It has been an emotional day. Saying goodbye to a soul that has completed its journey is never easy. When that soul was still in his prime and is the son of your oldest friend, Maurice, it becomes very hard.
We left home mid-morning and had a very good run up to town. The A3 and M25 had been benign. We stopped at a Harvester for lunch and then made our way to the West Herts Crematorium for the funeral.
As we parked up, the Gorse Fox saw one of his friend's brothers, Paul, (who he has known just as long), so we joined with him and the family. We met David, the youngest brother, and Ann the younger sister. They had all been an integral part of our lives when we first got married and it was so nice to see them again - even if the circumstances were so difficult.
The funeral cars arrived and the throng that had gathered made their way in. There must have been 100-150 people in the chapel. The service was emotional, particularly when his surviving elder brother, Chris, tried to give his eulogy. There was moment of humour, however, at the end as the coffin was committed for cremation to the strains of "Ice ice Baby"... and we all filed out.
The wake was held up in Stopsley, where the family had lived while growing up. The venue was packed and loud, but festooned with memorabilia of his life, and three separate projection systems were displaying photos to remember him. We spent a couple of hours there chatting with the family. Whilst talking with Paul, one chap came up to ask the Gorse Fox which of the brothers he was. "Clearly you are one of them as you have the same nose and chin". The Gorse Fox said he was honoured, and he was "the sophisticated one".
It had been emotional