Mum’s funeral took place on 21st May 2009 at 11:30A.M. A Requiem mass was said in St. Bernard’s church Knott End, followed by a short service at the Crematorium in Carlton. Finally a reception was held at the Golf Club in Knott End.
The funeral directors brought the coffin to Ashness where they placed the Liverpool flag on it and rearranged the flowers, the one that spelled NANNA really caught your eye.
We then set off for the ferry, the hearse, followed by two cars with the family mourners (first car;Dad, Peter, me, Bernadette and Gerard, second car; Matthew, Lee, Amy, Thomas, Adam and David). My sister and I felt we should drive through the village that had been home to mum for 60 years. John, the funeral director who looked after us, got out of the car and walked in front just before we turned down Hackensall Rd. Once we reached the church we were met by the rest of the family. John gave the boys who where carrying the coffin; Gerard, Matthew, Lee, Thomas, Adam and David, some instructions. The family mourners then followed the coffin into church where it was placed at the front of the Alter (it is a very small church). There were about 60 people in the church including family members, Mum had a lot of friends and people who loved and respected her.
I was doing the reading (Genesis 1 i-iv) and psalm,I was determined to do it well (one of the things mum did for me, when I was still at school, was to pay for elocution lessons, which I have used a few times since. I think I did OK at her funeral. Bernadette read the bidding prayers which she had personalised for Mum. Bernadette read well in spite of being very upset she managed to hold it together. Father Bernard Partington, the pastor spoke a few words about Mum’s life, we had given him some information before. He tied everything into the fact it was Ascension Day (The feast has now been moved to Sunday 24th)and how mum liked the open air and animals (Mum was in the Land Army for 9 years and always loved the outdoors).
The hymns were picked by Dad, mum’s sister, Mum’s niece and my sister. John (the FD)had arranged for a lovely lady to play and sing, everyone thought her renditions of “Ave Maria” and “On Eagles Wings” were beautiful and I know Mum loved it too.
One slight hitch occurred when I signaled Dave to organise my Dad and Peter who were carrying the gifts up to the alter for the offertory and Dave thought I meant him to take up a collection! Most people gave their offering to the RLNI (Royal national Lifeboats Institution) marked in envelops which Dave took out. I appologised and the priest was very happy!
I gave a small presentation which Mum’s family in the States (her sister emigrated there in 1953 and Mum had visited and got to know her three children and there families)had put together as it was not possible for them to be at the funeral.
When that was over I felt I could relax. The boys picked up the coffin and we followed it out to the strains of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Liverpool Football Club’s anthem) at this point I lost it and started to yell.
After talking to some people outside church we all got into cars and the chief mourners followed the hearse along the roads of Over Wyer to the crematorium. Again John walked in front of the hearse both as we left the church and as we arrived at the crem. Again the 6 boys carried Mum into the crem. while the theme tune from the film Titanic played (David picked this). Father Bernard said a few words and all too soon the curtains closed on Mum for the last time. Outside I felt very sad to see the boys without Mum’s coffin.
Tomorrow the reception