosphere at the ‘wake’ as she looked at the various drinks taken in her honour. I’m sure she took a glass of wine now the medication isn’t needed. Most people really did celebrate her life despite the underlying sorrow. I’m a lucky, lucky man. I send you thanks and Hugs xxxx
It sounds like the service was perfect for her and your family. I love the music you chose for her. I’m so glad that so many came out to celebrate her life with you and that you were able to make so many fine memories, even through the underlying sorrow of the moment. You are in my thoughts.
The service was great. Without religion, no-one could be offended. The music she chose for herself which I thought was brave since considering your own funeral is not an easy subject I’d think. But the choices were good in making people smile more and mourn less despite tears flowing. Thank you for thinking of us. xx Hugs xx
What a lovely send off, David. I had a chuckle at your music choices. Lovely that you got to put your personalities into the ceremony. Julia would have been smiling down on you all. *hugs* and best wishes. Catherine
Hello Catherine, those were Ju’s own musical choices except maybe the last one which I know she loved so I put it in but I love it too. The video to Talk Talk Life’s what you make it is great and suited Ju because of all the animals. But who couldn’t like a fox cub and badger cub playing? I’m sure you’re right that she was there, probably sitting in the rafters giggling.
Sending you Huge Hugs
I have just discovered your books, and was so sad to read about the loss of your wife. I will give out extra hugs in her memory this week. I am looking forward to reading more of your works, and please accept heartfelt best wishes from a new reader.
Thank you so much, that’s exceptionally kind. If you read my books you may think I’m a little hard in the description of my wife, but she loved it.I always got great pleasure from giving her the upper hand. She was the most beautiful person with the nicest nature imaginable, she’d really appreciate the extra hugs in her memory and I’m in favour of hugs at any time. It’s a delight to meet and welcome a new reader, maybe it will spur me on to write again someday.
Huge Hugs to you,, David
I love your phrases, the “eyeball sweats” a poignant attempt at humor. And I laughed, smiled and “eyeball sweat-ted” myself. Felt like I had been there. Thank you so much for the detail, this will be a post that sails around the world whispering how much you loved her. The best smiles, though, was the smile of culture appreciation–to the pub we will go! It brought back some of my own favorite memories when I lived in GB.
I can’t think of a nicer epitaph Lorene than to think of it sailing round the world whispering my love for Ju. Thank you. As for repairing to the pub, I think we all count them as second homes sometimes but I’m glad your memories of visiting them when you lived over here are good.
Huge Hugs xxxx
What a beautiful and moving post. Brimming with love and memories of a woman that you clearly adored. What courage it must have taken you to write about what I can only imagine has been the darkest day of your life thus far. Dear David, I’ve only ‘known’ you for 24 hours but I send you HUGE hugs, Lottie xxxx
There’s nothing in the world to beat Hugs Lottie so I thank you so much. I’m still in the process of saying goodbye to Ju because I’m still reluctant to face the truth. You’re right, I did and do adore her, too many bruises otherwise ( fib). She was my best friend for so many years. Since the rats found new lodgings I’m reduced to talking to photographs or thin air which draws some strange looks outside, but most people know I’m demented.
I apologise for my flippancy but I genuinely thank you for your kind words and I send you Huge Hugs from Wales. xxxx